“I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith.” “What's the name of his other leg?” - Mary Poppins

Mamma Mia!, The Wizard of Oz, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, etc. Musicals are part of music, theatre, and film. From Broadway to the West End, musicals with their wonderful songs, dance routines, and acting can bewitch him.

Above all, musicals leave a tune in our head whether we sing them in our head, the shower, or along to them in the car. Here are our favourite 15 songs from musicals.

All That Jazz - Chicago

Chicago is probably one of the best musicals and films, especially if you love cabaret. Moulin Rouge with Nicole Kidman and Burlesque with Christina Aguilera also come highly recommended for fans of the genre.

Which are the best songs from Chicago?
The city of Chicago as well as the musical have given us some excellent music. (Source: 12019)

In Chicago, All That Jazz is arguably one of the best songs and a classic. In the movie, Catherine Zeta-Jones sings it surrounded by other dancers.

Find out more about musical theatre.

Any Dream Will Do - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

In Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, this song features towards the beginning and at the end.

It was famously sung by Jason Donovan and released as a single. It reached number 1 in the UK and Ireland. There was also a 2007 TV series named “Any Dream Will Do” where they looked for a lead for the West End revival of the show. The version from the eventual winner peaked at #2 in the UK charts.

You're the One That I Want - Grease

If you enjoy American musicals, this is one of the best. One of the film’s trademark songs is “You’re The One That I Want” with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John trading lines.

Which are the best songs from Grease?
Not all the songs from the film were originally in the stage production. (Source: LloydTheVoid)

Did you know that this song wasn’t originally in the stage show?

It was later added in 2007 to the stage production because of the film’s and song’s success.

Check out our favourite musicals.

Memory - Cats

This song from Cats was based on a poem by T. S. Eliot. This is by far and away the most popular song from the musical and was recorded by Barbra Streisand for her 1981 album. With the 2019 film adaptation of Cats being slated by critics, we’d recommend that you enjoy this song from a cast recording.

Which is the best song from Cats?
Cats, by Andrew Lloyd Webber, has some excellent music in it. (Source: cocoparisienne)

Let the Sun Shine In - Hair

The musical Hair debuted in 1967 and was on Broadway for four consecutive years. It’s a product of the hippy counter-culture and sexual revolution of the time. Some of these songs were anthems for the pacifists protesting the Vietnam War.

The song “Let the Sun Shine In” was originally called “The Flesh Failures”.

Find out more about studying musical theatre.

Suddenly, Seymour - Little Shop of Horrors

This is an excellent song from the horror comedy rock musical Little Shop of Horrors about an extraterrestrial plant that feeds on human blood. If that doesn’t sell you on it, I don’t know what will!

There are some other amazing rock and roll, doo-wop, and Motown numbers in this musical, too.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins is one of those films that almost everyone watched as a child. When it came out in 1964, it was hugely successful and converted quite a few critics with its wonderful mixture of real film and animation.

The music in the film also played a vital part. There are also great songs like Chim Chim Cher-ee and Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag). But, without a doubt, the most famous is Supercalifragiliticexpialidocious, which is as hard to type as it is to say!

Don’t Cry for Me Argentina - Evita

The song was from a concept album in 1976 before featuring in the 1978 musical. The song was popularised in the 90s after Madonna’s rendition of it in the film.

Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

The film based on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes came out in 1953 and featured Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russel. It covers money and sex, two topics that were highly taboo at the time.

Even if you haven’t seen the film, you’ll recognise the song or the scene where Marilyn dances around in a satin pink dress. If not, you’ll recognise it as the inspiration for Madonna’s song Material Girl.

Find out why you should study musical theatre.

I Dreamed a Dream - Les Misérables

In a musical full of powerful and rousing numbers, this is arguably the most moving. It’s sung by Fantine as she laments her bad fortune after losing her job and being forced to live on the streets.

Which are the best songs from Les Misérables?
"Les Mis" have some powerful and anthemic numbers in the repertoire. (Source: Walkerssk)

In the 2012 film version, the song’s moved to after Fantine becomes a prostitute to further emphasise her downfall. If you listen to the original score, you'll hear the track before Lovely Ladies.

Singin’ in the Rain - Singin’ in the Rain

The musical Singin’ in the Rain features Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor, the winner of the Golden Globes for Best Actor in 1952.

The musical’s namesake song was hugely successful and was 3rd in the list of the American Film Institute’s 100 Years... 100 Songs. It’s been covered many times.

The song and lyrics are so iconic that you probably know them even if you've never seen the movie.

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Everybody Needs Somebody to Love - The Blues Brothers

Let’s go from tap to blues with the musical film The Blues Brothers. The two stars of the film created the characters for a sketch on Saturday Night Live on ABC.

A lot of the songs in the film are hugely popular and include famous artists such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and James Brown.

One of the best, however, is Everybody Needs Somebody to Love. This song is a lot of fun and it's hard not to have a good day after you hear this one!

City of Stars - La La Land

More recently, you might have been bewitched by the wonderful La La Land and the singing and dancing of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

The composer Justin Hurwitz won the Oscar for Best Original Song for City of Stars. You might also have Lovely Night stuck in your head.

Would you like to take musical theatre classes?

America - West Side Story

West Side Story is probably one of the first musicals that a lot of people think of. We didn’t forget about it! One of the musical’s most famous songs is America. The lyrics were written by Stephen Sondheim and the music by Leonard Bernstein.

Anita sings the praises of America while Rosalia supports Puerto Rico. In the film, Anita compliments the United States while her boyfriend Bernardo responds with criticism.

It occupies the 35th spot in the aforementioned list from the American Film Institute and is a classic!

Shallow - A Star is Born

It’s impossible to not mention “Shallow”, the famous song from A Star Is Born performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. In an earlier adaptation, Judy Garland was the star but the song wasn’t featured.

The song sold 7 million copies in just six months! As of 2020, 14 million copies had been sold and the song had won over 80 awards!

Are you a fan of musicals? Which are your favourites?

If you'd like to learn more about musical theatre, the history of Broadway, or how to sing and dance, consider getting help from a musical theatre tutor on Superprof.

Tutors tailor their lessons to the student so whether you're new to the world of musical theatre or looking to improve a specific set of skills, you're bound to find the right tutor for you.

On Superprof, you can find tutors offering face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials. Each type of tutorial comes with advantages and disadvantages in terms of learning approach and cost so you'll need to think carefully and choose the right tutor and tutorial for you.

Face-to-face tutorials are usually the most expensive per hour but they come with the benefit of being between a single student and their tutor. This also means that the tutor can tailor the lessons to the student and adapt their teaching approach to suit them. This extra work comes at a cost but it's worth it as these are usually the most effective types of tutorials available.

While online tutorials are usually better suited to academic subjects, you can still find a range of gifted and talented musical theatre tutors from over the world. The fact that they don't have to travel to you gives them more time to schedule tutorials and fewer travel expenses allowing them to charge less per hour than they would for face-to-face tutorials.

For those on a tight budget, group tutorials are an interesting option. As several students share the cost, these are usually the cheapest type of private tutorial you can get. For subjects like musical theatre, there are advantages to working in groups as you'll often have to perform with others and when it comes to singing in an ensemble, it helps to have people to harmonise with!

Don't forget that a lot of the tutors on Superprof offer the first session for free. Before you start booking tonnes of sessions with a tutor, see if they offer a free session and if they're available when you are. It's also important that you ask them about their professional experience, teaching styles, and the level they prefer to teach.

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Joseph

Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.