May is a mad month. A month of random musings about various topics related to musical theatre. Feel free to share your thoughts on each topic in the comment box below.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “I Want” Songs
The “I Want song” is a song category that gained a huge amount of street cred when it was re-popularised by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman in their movie musicals for Disney. Yet the term is perhaps wider than people generally understand it to be from the way it has been used in The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Bob Fosse, who coined it, meant the term to refer to any song that reveals a characters desires and it’s the variations on the formula that make the songs and the shows they come from unique and interesting. Otherwise, one is just stuck with a formula, a child’s set of building blocks rather than the expert architecture of a virtuoso theatremaker.
So for the sheer sake of making a list, here are some of the Rodgers and Hammerstein contributions to the list, theme and variation:
- “Out of my Dreams” – Oklahoma!
- “Mister Snow”, “When the Children Are Asleep” and “The Highest Judge of All” – Carousel
- “It Might as Well Be Spring” – State Fair
- “So Far” – Allegro
- “Twin Soliloquies” and “There is Nothing Like a Dame” – South Pacific
- “A Puzzlement” and “We Kiss in a Shadow” – The King and I
- “A Very Special Day” – Me and Juliet
- “Everybody’s Got a Home But Me” – Pipe Dream
- “In My Own Little Corner” – Cinderella
- “Sunday” – Flower Drum Song
- “The Sound of Music” – The Sound of Music
Any others you’d like to add?