Playlist: 18 Broadway Songs that Deliver Hope

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Time for a new playlist! Today’s playlist is all about HOPE. In a time when we’re full of angst, sadness, frustration, confusion, Coronavirus, Black Lives Matter, presidential elections, etc., we can use a healthy dose of hope so I’ve put together a playlist of 18 songs I believe deliver hope. Enjoy!

Many of the songs are classics but hopefully, you’ll also discover one or two new gems among the list.

Somewhere (West Side Story)

Connie Fisher‘s beautiful Somewhere from the 2007 West Side Story studio album featuring Hayley Westenra is a must-listen. Using Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics, she reminds us:

Somewhere.
We’ll find a new way of living,
We’ll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . .

Make Them Hear You (Ragtime)

Ragtime was one of the first cassette tapes I remember listening to Brian Stokes Mitchell. As he sang the climactic song, Make them hear you, goosies would rise on my flesh and I’d be pushing the rewind button before the song had finished.

Teach every child to raise his voice
And then my brothers, then

Will justice be demanded by ten million riteous men
Make them hear you-
When they hear you, I’ll be near you
Again

She Was There (Scarlet Pimpernel)

You knew I had to add at least one love song. This is the song right after Percy discovers that Marguerite is not a traitor. He’s found hope… And don’t you get goosies listening to Douglas Sills’ performance? There’s HOPE in that voice.

All at once, I felt a chill
In a spill of moonlight, she was there
Though we both held very still
There was something pulling in the air
When she whispered through the dark
I tried hard to hold my ground
I believed I had a choice
Till the music in her voice
Turned my whole world around

No One Is Alone (Into the Woods)

Another Sondheim classic. The motion picture production of Into the Woods did a great job with its casting. Anna Kendrick (Last Five Years) is Cinderella and James Corden is The Baker in this quartet with Daniel Huttlestone (Les Mis) and Lilla Crawford (Annie).

People make mistakes
Holding to their own
Thinking they’re alone

Honor their mistakes
Fight for their mistakes
Everybody makes
One another’s terrible mistakes
Witches can be right, giants can be good

So Much Better (Legally Blonde)

Elle Woods to the rescue. She is always there to brighten our day. And all that positive pink energy!

I’ve gone on to better things
Better jobs or bigger rings
I don’t have the time to cry

I’m too busy loving my name up on that list
Kind of a cool, ironic twist.

The Impossible Dream (Man of La Mancha)

I could listen to Brian Stokes Mitchell any day at any hour. That voice! And his rendition of The Quest is like butter.

To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go;

To right the unrightable wrong.
To love, pure and chaste, from afar,
To try, when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star!

Elaborate Lives (Aida)

AIDA is one of my all-time favorite Disney musicals about the Nubian princess played brilliantly by Heather Headley. In Elaborate Lives, she and her lover (Adam Pascal) wrestle with the ways of the world and try to find solace face to face.

I’m so tired of all we’re going through
I don’t want to live like that
I’m so tired of all we’re going through
I don’t want to love like that
I just want to be with you
Now and forever, peaceful, true
This may not be the moment
to tell you face to face
But I could wait forever
for the perfect time and place

I’ve Got the Sun in the Morning (Annie Get Your Gun)

How can you go wrong with a big brassy Ethel Merman song?

Got no diamond, got no pearl
Still, I think I’m a lucky girl
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
Got no mansion, got no yacht

Still, I’m happy with what I’ve got
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
Sunshine gives me a lovely day
Moonlight gives me the Milky Way
Got no checkbooks, got no banks

Still, I’d like to express my thanks
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
And with the sun in the morning
And the moon in the evening
I’m all right

Follow Your Heart (Urinetown)

This is one of those lighthearted songs that pack a punch with the message. In this song, the young hero learns to follow his heart.

We all want a world
Filled with peace and joy
With plenty of water
For each girl and boy
That bright, shining world
Is just waiting to start
No meanness or sorrow
Just cleanness tomorrow
If only you follow your heart

Climb Ev’ry Mountain (The Sound of Music)

The Sound of Music is a timeless tale with the ultimate finale number when Mother Superior and the Nuns sing “Climb Ev’ry Mountain (Reprise)” as the von Trapp family heads into the Alps. I always need a tissue. Do you?

Climb every mountain
Ford every stream
Follow every rainbow
Till you find your dream

A dream that will need
All the love you can give
Every day of your life
For as long as you live

Put on a Happy Face (Bye Bye Birdie)

When you think of Dick van Dyke, do you immediately think of Mary Poppins or Bye Bye Birdie? For me, he’ll always be associated first with Bye Bye Birdie. And yes, this song could totally have been sung by Bert too.

Gray skies are gonna clear up
Put on a happy face
Brush off the clouds and cheer up
Put on a happy face
Take off the gloomy mask of tragedy

Electricity (Billy Elliot)

I’ve always been conflicted about whether I like Billy Elliot or not. But I can definitely proclaim that I get goosies during Billy’s audition scene (Electricity) every time. And when Linda Eder recorded her version those goosies multiplied.

And then I feel a change
Like a fire deep inside
Something bursting me wide open
Impossible to hide

And suddenly I’m flying
Flying like a bird
Like electricity
Electricity
Sparks inside of me
And I’m free, I’m free

Testimony (Amazing Grace the Musical)

John Newton’s Amazing Grace is one of the most beautiful musical pieces of all time. And the story behind that song is pretty awesome too. In “Testimony”, Josh Young‘s John Newton sings of his conversion from a profane and unreliable slave trader.

And I know in my soul
It was not in me to judge
But God in his mercy has called me by name
And he lifted me out of the pit of my shame
And ordained
I should live

And the man that I was
I cast upon the fury of the sea
Let the wind and the waves
Wash away the fool I use to be
And I won’t be ashamed to stand
And proclaim I am free
I am free

Happiness (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown)

You can’t go wrong with some Charlie Brown. I especially love the song “Happiness” from the Broadway musical. It serves as a great reminder of how much we have to be thankful for.

Happiness is morning and evening
Daytime and nighttime too
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That’s loved by you

Finale (Les Miserables)

Les Miserables is one of the most beloved musicals in the world. And the finale might bring a tear to the eye when Valjean passes into the next world. However, there is so much hope as he and Fantine reunite and sing.

Come with me
Where chains will never bind you
All your grief
At last, at last behind you
Lord in heaven;
Look down on him in mercy

Que savez-vous de l’amour (Autant en Emporte le Vent)

In the gorgeous French musical based on Gone with the Wind, Melanie and Scarlett share a duet in Act 2 that may not be the typical anthem. But I love that both women refuse to be boxed into a stereotypical woman but are content being themselves. “I’m me that’s all.”

Pourquoi en rire

On n’suit pas le même chemin
Mais pourquoi y’en aurait il qu’un
Moi je ne suis ni elle, ni vous
Je suis moi c’est tout

A very rough translation from French to English:

Why laugh?

We don’t follow the same path
But why would there be one
I am neither her nor you
I’m me that’s all

Hold On (Secret Garden)

Martha gets one of the best songs in this beloved musical. In Act Two, when Mary is feeling down and ready to give up – Martha musically hits her over the head and reminds her to “Hold On.”

What you’ve got to do is
Finish what you have begun,
I don’t know just how,
But it’s not over ’til you’ve won!

I Am A Dove (Imagine This)

I love this musical that sadly is not to be found on Amazon any longer. The story is about a Jewish family that performs theatricals in the Ghetto to bring hope to their fellow inmates. (Read more about the story here.) In this song, the female lead passionately belts out that she will bring hope and truth to her people. I’ll confess I used to belt this out in my house (when it was empty, hehe, since we all know I don’t have the vocals).

Of all God’s things
there is no sword
that can be stronger than love.

Searching the sky
I will sing as I fly
Bringing word that too many men ignore.
Each limb of the tree
needs to grow and grow free
Free as the dove is to soar.

So there you have it. My playlist of 18 Broadway songs that spark and deliver hope. I hope you enjoy and hopefully, you’ve come across a song or two that is new that you can add to your collection. Enjoy! God Bless.

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Continue the Conversation

What musicals speak of hope to you?

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18 Comments

  1. Brianne

    July 13, 2020 at 9:08 am

    These are such great songs. I’m a huge fan of musicals. They can evoke all kinds of emotions. They can really uplift your spirits when you’re down.

  2. Lovely

    July 13, 2020 at 9:50 am

    The songs really lighten me up. I love broadway musicals

    xoxo
    Lovely

    http://mynameislovely.com

  3. Emmanuel Damian

    July 13, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    She Was There is one of my favorites. Great broadway song list.

  4. Heather

    July 13, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    I haven’t heard most of these, but my oldest probably knows every single one. She’s a huge broadway fan.

  5. ashley

    July 13, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    These are some great songs. I love Broadway shows.

  6. Matt Taylor

    July 13, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    So many uplifting and hopeful songs from amazing musicals. The Impossible Dream may be my favorite, although I haven’t heard every one of those. I need to watch more musicals!

  7. Melanie williams

    July 14, 2020 at 4:03 am

    IA massive musical fan right here!! Love all my musicals so any of the theatre music always gives me hope and cheer x

  8. Aruna Mallick

    July 14, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    OO la la. Amazing collection. I would love to add this in my playlist..

  9. Marie Phillips

    July 14, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    I know and love a few of these. And now they will pleasantly be in my head the rest of the day. 🙂

  10. Clarice

    July 15, 2020 at 8:41 am

    This is a wonderful list and love their message. Somewhere had been my favorite since I was young. Listening to it right now while I am reading your post.

  11. Knycx Journeying

    July 15, 2020 at 10:23 am

    I am a huge musical fan and you have some wonderful recommendation! True, we all need hope and some positive energy right now, and I will get ready for my playlist and sing my heart out ~ Knycx Journeying

  12. Lily

    July 15, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    These are some classic songs! Makes me want to go to a Broadway show!

  13. Steven Morrissette

    July 16, 2020 at 6:11 am

    Good selection a song well the ones I know.

  14. ปั้มไลค์

    July 16, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.

  15. SMS

    July 16, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    I love looking through a post that can make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!

  16. Elizabeth O

    July 20, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    I love upbeat music that puts a smile on our faces and hope in our hearts. I love your selection of songs.

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