All the songs in 'Six the Musical'

Discover how Beyoncé, Lily Allen, Adele, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, and Alicia Keys inspire Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss's Tony-winning Six pop-infused score.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Are you ready to get down? Don’t lose your head — but history’s about to get overthrown! Actually, better make that herstory, as the world-conquering musical Six spectacularly reclaims the lives of Henry VIII’s wives. They’re no longer just a word in a silly rhyme or secondary to a man; they each have their own voice and proper say in this diva-styled pop concert.

Ever since Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’s brilliant modern retelling premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2017, it’s struck a chord with audiences — it's reigning in the West End and on Broadway, as well as in Sydney, South Korea, and on tour.

And why is it such a right royal hit? Obviously, we love the distinctive costumes, the dance moves, the girl power attitude, and the many incredible Queens of Six. But Marlow and Moss’s instantly catchy tunes are fundamental to its success: the songs blend pop pastiche with a wickedly smart message. Unless you’ve got a heart of stone, you’ll love this guide to Six’s songs.

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“Divorced, beheaded, died.” It’s the rhyme we all learnt at school — but that doesn’t confine our Queens. This propulsive opening group number sets out the show’s premise: tonight, they’re “live” (both alive and performing a pop concert), and, thanks to terms like “How we got unfriended,” the audience knows this is no dusty history story.

“No Way”

First up to the mic is Catherine of Aragon. Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, and J Lo inspire this proud, fierce diva’s solo. Her song (about how Henry VIII wants to chuck her into a nunnery) puts this savvy, empowered woman at its centre. “No Way” blends R&B vibes with a catchy hook, all wrapped up in a moment of soulful vulnerability.

“Don’t Lose Ur Head”

Meet Anne Boleyn, the cheeky flirt of the group. Her laidback smackdowns are pure Lily Allen, and her teen strop says Avril Lavigne, with the recurring “Sorry not sorry” riff. On the one hand, she seems to invite trouble with her nonchalance (Everybody chill/It’s totes God’s will!”), but the number cleverly calls out the unfair gender rules: Henry can sleep around, but she’s the one branded a whore and a witch. And, you know, who loses her head.

“Heart of Stone”

A change of pace here as Jane Seymour takes centre stage with her spine-tingling ballad: think Adele or Sia. She’s quietly defiant, though, expressing how it takes strength to love someone — and all too aware that Henry’s love is based on her giving him a son. Ultimately, that “stone” has more elegiac connotations as Jane dies young, leaving her son behind.

“Haus of Holbein”

We go from Six’s most poignant moment to its most hilarious and savage. This inspired group number is wacky German electronica, referencing the painter Hans Holbein who made portraits of royal subjects like Anna of Cleves (up next). It’s also a sly critique of women's pain for beauty: corsets, cinches, lead poison in make-up, crippling heels.

“Get Down”

Here’s Anna, channelling Rihanna and Nicki Minaj in her triumphant hip-hop track – which does very much get down in its booming bassline and, in the fantastic accompanying routine, funky isolations and gyrations. Henry might have rejected her because she didn’t match her “profile picture” (Holbein portrait), but so what? The divorcée is happy, wealthy, and completely independent.

“All You Wanna Do”

Katherine Howard’s pop princess number feels more relevant post-MeToo and the Free Britney movement. It cleverly parallels her tale of being sexualised and exploited by others as a young child with modern-day stars (or any woman) in a song that seems at first deceptively like catchy, bubblegum pop, then breaks into fear, trauma, and panic.

“I Don’t Need Your Love”

Thankfully, we have Catherine Parr to bring things to a close. Six has technically been a competition so far – who had it worst? – but Parr (channelling the likes of Alicia Keys and Emeli Sandé) gives us a reflective, meaningful number. She made the wrenching decision to marry the King (and survive), giving up her true love in the process. Still, she won’t let a man define her:: she was also a writer and a campaigner for female education, and she encourages the other women to take back control too. None of them need his love.


In the triumphant finale — powered by a rousing countdown — the Queens imagine happier versions of their lives without Henry and write their new stories. For too long, they’ve been “lost in history” (both history and his story), but now they can take their “crowning glory.” Instead of competitors, they’re a group: women united.


Of course, a pop concert musical has to end with a megamix, mashing up all the brilliant numbers and getting the audience on their feet. Whichever Queen is your favourite, you’ll be cheering for them all in this fantastic end song.

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Photo credit: Six the Musical (Photo by Pamela Raith)

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