15 Unforgettable Stephen Sondheim Songs

In honor of Stephen Sondheim’s birthday, here are some of his greatest songs. But really, the list goes on forever.

1. “The Glamorous Life”

From: A Little Night Music (film version)
Performed by: Audra McDonald
Memorable lyrics: “Ordinary mother’s needn’t meet committees,
But ordinary mothers don’t get keys to cities.
No, ordinary mothers merely see their children all year,
Which is lovely, I hear.”

2. “Marry Me a Little”

From: Company
Performed by: Raúl Esparza
Memorable lyrics: “Marry me a little,
Do it with a will.
Make a few demands
I’m able to fulfill.
Want me more than others,
Not exclusively.
That’s the way it ought to be.”

3. “Not a Day Goes By”

From: Merrily We Roll Along
Performed by: Bernadette Peters
Memorable lyrics: “As the days go by,
I keep thinking, ‘When does it end?
Where’s the day I’ll have started forgetting?’
But I just go on
Thinking and sweating
And cursing and crying
And turning and reaching
And waking and dying”

4. “More”

From: Dick Tracy
Performed by: Madonna
Memorable lyrics: “Count your blessings, one, two, three
I just hate keeping score
Any number is fine with me as long as it’s more
As long as it’s more”

5. “Moments in the Woods”

From: Into the Woods
Performed by: Joanna Gleason
Memorable lyrics: “Let the moment go…
Don’t forget it for a moment, though.
Just remembering you’ve had an ‘and,’
When you’re back to ‘or,’
Makes the ‘or’ mean more
Than it did before.”

6. “The Miller’s Son”

From: A Little Night Music
Performed by: Sara Ramirez
Memorable lyrics: “It’s a very short road
From the pinch and the punch
To the paunch and the pouch
And the pension.
It’s a very short road
To the ten thousandth lunch
And the belch and the grouch
And the sigh.”

7. “Move On”

From: Sunday in the Park With George
Performed by: Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters
Memorable lyrics: “Look at what you want,
Not at where you are,
Not at what you’ll be—
Look at all the things you’ve done for me”

8. “Not While I’m Around”

From: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Performed by: Neil Patrick Harris
Memorable lyrics: “Being close and being clever
Ain’t like being true
I don’t need to,
I would never hide a thing from you,
Like some…”

9. “Losing My Mind”

From: Follies
Performed by: Donna Murphy
Memorable lyrics: “The morning ends,
I think about you.
I talk to friends,
I think about you.
And do they know?
It’s like I’m losing my mind.”

10. “A Little Priest”

From: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Performed by: Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou
Memorable lyrics: “It’s fop.
Finest in the shop.
And we have some shepherd’s pie peppered
With actual shepherd on top!
And I’ve just begun—
Here’s the politician, so oily
It’s served with a doily,
Have one!”

11. “On the Steps of the Palace”

From: Into the Woods
Performed by: Kim Crosby
Memorable lyrics: “But then what if he knew
Who you were when you know
That you’re not what he thinks
That he wants?”

12. “Unworthy of Your Love”

From: Originally Assassins, here in the Sondheim revue Putting it Together
Performed by: John Barrowman and Ruthie Henshall
Memorable lyrics: “Let me feel fire,
Let me drink poison,
Tell me to tear my heart in two,
If that’s what you want me to do…”

13. “Rose’s Turn”

From: Gypsy
Performed by: Bette Midler
Memorable 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!
Starting now I bat a thousand!
This time, boys, I’m taking the bows and
Everything’s coming up Rose!”

14. “Getting Married Today”

From: Company
Performed by: Madeline Kahn
Memorable lyrics: “Listen everybody, I’m afraid you didn’t hear, or do you want to
see a crazy lady fall apart in front of you, it isn’t only Paul
who may be ruining his life, you know we’ll both of us be losing
our identities, I telephoned my analyst about it and he said to
see him Monday, but by Monday I’ll be floating in the Hudson with
the other garbage—”

15. “The Ladies Who Lunch”

From: Company
Performed by: Elaine Stritch
Memorable lyrics: “And here’s to the girls who play wife—
Aren’t they too much?
Keeping house but clutching
A copy of LIFE,
Just to keep in touch.”

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