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35 Best Broadway Songs of All Time (Top Musical Songs)

November 6, 2023
Best broadway songs

I’ve compiled the most spectacular Broadway songs that capture the magic of musical theatre.

This collection features the greatest showstoppers across both classic and modern Broadway productions.

Table of Contents

Top picks of the best broadway songs

  • “One Day More” from Les Misérables
  • “Defying Gravity” from Wicked
  • “Non-Stop” from Hamilton
  • “A Little Priest” from Sweeney Todd
  • “Seasons of Love” from Rent
  • “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” from Mulan
  • “Think Of Me” from The Phantom Of The Opera
  • “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago
  • “I’d Rather Go Blind” from Cadillac Records
  • “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” from Evita

1. “One Day More” from Les Misérables

One of the most iconic musical theatre songs of all time, “One Day More” from the musical Les Misérables has become a Broadway staple since its debut in 1996. 

With its soaring melodies and powerful lyrics, it captures the essence of the show’s story of revolution and redemption. 

The song is an amazing showcase of the vocal power and emotion of the cast.

2. “Defying Gravity” from Wicked

Originally released in 2003, “Defying Gravity” is one of the most loved musical songs. 

Written by Stephen Schwartz and composed by Stephen Flaherty, this powerful anthem serves as the finale of the musical Wicked and has since become a Broadway classic. 

“Defying Gravity” has won multiple awards including an Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2006 and three Drama Desk Awards.

3. “Non-Stop” from Hamilton

The song features a rap battle between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton and it captures their rivalry with clever lyrics. 

Its unique sound and energy have made it one of the most popular show tunes ever written, making it a must-have on any list of Broadway songs.

The song has been praised for its innovative use of rap and hip-hop and has been nominated for multiple awards, including a Tony Award, a Grammy Award, and an Emmy Award.

4. “A Little Priest” from Sweeney Todd

One of the most beloved Broadway songs of all time, “A Little Priest” from Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was released in 1979.

From the opening notes to the climactic finale, it has remained one of the most popular musical theatre songs in history. 

The song is a raucous duet between Todd and Mrs. Lovett, his accomplice in crime, as they debate the potential recipes they can make with the bodies of their victims.

5. “Seasons of Love” from Rent

It was released as part of the musical’s original Broadway cast album in 1996. 

The song has since become a staple of musical theatre and has been performed on many occasions throughout the years. 

The song expresses the idea that life is precious, and that it should be filled with moments of joy. 

It has been nominated for numerous awards including a Tony Award for Best Original Score and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

6. “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” from Mulan

With its powerful lyrics and inspirational message, “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” has remained one of the best Broadway show tunes to this day. 

It has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Annie Award for Best Original Score and the Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Song. 

It continues to be featured on various lists of Broadway songs.

7. “Think Of Me” from The Phantom Of The Opera

Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart, it was released as a single from the original cast recording album in 1986. 

It has since become a famous song from The Phantom of the Opera and an iconic Broadway show tune. 

The story follows the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the Paris Opera House and falls in love with Christine Daae, a young soprano at the Opera.

8. “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago

“Cell Block Tango” from the musical Chicago is an example of a perfect song. 

Originally released in 1975, this song follows the stories of six female prisoners who are on trial for killing their lovers. 

It has won several awards, including the Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Choreography.

9. “I’d Rather Go Blind” from Cadillac Records

Released in 2008, “I’d Rather Go Blind” was featured on the soundtrack of the movie Cadillac Records and has become a classic broadway hit. 

The song originally appeared in the 1968 film adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, but was also included as a bonus track on the original album of Cadillac Records.

This popular musical theatre song speaks of devotion and heartache, making it a powerful anthem that resonates with audiences.

10. “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” from Evita

The song was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice for the musical, which tells the story of Argentine political leader Eva Perón. 

The track appears on the concept album for the show, and later on Madonna’s 1996 album, Evita

The song has won a wide range of awards, including a Tony Award for Best Musical, a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, and an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

11. “Tell Me It’s Not True” from Blood Brothers

“Tell Me It’s Not True” is a heartfelt ballad from the West End musical Blood Brothers. 

Written by award-winning composer and lyricist Willy Russell. 

The song was released in 1983. It has won several awards, including an Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 1984. 

Blood Brothers is an enduring classic, and “Tell Me It’s Not True” remains one of the best show tunes of all time.

12. “Empty Chairs At Empty Tables” from Les Misérables

Released in 1985 as part of the original cast recording of the Broadway show of the same name, “Empty Chairs At Empty Tables” comes from the second act of Les Misérables, a popular musical adapted from the Victor Hugo novel of the same name. 

The powerful and emotional song speaks to themes of loss, grief, and acceptance.

13. “Anthem” from Chess

The song features passionate lyrics that are full of optimism and hope, something that can be hard to find in today’s world. 

In the musical, it’s sung by the two main characters as they come together to break down the walls between their countries and serves as a reminder that no matter who you are, you should never give up on your dreams.

14. “Ya Got Trouble” from The Music Man

This Broadway classic from The Music Man has been a favorite of musical theatre fans since its debut in 1957. 

With its toe-tapping rhythm, uplifting lyrics, and iconic choreography, it is no surprise that “Ya Got Trouble” is often mentioned in lists of the best broadway songs. 

In addition to being a great show tune, the song is an important part of the plot and serves as a warning about the dangers of small-town corruption.

15. “Dancing Queen” from Mamma Mia!

“Dancing Queen” is one of the best musical songs of all time. It is one of the most popular musical theatre songs and a beloved classic by ABBA. 

This song is a great example of the power of musical theatre songs to create an unforgettable moment. 

It is a great addition to any musical song list, and it truly encapsulates the spirit of musical theatre.

16. “The Music Of The Night” from The Phantom Of The Opera

This popular show tune is the epitome of the grandeur and emotion of musical theatre and a fan favorite from one of the most famous musicals. 

Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, “The Music Of The Night” features a beautiful, sweeping melody that captivates listeners as soon as it begins.

17. “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” from Hamilton

“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” is an emotional, powerful ballad that explores the implications of a life spent pursuing a legacy. 

With an amazing storyline and great lyrics, it’s no wonder this song has become a hit with musical theatre fans. 

It speaks to the powerful themes of mortality and legacy and is a great example of the best show tunes that have come out of the musical theatre.

18. “He Lives In You” from The Lion King

“He Lives In You” is an iconic song from the beloved musical, The Lion King.

The show, which opened on Broadway in 1995, follows the adventures of Simba, a lion cub who must reclaim his rightful place as the king of the Pride Lands. 

“He Lives In You” is a powerful song that conveys the idea that one’s ancestors are always with them, even if they can no longer be seen.

19. “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray

Released in 2002, “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from the musical Hairspray is a famous song. 

The show itself is based on an amazing storyline, making it a classic among fans of musical theatre. 

The song itself embodies the energy and joy of the show and is one of the best show tunes ever written.

20. “All I Ask Of You” from The Phantom Of The Opera

This beautiful song from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous musical The Phantom Of The Opera was released in 1987 and is a melodious song. 

It can be found on the original London Cast Recording album and has become one of the most popular musical theatre songs. 

It tells the story of Christine and Raoul’s love for each other amidst the great storyline and amazing characters in the show.

21. “On My Own” from Les Misérables

It was featured on the soundtrack of Les Misérables, a famous musical based on a book by Victor Hugo. 

It tells the story of Jean Valjean and his struggle to survive in 19th-century France. 

This show is known for its brilliant plot, great characters, and fantastic music. 

“On My Own”, written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, has become one of the best musical songs in musical theatre history. 

The song won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music in 1987.

22. “Don’t Rain On My Parade” from Funny Girl

Originally released in 1964, this show tune from the musical Funny Girl is one of the best musical songs of all time. 

It was included in the original Broadway cast recording and won a Tony Award for Best Musical in 1965. 

Funny Girl is a famous musical that follows the story of a young Jewish woman as she pursues her dreams of becoming a successful actress and singer.

23. “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls

The song “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from the Dreamgirls was released in 1981, it was the lead single off the album, also titled Dreamgirls. 

The show itself has become one of the most popular musical theatre shows, with an attractive storyline and great show tunes. 

“And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” won several awards, including two Grammy Awards, two Tony Awards, and a nomination for an Academy Award.

24. “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ The Boat” from Guys and Dolls

This popular show tune has been performed by a variety of theatre singers, from amateurs to professionals. 

The song was written by Frank Loesser and first performed in 1950. 

The show tells the story of a group of characters in New York City’s Broadway district during the 1940s. 

It follows the gambler Nathan Detroit and his efforts to stage a floating craps game.

25. “Maria” from West Side Story

“Maria” from West Side Story is a great example of a musical theatre song. 

Released in 1961, West Side Story is an iconic musical with an amazing storyline and powerful characters. 

It won 10 Academy Awards in 1962, making it one of the most successful musicals in history. 

“Maria” is one of the top Broadway songs and has become a famous musical song known by people around the world.

26. “There’s No Business Like Show Business” from Annie Get Your Gun

With its upbeat and cheerful melody, it captures the spirit of musical theatre songs. 

Written by Irving Berlin, the song was included in the show’s original 1946 Broadway production and has become a staple of popular musical theatre songs. 

Annie Get Your Gun tells the story of the sharpshooter Annie Oakley and her romance with Frank Butler.

27. “On The Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady

Originally released in 1956, My Fair Lady is one of the best musical dramas ever made. 

This beloved show tells the story of a young Cockney flower seller who is transformed by a phoneticist into a proper lady. 

“On The Street Where You Live” is a well-known theatre song from the show and showcases Eliza’s love for Freddy.

28. “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Misérables

With its great story, it has become one of the best-known musicals around the world and its songs are some of the best musical theatre songs out there. 

This song specifically, is one of the best show tunes that has ever been released, and it perfectly captures the emotions of the characters and the story. 

It is truly a classic in the world of music.

29. “I’m Here” from The Color Purple

“I’m Here” is a song from the musical “The Color Purple” that is sung by the character Celie. 

The song is about Celie’s journey from being a downtrodden and abused woman to finding her own strength and self-worth. 

The lyrics express Celie’s determination to stand up for herself and her newfound confidence in her abilities.

30. “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman

This Is Me” is a song from the 2017 musical film “The Greatest Showman” that is sung by the character Lettie Lutz, also known as “The Bearded Lady”. 

The song is a powerful anthem about self-acceptance and embracing one’s individuality. 

The song was written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and it was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Original Song. 

It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

31. “You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen

“You Will Be Found” is an emotional power ballad and it perfectly encapsulates the themes of hope, loneliness, and connection explored throughout the musical. 

The musical premiered on Broadway in 2016 and has since gone on to become one of the most popular musical theatre songs, winning six Tony Awards and the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

32. “When You’re an Addams” from The Addams Family

The lyrics of the song are a playful and tongue-in-cheek take on the Addams family’s unique perspective on life, love, and death. 

The song showcases Gomez’s pride and joy in being a member of the Addams family, and his appreciation for their unique way of life. 

The song is also known for its catchy and upbeat melody and its clever and witty lyrics.

33. “This Is The Moment” from Jekyll & Hyde

This award-winning musical is an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 

The song “This Is The Moment” is an inspiring and powerful anthem about courage and determination. 

It was released in 1997 and has since become a famous musical theatre song. 

It is the perfect way to end the show due to its uplifting and powerful message that encourages everyone to have faith and strength in the face of adversity.

34. “America” from West Side Story

“America” is a song from the musical “West Side Story” which is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in New York City in the 1950s. 

The song is sung by the characters Bernardo, Anita, and the Sharks, and it is a lively and upbeat number that expresses the immigrants’ longing for their homeland and their struggles to adapt to life in America.

35. “No More” from Into the Woods

“No More” is performed near the end of the musical, and it serves as a powerful and emotional climax to Cinderella’s story. 

The song is a fan favorite, and it is often praised for its emotional power and its ability to capture the intensity and liberation of Cinderella’s journey.

Best Broadway Songs – Final Thoughts

When it comes to musicals, there is no shortage of amazing and iconic songs. 

From “Les Misérables” to “The Phantom Of The Opera”, the best musical songs of all time are sure to evoke memories and inspire listeners. 

Whether you’re looking for good musical songs to dance to, popular musical theatre hits to belt out in the car, or broadway songs that will make you tap your toes, our lists of will help you find the perfect song for any occasion. 

FAQs

What is the most iconic Broadway song?

The most iconic broadway song is “There’s No Business Like Show Business” from Annie Get Your Gun, it has become famous outside the world of Broadway, is recognized easily, and has remained a standard for several generations. 

What Broadway musical has the best music?

The Broadway musical with the best music probably has to be Hamilton. The music is a mix of hip-hop, rap, R&B, jazz, and traditional Broadway show tunes. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer of the show, combines different music styles to create a unique sound that reflects the diverse cultural influences of the characters and their stories. The score of the show is heavily influenced by Miranda’s Latin heritage, as well as contemporary music trends.

What is the #1 play on Broadway?

The Phantom of the Opera is the #1 play on broadway. It is the longest-running show on Broadway, having opened in 1988 and still playing today. It is a timeless classic with a powerful story, incredible music, and stunning visuals. The show has won numerous Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and continues to captivate audiences around the world. It is an iconic production that is truly a must-see experience.

You may also like: Best Movie Love Songs

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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