Monday, February 28, 2011

February Poll Results: Broadway's Most Romantic Songs

One last look back the "month of love" with the results of February's two polls.  Thanks, as always, to those of you who took the time to vote, many of you both times!

First, though, a couple of notes:
  • I divided the poll into "Classic Broadway" and "Modern Broadway," with "classic" defined as shows from the 1960's and earlier, and "modern" defined as shows from the 1970's and forward.  Why?  Because generally theatre historians define the "golden era" of Broadway musicals as ending in the mid-60's, and that style of show being generally replaced by 1970 or so.
  • I also limited the "love song" genre by giving it the limitation of "romantic," i.e. emotional, relationship-driven love songs.  This is why I did not include "What I Did For Love" from A Chorus Line.  While it is a fantastic, popular song, and it even has the word "love" in it, it is not about romantic love.

I think this is the first time that both responses I'd have voted for won!

Poll Question #1:  Which song from a classic musical is Broadway's most romantic?

0% - TIE: "Easy to Love" - Anything Goes and "She Loves Me" - She Loves Me
I wonder if "Easy to Love" would have gotten more votes had the Anything Goes revival begun performances already?  And maybe both are a little too old school, but not unique enough to stand out as "classic"?

5% - TIE: "If Ever I Would Leave You" - Camelot, "I've Never Been in Love Before" - Guys and Dolls, "Old Devil Moon" - Finian's Rainbow, and "They Say It's Wonderful" - Annie Get Your Gun
Interestingly enough, even though these 4 songs got the least number of votes, they did get the most accompanying emails (thanks for taking the extra time to write!).  Both of the songs from Finian and Annie came with emails that mentioned the recent revivals as the reason for the vote.  You just can't beat the fans of Bernadette Peters and Cheyenne Jackson.  And I, too, think that the chemistry between Cheyenne and Kate Baldwin makes the song romantic AND sexy!

9% - "Til There Was You" - The Music Man
I guess you simply can't get around the lovely song stylings of Miss Barbara Cook at her prime.

14% - "Some Enchanted Evening" - South Pacific
I'll quote reader Sarah P. from New York, NY on this one: "The booming voice of an exotic stranger professing his love in such an exotic location just takes me away!"

19% - "If I Loved You" - Carousel
Who knew?  OK, Carousel bores me to tears, but this song does pack an emotional wallop.

38% - "Somewhere" - West Side Story
Romeo and Juliet/Tony and Maria:  You simply can not beat star-crossed, doomed lovers dreaming of a utopia they will never see.  "Hold my hand and we're half way there..."  God, I'm tearing up at the thought.  But what really tears me up is the song juxtaposed with the dream ballet - the simplicity and the joy of that dance transports you...  Here is a version of the song as sung by Celtic Woman.  4 voices. Perfect harmony.  I found myself holding my breath the whole time...

Poll Question #2:  Which song from a modern musical is Broadway's most romantic?

0% - "Anything for Him" - Kiss of the Spider Woman
I guess unrequited love, torture and violent murder do not conspire to make a romantic song, afterall...

2.3% - TIE - "Love Can't Happen" - Grand Hotel: The Musical and "The Moon and Me" - The Addams Family
Interestingly, these two songs have much in common, despite the seriousness of the former and the bawdy comedy of the other.  They both are about unlikely love and both result in death as a sacrifice.  Ain't Broadway fun?

4.5% - TIE - "As Long as You're Mine" - Wicked and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" Disney's The Lion King
Broadway is sure inclusive!  Here we have love between witches and scarecrows and a pair of randy felines.  I thought more Wicked fans would vote for this, but then I remembered a terse little email I got a few months back chastising me for not enough Wicked coverage.  Oh well.

6.8% - "Still" - Titanic
A beautiful song, sung in a sad situation.  But love triumphing over death is always a welcome theme in theatre.  You know, every time I pass Macy's I think of this song?

11.4% - TIE - "Happiness" - Passion, "Song on the Sand" - La Cage aux Folles, and "Without Love" - Hairspray
How truly lovely that we can embrace the diversity that these three songs represent: lust mascarading as love, with a side of adultry, love between two men, and chubby chasers and "checkerboard chicks" going after the ones they love, free of perjudice.

13.6% - "All I Ask of You" - The Phantom of the Opera
This was the one I was sure would win.  But second place isn't bad, especially when you consider how much play (overplay) this song gets.  Still, the emotions are high, danger lurks and it could be their last moment together... perfect drama!  Here are the original stars, Sarah Brightman and Steve Barton.

15.9% - TIE - "Perfect for You" - next to normal and "I'll Cover You" - RENT
It may surprise long time readers of this blog, but the song I would have voted for was "I'll Cover You."  Why?  Well, it emcompasses a very modern, forward way of thinking in its place and setting in the show, but it also perfectly explains real love between any two people in any situation.  What I wouldn't give for a thousand sweet kisses...

Don't forget to vote in this month's first poll, starting tomorrow!

Comments?  Leave one here, email me at or Tweet me!


  1. I'll Cover You was my choice too! I love so many of the songs in Rent, but that's my favorite. My favorite version is actually not from the show, but from a benefit concert, sung by Idina Menzel. It's absolutely gorgeous. I don't know if it's still on youtube, but it's worth a look IMO.

  2. I love 'Perfect For You', but my favorite modern romantic song is by far 'Love To Me' from 'The Light In The Piazza'.

  3. Hey, Peter!

    Good to hear from you again! You know, that is a great song, too. If I do a similar poll next year, I'll be sure to include it.

    Thanks as always for reading and taking the time to write in!



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