Hallo, leute! So, yesterday, as I was listening to “Grizabella, The Glamour Cat”, I started thinking about some of my favorite haunting songs from musical theatre and now I’m writing a post about it! Only criteria is that there has to be something haunting about the song whether that’s melody, lyrics, message, or all of the above! Los geht’s!
· “Grizabella, the Glamour Cat” from CATS – It simply wouldn’t be right to not mention this song when it was the song that inspired this post! Overall, I’d say that CATS is a pretty lighthearted musical. Sure, there are the Macavity scares and the sadder scenes (usually where Grizabella is involved), but overall, it’s a pretty fun, lighthearted show. But… this song? This song is haunting. And it’s almost creepy. I believe that this is the first time that we see Grizabella onstage (right?) and we see all of the Jellicles reject her. The tune of this song is absolutely haunting and so are the message and the lyrics! One of the most haunting lines is probably “You’d really have thought she ought to be dead.”
· “Die Schatten Werden Länger + Die Schatten Werden Länger Reprise” [The Shadows Grow Longer] from ELISABETH – The word “haunting” probably best fits the original song and not so much the reprise. But… the lyrics are essentially the same. The first time it’s sung, it’s got a much more soft, eerie vibe. The reprise is considerably more pumped up. But nonetheless, the lyrics are haunting and well… quite frankly, creepy. Seriously this is Death himself singing this. So… yeah. But I just also really, really love these songs! Definitely one of my favorite haunting songs from musical theatre.
· “Turning” from LES MISÉRABLES – So, when I saw LES MIZ in New York last year in April, I was just left stunned by this scene. The women and children bring out candles—one for each of the students—and leave them out on the streets where they died. And sure, the scene was haunting. But the lyrics too… and the way it’s sung? There’s something about it that I just can’t help but see as haunting.
· “Please Don’t Make Me Love You” / “Lass Mich Dich Nicht Lieben” from DRACULA – I just had to add both the English version and the German version to this list. Both have their really strong points. I feel like the German version does a better job of showing Mina’s agony whereas the English version really does a good job with the lyrics, I think. But… they’re both immensely haunting. I mean… it’s a musical about Dracula. What would you expect? I really can’t quite explain how amazing this song is so… I just recommend you check it out!
· “Once Upon a Dream [Jekyll]” from JEKYLL & HYDE – I’m just starting to realize that there’s three (four-ish) Frank Wildhorn musicals on this list. But… anyways… this is a song that actually got cut from the Broadway production… and I’m still not quite okay with it. This song is essentially Jekyll seeing that the experiment has really gone too far and his regret just seeps through the lyrics. Man. Not only is the weak, diminished way in which Jekyll sings this song just so haunting, but the tune’s also kind of haunting in it’s own way.
· “The Hypnotism” from SVENGALI – I feel like the title kind of describes this one. But… essentially, the tune is very well… hypnotizing almost, but also just eerily haunting and so are the lyrics!
· “Totale Finsternis” [Total Darkness/Eclipse] from TANZ DER VAMPIRE – Wait…? More vampires on this list? Ganz genau! But… in contrast to the song from DRACULA, this song is not pleading. It’s more of an “I-Want-To-Know” type song. But also, it’s got elements of haunting eeriness in the lyrics too, especially when Krolock says “Seibereit, sternkind.” (“Be ready, star child.”)
· “Reflection” from A TALE OF TWO CITIES – I suppose that the general theme of this song isn’t precisely haunting. It deals with something that I think most people grapple with in their lifetimes but of course, on a more extreme level. The melody of this song is immensely haunting and I also think that some of the lyrics are just absolutely chilling.
· “Finale / I Can’t Recall Reprise” from A TALE OF TWO CITIES – So… if you don’t know how Sydney Carton’s story comes to an end, you might want to skip past this part because I’m going to be discussing it now. So. Essentially, Sydney Carton takes it upon himself to save Charles Darnay from prison by well… smuggling him out and disguising himself as him. Through the first part of the song, Sydney’s talking to the seamstress that he meets on the way to the guillotine. As the song progresses, we hear the ringing sound of the guillotine in the background. Eventually, the seamstress is taken to the guillotine. Sydney’s number is called and he begins to sing a reprise of “I Can’t Recall”. There’s so much about this song that I just find chilling. Especially the ringing of the guillotine.
· “Der Schleier Fällt” [The Veil Descends] from ELISABETH – This song isn’t exactly what most people would probably consider “haunting”. But if you understand the lyrics, you will definitely see what I’m talking about. But there’s also the fact that the ideas that this song has introduced to me have been kind of just hanging around, haunting my thoughts for a long time now.
· “Fantine’s Death / Come to Me” from LES MISÉRABLES – So… I don’t even know how to describe this one. All-in-all, this song’s melody is pretty eerie in and of itself but so are the lyrics. The lyrics especially are what I think of as haunting. And well… I don’t know what more I can saw about it!
And that’s it for me! What are some of your favorite songs that you would consider haunting or eerie? Tschüss!