Thursday, June 8, 2017

What's the Best Broadway Song of the Last 40 Years?

I'm not a big fan of "best" lists -- you know, those intentionally provocative lists that attempt to compile, in some determinate order, what is the best of this and that when any such "best" conclusions are purely subjective. So I read this "30 Best Broadway Songs of the Past 40 Years" with a bit of skepticism -- and it justifies my skepticism. Some of the songs on the list are spot on - "Memory" from Cats, "Don't Cry for Me "Argentina" from Evita, "Sunday" and "Our Time" from Sondheim musicals. But "Beauty and the Beast?" Which is originally from a movie? "One Day More" from Les Miz but not "I Dreamed a Dreamed?" Come on! And no "Tomorrow" from Annie? As my five-year old daughter would say, "Are you kidding me?"
My favorite musical from the last few years, The Book of Mormon, shows up on this list with "I Believe" but that's not really the best song from that musical -- there several, like "You and Me (But Mostly Me)", "All-American Prophet" and several others that are quite better. My favorite is "Hassa Diga Eibowai" which is the funniest song I've ever heard. As this list and my observations prove, there's no "best" of anything -- just the continuing effort to make great work. That's what we should be celebrating.

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