Songs that Narrate

There is something about hearing the first notes, beats, words of an opening to a musical that just bring goosebumps to the surface of your skin. If you are a fan of the play then you know that for the next two-plus hours you are going to be swept away into a journey lead by a team of writers, actors, set-designers, musicians etc. You are going to hear voices that are not altered and that have rehearsed their words so many times that they are simply apart of their everyday jargon (let’s talk Lin-Manuel Miranda and Daveed Diggs!). Actors who are so engulfed in their character that you forget that the solider you are seeing twirling a rifle like it’s a baton, fighting in a revolution will leave after the to go home to their wife/husband/kid(s)/pet(s).

There is also something magical that happens when you see your favorite songs being brought to life on stage. It's like the song that you have just been listening to on repeat for a month suddenly has a whole new meaning. For example, “Satisfied” from Hamilton. I liked it, but it wasn’t one that played on repeat (that would have been “Helpless”). Then I heard/saw Renée Elise Goldsberry and the cast bring it to life and I was done. How about “Be Enough”? When you see Phillipa Soo’s eyes as she implores her husband to let her and their life together be enough for him (because I haven’t been teary-eyed since Lin-Manuel Miranda said, “Alexander Hamilton. My name is Alexander Hamilton” in the first song.) These songs, all pieced together, tell a story and leave a lasting mark in the heart and minds of their audience (“My Shot”).

I’ve been listening to and going to see Broadway productions of shows for year (it has lessened dramatically since moving) and there are so many songs that have touched me, brought me to tears, elicited goosebumps or an involuntary smile. I hope that if you haven’t experienced a live show/ “movie” of a live show, that you will one day, and I hope that more Broadway shows will be available to watch from home so that we can all be "a part of the narrative”.

In no particular order, a list of some of my favorite songs from Broadway Musicals

  • “All I Ask Of You” (Phantom of the Opera)

  • “Defying Gravity” (Wicked. I was able to see this in LA and the cast (not the original) had just come straight from Broadway. Yea, I cried.)

  • “As Long as Your Mine” (Wicked crying, goosebumps, Idina Menzel…who is also amazing in her one-woman show)

  • “Suddenly Seymour” (Little Shop of Horrors)

  • “Take Me or Leave Me” (Rent)

  • “Without You” (Rent)

  • “One Day More” (Les Miserables)

  • “On My Own” (Les Miserables)

  • “American Idiot” (American Idiot)

  • “Sun and Moon” (Miss. Saigon)

  • “My Shot” (Hamilton)

  • “Battle of Yorktown” (Hamilton)

  • “Satisfied” (Hamilton)

  • “Be Enough” (Hamilton)

  • “Helpless” (Hamilton)

  • “Written in the Stars” (Aida. I was supposed to see this ON Broadway freshman year of college and got mono and couldn’t. Sigh.)

  • “My Junk” (Spring Awakening)

  • “Somethings Are Meant To Be” (Little Women. Side note, I saw Sutton Foster in her one-woman show, in a small venue, and it was pretty amazing.)

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