Friday, March 15, 2013

Top 100 Showtunes: 80-71

And onto the next 10 favorite showtunes!

#80. "Baptize Me" from The Book of Mormon. This song never fails to completely crack me up. Not only is it really entertaining, catchy, and sweet, but I actually think it's making a pretty poignant point about how poorly many religious groups to deal with relationships and attraction. In this song, Mormon missionary Arnold Cunningham has fallen in love with beautiful Ugandan girl Nabulungi, who has now decided she wants to be baptized into the Mormon church. No good videos of this, unfortunately, so here's the cast recording version.

#79. "How Lucky You Are" from Seussical. This little song is far from being an important part of the show. Cut it out and you really don't lose anything. But it's one of my very favorites, for its cheerful attitude on the horribleness of life. (I so enjoy that kind of song.) I just really love the lyrics, "If worst comes to worst, as we all know it will, thank your lucky stars you've gotten this far."

#78. "I Wanna Be a Producer" from The Producers. There's just something about this song that makes me smile. I can't put my finger on exactly what it is. It's such a triumphant song, and I love big flashy choreographed dance sequences that come out of nowhere.

#77. "Do You Know What It's Like?" from Zanna, Don't! This song has such a beautiful, heartbreaking melody to it. The four people performing here do a beautiful job, and when they all sing together at the end, it makes me want to close my eyes and just listen to them. This song is so sad and so gorgeous and that's about all I have to say about it.

#76. "A New Life" from Jekyll and Hyde. This was one of the very first songs I ever heard from this show, and it captivated me. I love how simple the lyrics are, and how the melody just keeps climbing and climbing until it reaches the triumphant, determined ending. (The song is much sadder when you realize she is killed by Hyde shortly afterward.)

#75. "Don't Be Anything Less Than Everything You Can Be" from Snoopy!! Like #78, this is another song that just plain makes me happy. The lyrics are pretty cheesy, but it's super fun to sing along to (though I have to concentrate really hard to get the string of nouns right at the end). Usually I don't like cheesy "be the best you can be" songs, but for some reason this one works for me.

#74. "Notice Me, Horton" from Seussical. I admit, this probably made the list because of my bias toward songs about unrequited love. This was one of my favorites way back in the day and it still makes me smile. The lyrics are very heartfelt and sweet, and the melody is very pretty, and I love when the two sing together, but not to each other. It's just a really nice song.

#73. "Together Again" from Young Frankenstein. To be honest, I like the musical version of Young Frankenstein much better than the movie. These lyrics are fun, very clever, and the song is incredibly catchy and cheerful. I can't listen to this song and not smile.

#72. "Getting Married Today" from Company. I've said most of what I want to say about this incredible song in my Musical Spotlight piece for Company, so let me just repeat what I said in that:

This song gets my vote for being the most difficult song to sing in all of musical theaterdom, and though there are many videos of various celebrities performing it on YouTube (Madeline Kahn and Carol Burnett both are entertaining), very few of them keep to the original tempo... which is the one in this video. Kudos to Heather Laws. The character is Amy, who is supposed to get married today but is freaking out a little bit. Or, well, maybe more than a little bit. The song delivers its lyrics at an incredible pace, but if you can manage to process the lyrics as they're sung, they're very funny and very clever, in true Sondheim fashion.

#71. "The Brain" from Young Frankenstein. I didn't mean to put two Young Frankenstein songs so close to each other, but it's how it turned out. The lyrics for this song are more entertaining than the previous one, so it's a couple slots higher. Mel Brooks is an extremely entertaining lyricist, constantly playing with clever rhymes and interesting wordplay. Here's the cast recording version so you can hear each one of the words.

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