50 Best Broadway Songs of All Time
With its rich history and worldwide cultural significance, Broadway shows still go houseful. Time and again, they have widely influenced Hollywood to adapt their stories and musical pieces.
If you're in the mood to listen to some catchy tunes then you're in the right place. Indulge yourself, read on, and listen to these 50 Best Broadway Songs of All Time.
1. Defying Gravity from Wicked
Originally released in 2003, "Defying Gravity" is one of the most loved musical songs. It has won multiple awards including an Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2006 and three Drama Desk Awards.
It was written by Stephen Schwartz and composed by Stephen Flaherty. This powerful anthem serves as the finale of the musical Wicked and has since become a Broadway classic.
2. Non-Stop from Hamilton
Unique sound and energy made "Non-Stop" one of the most popular show tunes ever written. It is a must-have on any list of Broadway Songs of all time. Its rivalry with clever lyrics features a rap battle between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.
Thus, its innovative use of rap and hip-hop has been praised and nominated for multiple awards.
3. One Day More from Les Miserables
"One Day More" is one of the most iconic musical theatre songs of all time. It has become a Broadway staple since its debut in 1996. It showcases the amazing vocal power and emotion of the cast.
Its soaring melodies and powerful lyrics capture the essence of the show's story of revolution and redemption
4. Think Of Me from The Phantom Of The Opera
"Think Of Me" tells the heart of the story through excellent composition. It features high notes and an orchestra in the background.
Though it is a simple song, it brings out gut-wrenching emotions every time one listens to it. It is purely a work of art melting hearts of many people.
5. A Little Priest from Sweeney Todd
Every of Sweeney Todd's tunes is well structured and marvelously sung. This track also referred to as the "Pie Song" was sung by Todd and Mrs. Lovett. They describe what they will do to their customers in this song.
The track is featured in the final act where the characters joke about baking meat pies with human flesh.
6. Seasons of Love from Rent
"Seasons of Love" was released as part of the musical's original Broadway cast album in 1996. Since then it has become a staple of musical theatre and has been performed on many occasions throughout the years.
Also, it has been nominated for numerous awards such as a Tony Award for Best Original Score and a Grammy award for Best Musical Show Album.
7. I'll Make A Man Out Of You from Mulan
To date, "I'll Make A Man Out Of You" has remained one of the best Broadway show tunes. Its lyrics are powerful plus hold an inspirational message. You can find this in every Broadway music list.
It has won several accolades including the prestigious Annie Award for Best Original Score and the Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Song.
8. Cell Block Tango from Chicago
Originally released in 1975, "Cell Block Tango" follows the stories of six female prisoners who are on trial for killing their lovers. It's a perfect song for showing the audience much about the play in a summary way. It is truly comprised of creative monologues, choreography, and choruses.
Its accolades include Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Choreography.
9. I'd Rather Go Blind from Cadillac Records
"I'd Rather Go Blind" released in 2008 was featured on the soundtrack of the movie Cadillac Records. Since then it has become a classic Broadway hit. Originally, it appeared in the 1968 film adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun.
This best broadway music speaks about devotion and heartache which makes it a powerful anthem that resonates with audiences.
10. Anthem from Chess
"Anthem" is a heart-rending song that inspires emotions with incredible tunes. Its passionate lyrics are full of optimism and hope.
This Broadway musicals musical portrays the two main characters singing as they come together to break down the walls between their countries. It reminds us that no matter who you are, you should never give up on your dreams.
11. Don't Cry For Me Argentina from Evita
"Don't Cry For Me Argentina" was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice for the musical. It appears on the concept album for the show and later on Madonna's album, Evita. This track tells the story of Argentine political leader Eva Peron.
To date, the song has won a wide range of awards.
12. Ya Got Trouble from The Music Man
Since its debut in 1957, "Ya Got Trouble" has been a favorite of musical theatre fans. With uplifting lyrics and iconic choreography, this best of Broadway music is often in every Broadway song list.
In addition to being a great show tune, it also serves as a warning about the dangers of small-town corruption.
13. Dancing Queen from Mamma Mia
"Dancing Queen" is one of the most popular musical theatre songs and a beloved classic by ABBA. It sets a great example of the power of musical theatre songs to create an unforgettable moment.
Furthermore, this song celebrates daughters, mothers, and all who have experienced true love and lost it.
14. He Lives In You from The Lion King
"He Lives In You" is a powerful song that conveys the idea that one's ancestors are always with them, even if they are no longer present. It is one of the most captivating animations of all time.
This unforgettable tune really paints a picture of Simba when you listen to it.
15. You Can't Stop The Beat from Hairspray
Released in 2002, " You Can't Stop The Beat" was the song for the finale of the musical Hairspray. The song embodies the energy and joy of the show and is now one of the best show tunes ever written. Mostly, its lyrics touch on racism while paying tribute to Tina Turner's hit Mountain High.
The musical has earned several Tony awards and the tune became a soul-inspiring anthem.
16. Don't Rain On My Parade from Funny Girl
A famous musical Funny Girl follows the story of a young Jewish woman as she pursues her dream of becoming a successful actress and singer. Here, Barbra Streisand showcased the tune "Don't Rain On My Parade" with passion.
She sings about marrying a gambler and how she'll do what she fancies.
17. And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going from Dreamgirls
Released in 1981, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is the lead single off the album, also titled Dreamgirls. The show itself has become the most popular musical theatre show with attractive storyline and great show tunes.
Lastly, the song has won several awards including 2 Grammy Awards, 2 Tony Awards, and a nomination for an Academy Award.
18. Sit Down, You're Rockin' The Boat from Guys And Dolls
First performed in 1950, the tune "Sit Down, You're Rockin' The Boat " was written by Frank Loesser. This popular show tune has been then performed by a variety of theatre singers, from amateurs to professionals.
The tune perfectly matches the show as it tells the story of a group of characters in New York City's Broadway district during the 1940s.
19. Maria from West Side Story
West Side Story is an iconic musical with an amazing storyline and powerful characters. It won altogether 10 Academy Awards in 1962 and is one of the most successful musicals in history.
The song"Maria" is based on the Romeo & Juliet storyline. Its lyrics speak a soft love language in the eyes of teenage infatuation.
20. There's No Business Like Show Business from Annie Get Your Gun
Annie Get Your Gun tells the story of the sharpshooter Annie Oakley and her romance with Frank Butler. With its upbeat and cheerful melody, the tune "There's No Business Like Show Business" captures the spirit of musical theatre songs.
It was written by Irvin Berlin and was included in the show's original 1946 Broadway production.
21. On The Street Where You Live from My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady was originally released in 1956 and is one of the best musical dramas ever made. It tells about a young woman in a high-class social experiment.
"On The Street Where You Live" is a well-known theatre song from the show that showcases Eliza's love for Freddy.
22. I'm Here from The Color Purple
The song "I'm Here" is sung by the character Celie from the musical. She sings about her journey from being a downtrodden and abused woman to finding her own strength and self-worth.
Mostly, its lyrics express Celie's determination to stand up for herself and her newfound confidence in her abilities.
23. This Is Me from The Greatest Showman
"This Is Me" is an empowering song that stands out as an all-time big hit. It's about self-acceptance and embracing one's individuality. It was written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
The song's accolades include the Golden Globe for Best Original Song and nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media.
24. You Will Be Found from Dear Evan Hansen
"You Will Be Found" is a tune about teenage anxiety, mental health, and loneliness. This emotional power ballad perfectly encapsulates the themes of hope, loneliness, and connection explored throughout the musical.
Winning 6 Tony Awards and the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album, it has become one of the most popular musical theatre songs.
25. When You're an Addams from The Addams Family
Mainly, "When You're an Addams " is known for its catchy, upbeat melody and clever lyrics. Its lyrics are playful and take on the Addams family's unique perspective on life, love, and death.
As a whole, the song showcases Gomez's pride and joy in being a part of the Addams family plus his appreciation for their unique way of life.
26. This Is The Moment from Jekyll & Hyde
"This Is The Moment" is an inspiring and powerful anthem about courage and determination. Since released in 1997, this tune has become one of the famous musical theatre songs.
The tune was considered the perfect way to end the show due to its uplifting and powerful message that encourages everyone to have faith and strength despite challenges.
27. No More from Into the Woods
The song "No More" serves as a powerful and emotional climax to Cinderella's story. It is performed at the end of the musical.
Often the tune is praised for its emotional power and its ability to capture the intensity and liberation of Cindrella's journey. It has become a fan favorite of all the time.
28. Tell Me It's Not True from Blood Brothers
" Tell Me It's Not True" was written by award-winning composer and lyricist Willy Russell. It is a heartfelt ballad from the West End Musical Blood Brothers.
Released in 1983, the song has won numerous awards including an Oliver Award for Best New Musical in 1984.
29. Memory from Cats
Since Cats debuted in 1981, "Memory" has been one of the songs that have defined Broadway. Andrew Lloyd has composed each lyric in such a stunning way that this tune will stroke one's heart from start to end.
The song as a whole tells the story of Grizabella, a Glamour Cat who longs to feel beautiful once again.
30. Maybe This Time from Cabaret
"Maybe This Time" was added to show Cabaret after the success of the 1972 film where Liza Minnelli belts out this powerful number about a woman just looking for a win.
Also, the song took a new meaning when it was taken off the Broadway stage into the beloved series, Schitt's Creek. It was a great fit captured by Emily Hampshire, solidifying herself as the winner she truly wants to be.
31. She Used to Be Mine from Waitress
Waitress made history as the first Broadway musical with an all-female creative team and since then the show has become a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
"She Used to Be Mine", a tune from the show tells the story of a young waitress with an abusive husband wondering how she got so disconnected from who she used to be.
32. Me and the Sky from Come From Away
Come From Away was a success both on Broadway and in the West End. It tells the incredible true story of 7,000 passengers who were on their way to different parts of America on 9/11.
On that note, "Me and the Sky" is a moving ballad that tells the story of a female pilot who was ordered to land in the remote town of Gander, Newfoundland during the tragedy.
33. When You Believe from The Prince Of Egypt
The Prince Of Egypt is based on the 1998 Biblical animated film of the same name. The show features 10 brand-new songs by Stephen Schwartz but the all-time favorite of everyone is "When You Believe".
It's best known as a hit is a duet by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Among all, it is very famous in a stage setting.
34. All I've Ever Known from Hadestown
The show Hadestown opened in 2019 was itself a delighted one. It won an impressive eight Tony Awards later that year including Best Musical and Best Original Score.
Among many musical highlights, the most beautiful one is "All I've Ever Known" where Eurydice begins to truly fall in love with Orpheus.
35. Monster from Frozen
When a movie musical is as iconic as Frozen its creation of a stage adaptation is virtually a necessity. While one or two songs are enough to keep things fresh, Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez went even further than that and wrote 12 brand-new songs for the stage version.
"Monster" a piano-driven song of desperation, fear, and anxiety is among the best Broadway songs.
36. If I Were a Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof is regarded as a show that has a well-established culture. Its songs like Tradition, Matchmaker, Matchmaker, To Life, and Sunrise, Sunset have garnered a lot of information. Meanwhile, "If I Were a Rich Man" is the one that has grabbed the attention of a lot due to cultural reasons.
In case you aren't familiar with this one, you surely know Gwen Stefani's pop hit of a similar tune, Fiddler.
37. I'd Give My Life For You from Miss Saigon
Miss Saigon follows the story of Kim that means a young Vietnamese girl who falls in love with an American soldier.
Kim sings " I'd Give My Life For You" to her son, Tam, letting him know that she's willing to sacrifice everything for him. It's totally heart-wrenching and strong in equal measure giving the actor a lot to work with.
38. I Hope I Get It from A Chorus Line
"I Hope I Get It " is a fast-paced and energetic song that delves into the theme of both hope and anxiety. Besides several songs of the show such as, What I Did for Love and One, this track is something undeniably exciting about the show's first number one.
The musical opens up in the middle of an audition, with every dancer giving their all in the hopes they make the cut.
39. I Will Never Leave You from Side Show
Side Show tells the story of Daisy and Violet Hilton, twin performers who were born joined at the hip. Throughout the show, the duo go through multiple trials including navigating romantic relationships.
With that regard, "I Will Never Leave You" is a song that portrays the love and empathy the twins have for one another as they sing.
40. Someone in a Tree from Pacific Overtures
The show Pacific Overtures details Japan's history starting from the 1850s and is quite difficult to stage so, we often see it rarely. But the fact that the show is so rare makes hearing songs like "Someone in a Tree" much more of a treat.
Mostly, the tune combines Sondheim's signature style with Japanese influences and features harmonizing which is extremely pleasing to the ear.
41. You Don't Know from Next to Normal
Altogether the show Next to Normal has won 3 Tony Awards including Best Original Score. Among other songs of the show, "You Don't Know" reaches the highest of emotional peaks.
Diana sings this song to her husband Dan as she reflects on the death of her son. It's one of the best heartbreaking tunes.
42. Everything's Coming Up Roses from Gypsy
The musical portrays the life of entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee and spotlights the relationship between her and Rose, her mom. Rose is the most interesting and large-than-life character in the show which makes sense that she has some of the best songs.
Among her other songs from the musicals, this tune highlights Rose's ambition and carefully projects to the audience just how dangerous her goals are.
43. The Impossible Dream from Man of La Mancha
The musical Man of La Mancha is a meta version of the story of Don Quixote. The Don himself sings "The Impossible Dream" explaining the importance of his quest. Surely, this great tune is mentioned in the list of every Broadway shows songs.
A number of famous performers have recorded the song including Frank Sinatra, The Temptations, Glen Campbell, and even Cher.
44. Send In the Clowns from A Little Night Music
Perhaps "Send In the Clowns" is Sondheim's most famous song or can be said one of his all-time best. His work in 1973's A Little Night Music is mostly recognizable and loved by many people.
Through song, he depicts a woman contemplating her life. It is shown thoroughly which quickly garners the audience's attention.
45. Hello, Dolly from Hello, Dolly
The song "Hello, Dolly" has all the energy needed to become a Broadway standard. It was even popularized by another musical legend.
In 2001, Louis Armstrong had his recording inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame solidifying the song's status as one of the greats.
46. Lost in the Stars from Lost in the Stars
"Lost in the Stars" became a civil-rights anthem, though not a hopeful one. It portrays a situation where a black priest looks at the shattered lives around him and wonders if "maybe God's gone away".
Todd Duncan, the original Porgy in Porgy and Bess introduced this stirring spiritual. Since then it's become an all-purpose cry of abandonment in an unforgiving universe.
47. I Am What I Am from La Cage Aux Folles
"I Am What I Am" was groundbreaking when it debuted. The song touches on the themes of self-love, self-invention, and self-acceptance. It was performed by a drag-queen character and written by gay composer-lyricist Jerry Herman.
Ultimately, this tune is a celebration of being out, loud and proud.
48. Ease on Down the Road from The Wiz
The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz is an all-black Best Musical of 1975. The tune that made it hit was "Ease on Down the Road".
Throughout the show, Dorothy chants it with the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion while they shuck and jive their way to Oz. Among other hits from the musicals, this became an upbeat anthem of acceptance and brotherhood.
49. Summertime from Porgy and Bess
"Summertime" was written by George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward for their fabled folk opera about embattled blacks in the 1930s Deep South.
The lyrics convey a young mother's promise to the infant in her arms that nothin’ can harm you / So hush, little baby, don’t you cry. Out of other song's lyrics in musicals, this one is considered to be the best lyrics in musical theatre.
50. There Are Worse Things I Could Do from Grease
Grease is one of the most popular musicals around. The attractive tune "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" with its catchy lyrics gives an audience a look inside the character's head and lets us understand why she acts the way she does.
To date, the song has appeared in upwards of 20 Watch/MsMojo videos and continues to be an all-time favorite.
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