Music

The 25 Best Broadway Songs About The Theater

Sometimes the only way to articulate the actor’s experience is through song. Here are some of the best examples, from classic to contemporary.

1. “Give My Regards to Broadway”

From: Yankee Doodle Dandy (originally Little Johnny Jones)
Performed by: Judy Garland
Notable lyrics: “Whisper of how I’m yearning
To mingle with the old time throng
Give my regards to old Broadway
And say that I’ll be there e’er long”

2. “I’m Still Here”

From: Follies
Performed by: Elaine Stritch
Notable lyrics: “First you’re another
Sloe-eyed vamp,
Then someone’s mother,
Then you’re camp”

3. “Lullaby of Broadway”

From: 42nd Street (originally Gold Diggers of 1935)
Performed by: Jerry Orbach and Company
Notable lyrics: “Come on along and listen to
The lullaby of Broadway
The hidee hi and boopa doo,
The lullaby of Broadway
The band begins to go to town,
And ev’ryone goes crazy
You rock-a-bye your baby ‘round
And sleep all day”

4. “As If We Never Said Goodbye”

From: Sunset Boulevard
Performed by: Patti LuPone
Notable lyrics: “I’m coming out of make-up
The lights already burning,
Not long until the cameras will start turning”

5. “Let Me Be Your Star”

From: The TV show Smash
Performed by: Megan Hilty
Notable lyrics: “The drama, the laughter, the tears just like pearls
Well, they’re all in this girl’s repertoire
It’s all for the taking,
And it’s magic we’ll be making
Let me be your star”

6. “I Hope I Get It”

From: A Chorus Line
Performed by: The Original Broadway Cast
Notable lyrics: “Now I’ll never make it!
I’ll never make it!
He doesn’t like the way I look
He doesn’t like the way I dance
He doesn’t like the way I…”

7. “Show People”

From: Curtains
Performed by: Debra Monk, David Hyde Pierce, and Company
Notable lyrics: “You’re a special kind of people known as show people
You live in a world of your own
The audience paid plenty to sit there and clap
Hearing you sing, watching you tap”

8. “I Wanna Be a Producer”

From: The Producers
Performed by: Matthew Broderick
Notable lyrics: “I wanna be a producer
Sport a top hat and a cane
I wanna be a producer
And drive those chorus girls insane!”

9. “Climbing Uphill”

From: The Last Five Years
Performed by: Colleen Ballinger
Notable lyrics: “When I walk in the room
There’s a table of men
Always men, usually gay
Who’ve been sitting like I have
And listening all day
To two hundred girls
Belting as high as they can!”

10. “Don’t Rain on My Parade”

From: Funny Girl
Performed by: Barbra Streisand
Notable lyrics: “I gotta fly once, I gotta try once
Only can die once, right, sir?
Ooh, life is juicy, juicy and you’ll see
I’m gonna have my bite, sir”

11. “That’s Entertainment”

From: The Band Wagon
Performed by: Judy Garland
Notable lyrics: “The lights on the lady in tights
Or the bride with the guy by her side
Or the ball where she gives it her all
That’s entertainment!”

12. “Why”

From: Tick, Tick… Boom!
Performed by: Raul Esparza
Notable lyrics: When we emerged, wiped out by that play
Nine o’clock, stars and moon lit the way
I thought,
Hey, what a way to spend a day”

13. “Applause”

From: Applause
Performed by: Bonnie Franklin and Company
Notable lyrics: “And somehow you’re in charge again
And life’s a ball
Trumpets all sing, life seems to swing
And you’re the king of it all ‘cause
You’ve had a taste of
The sound that says love
Applause, applause, applause”

14. “Cabaret”

From: Cabaret
Performed by: Liza Minnelli
Notable lyrics: “What good is sitting alone In your room?
Come hear the music play
Life is a cabaret, old chum
Come to the cabaret”

15. “The Glamorous Life”

From: A Little Night Music
Performed by: Audra McDonald
Notable lyrics: “Ordinary daughters may think life is better
With ordinary mothers near them when they choose
But ordinary daughters seldom get a letter enclosing reviews”

16. “Broadway Baby”

From: Follies
Performed by: Elaine Stritch
Notable lyrics: “I’m just a
Broadway baby
Walking off my tired feet
Pounding 42nd Street
To be in a show”

17. “Broadway, Here I Come”

From: The TV show Smash
Performed by: Jeremy Jordan
Notable lyrics: “The pressure it increases
The closer that I get
I could almost go to pieces
But I’m not quite there yet”

18. “42nd Street”

From: 42nd Street
Performed by: 2001 Broadway Revival Cast
Notable lyrics: “Hear the beat of dancing feet,
It’s the song I love the melody of,
42nd Street”

19. “There’s No Business Like Show Business”

From: Annie Get Your Gun
Performed by: Ethel Merman
Notable lyrics: “There’s no business like show business
If you tell me it’s so
Traveling through the country is so thrilling
Standing out in front on opening nights
Smiling as you watch the benches filling
And see your billing up there in lights “

20. “It’s a Business”

From: Curtains
Performed by: Debra Monk and Company
Notable lyrics: “You ask me for my motives
Well you needn’t be so smart
It’s a business
It isn’t making history
It isn’t making art
It’s a business”

21. “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three”

From: A Chorus Line
Performed by: Jessica Lee Goldyn
Notable lyrics: “Dance: ten; looks: three
And I’m still on unemployment,
Dancing for my own enjoyment
That ain’t it, kid, that ain’t it, kid”

22. “Rose’s Turn”

From: Gypsy
Performed by: Bernadette Peters
Notable lyrics: “Well, someone tell me, when is it my turn?
Don’t I get a dream for myself?
Starting now it’s gonna be my turn.
Gangway, world, get off of my runway!”

23. “Another Op’nin’, Another Show”

From: Kiss Me, Kate
Performed by: 1999 Broadway Revival Cast
Notable lyrics: “Four weeks, you rehearse and rehearse,
Three weeks and it couldn’t be worse,
One week, will it ever be right?
Then out o’ the hat, it’s that big first night!”

24. “Welcome to the Theater”

From: Applause
Performed by: Lauren Bacall
Notable lyrics: “Welcome to the theatre, to the magic, to the fun
Where painted trees and flowers grow, and laughter rings fortissimo
And treachery’s neatly done
Now you’ve entered the asylum, this profession unique
Actors are children playing hide-and-ego-seek”

25. “What I Did for Love”

From: A Chorus Line
Performed by: 2006 Broadway Revival Cast
Notable lyrics: “Look my eyes are dry
The gift was ours to borrow
It’s as if we always knew,
And I won’t forget what I did for love,
What I did for love”

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