9 Inspirational Lyrics From Broadway Musicals
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9 Inspirational Lyrics From Broadway Musicals

Sometimes the words of show-tunes offer much more than jazz hands.

9 Inspirational Lyrics From Broadway Musicals

“Life Support” from Rent by Jonathan Larson

“There’s only us, there’s only this. Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other road. No other way. No day but today.”

The thing about Rent is that composer and lyricist Jonathan Larson died shortly before opening night of the show. He had been struggling for years upon years to make it on Broadway. In that sense, the rock musical about the lives of a group of friends with strong themes of addiction, AIDS, and death, very eerily became a sort of memorial for Jonathan. In the song “Life Support”, we are reminded to never take a day for granted, because right now is all there is.

Cast of Rent

“When You’re Home” from In The Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Nina: “…I thought I might find the answer down at Stanford. But I’d stare out at the sea, thinking where am I supposed to be? So please, don’t say you’re proud of me when I’ve lost my way.”

Benny: “Then can I say I couldn’t get my mind off you all day! Now listen to me, that may be how you perceive it, but Nina please believe that when you find your way again, you’re gonna change the world and then we’re all gonna brag and say we knew her!”

The moral of the story of In The Heights is that there’s no place like home. In this show written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (yes, the Hamilton guy), we follow the lives of people living in Washington Heights. I chose this lyric between Nina and Benny because Benny’s response is a touching “things will get better” sentiment.

Mandy Gonzalez and Christopher Jackson as Nina and Benny in In The Heights.

“All for the Best” from Godspell by John-Michael Tebelak

“Don’t forget that when you get to Heaven you’ll be blessed. Yes, it’s all for the best.”

Godspell is a musical about Jesus’ life, much like Jesus Christ Superstar. In this song, Jesus and Judas share a duet about the trials of life and how to deal with them. Jesus’ verse speaks to everything that can and will go wrong in a person’s life, but one must remember that it is all for the best. Now Judas’ verse is a bit more pessimistic so I won’t include it here, but if you would like to hear the other side you can listen:

“Flying Away” from Fun Home by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron

All Three: “Fly up so high.

Fly up so high.

Fly up so high.”

Small Alison: “I can see all of Pennsylvania.”

Alison: “Every so often there was a rare moment of perfect balance when I soared above him.”

Fun Home the musical is based on the graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, famed lesbian cartoonist. This show highlights her dysfunctional family, specifically on her father’s closeted gay affairs and the ramifications. Don’t get me wrong, this is a very heavy show but these lyrics from the last song act like an emotional balm. I would recommend these lyrics for anyone who has had a rocky relationship with a parent looking for some closure.

Sydney Lucas, Beth Malone, and Emily Skeggs as Small Alison, Alison, and Medium Alison in Fun Home.

“Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein

“Climb every mountain

Ford every stream

Follow every rainbow

‘Till you find your dream”

What can I say about the Sound of Music that hasn’t already been said? If you don’t love this musical, there may be something very wrong with you. I re-watched the movie after having not seen it in years, and “Climb Every Mountain” struck me like you wouldn’t believe. Currently as a senior in high school, the journey of figuring out what to do with my life has taken the reigns. This song spoke to every fear of mine.

Julie Andrews and Peggy Wood in The Sound of Music.

“96,000” from In The Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda

“I’m just saying; it’s silly when we get into these crazy hypotheticals! You really want some bread, then go ahead! Create a set of goals and cross ‘em off the list as you pursue ‘em…”

Yes, I’m quoting In The Heights again. This lyric from my favorite song in the musical is literally a blunt step by step guide on how to achieve your goals. Everyone in the neighborhood is going off on tangents as to what they would do if they won $96,000 in the lottery and then Usnavi chimes in with reality.

Lin-Manuel Miranda as Usnavi and the cast of In The Heights.

“Non-Stop” from Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda

“Alexander joins forces with James Madison and John Jay to write a series of essays defending the new United States Constitution, entitled The Federalist Papers. The plan was to write a total of twenty-five essays, the work divided evenly among the three men. In the end, they wrote eighty-five essays in the span of six months. John Jay got sick after writing five. James Madison wrote twenty-nine. Hamilton wrote the other fifty-one!”

I couldn’t complete this list without including a line from Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton died at forty-seven and left behind thousands of pages of writing. THOUSANDS. What are you doing with your life?

Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton and the cast of Hamilton.

“Who Am I?” from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and Claude-Michel Schonberg

“Must I lie?

How can I ever face my fellow men? How can I ever face myself again?

My soul belongs to God, I know

I made that bargain long ago.

He gave me hope when hope was gone, he gave me strength to journey on.

Who am I? Who am I?

I am Jean Valjean!”

Les Miserables will always remain my favorite musical no matter how many more Hamiltons come my way. The pure beauty of this classic tale of redemption is everything. In this song, Jean Valjean has just learned that a man has been mistaken for himself and is about to be sent to prison. Valjean has completely turned his life around, and now he must face his worst fear; himself. This is a very universal theme.

Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.

“To Life” from Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein

“To us and our good fortune

Be happy, be healthy, long life!

And if our good fortune never comes

Here’s to whatever comes

Drink l’chaim, to life!”

Fiddler on the Roof is an uplifting musical about change. In “To Life” (or L’Chaim), Lazar announces to everyone that he will be marrying Tevye’s daughter Tzeitel. This causes everyone to break out into song and dance, wishing Lazar and Tzietel’s new marriage all the best. This song reminds us all that sometimes you just need to put everything aside and raise a glass to life.

The cast of Fiddler on the Roof.

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