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12 of the best love songs from musicals for Valentine's Day
When it comes to love songs, musicals provide some of the very best around. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourites for you to enjoy, and we’ve mixed it up with live performances, original soundtrack recordings, songs from films and the odd remix.
"Love Changes Everything"
Aspects of Love
Of course, the list kicks off with an Andrew Lloyd Webber number. “Love Changes Everything” is the opening song from Aspects of Love, and is sung by Alex Dillingham, who is sat at a train station reflecting on the last 17 years of his love life. This epic classic was first performed by Michael Ball in the West End, as seen in the video above.
"Rue Plumet - In My Life"
There are a few songs from Les Mis that could make this list ("A Heart Full of Love", "On My Own" and so on…), but we’ve gone for “In My Life”. Cossette sings the song in the garden at Rue Plumet, where Cosette and Jean Valjean live and where she secretly meets her love, Marius.
"As Long As You’re Mine"
Elphaba and Fiyero express their new found love for each other in this song after spending most the musical on tenterhooks with each other. The couple know it could be their last chance to express their love, as Elphie is on the run. Naturally, with the plethora of talent we’ve seen in Wicked there are countless versions of this duet, but we’ve gone for the Broadway original with Idina Menzel & Norbert Leo Butz.
Yes, somehow in a hip-hop musical about the Founding Father Alexander Hamilton and the American civil war, Lin-Manuel Miranda managed to squeeze a love song in. This song is the story of how Hamilton met his wife-to-be Eliza Schuyler at a winter ball. In the musical, these events take on a slightly different meaning in the following song “Satisfied”, as Schuyler sister Angelica, who introduced the pair, retells the story of the night from her perspective.
"The Next Ten Minutes"
The Last Five Years
This song escalates quickly. Jamie asks Cathy to spend the next ten minutes with him, and then another ten, and another and so on and so on until eventually the world explodes. Cute. Of course, Jason Robert Brown handles it far more tenderly than we’ve explained it there, and we’ve picked the version as performed by Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan in the 2014 film.
A stand-out song from Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, it got a new breath of life in John Tiffany’s 2011 Broadway production of the stage adaptation. Cristin Milioti and Steve Kazee, who played Irish busker Guy and his Czech love interest, recorded this sweet acoustic version of the song.
Little Shop of Horrors
There’s a reason this is the first song that pops in your head when you think of this musical. Seymour and Audrey finally confess their love for each other after their flower shop takes off to new heights of successes. Its bold chorus makes this a classic show tune from Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.
"Marry Me a Little"
Sondheim’s musical is set at the birthday party of Bobby (or Bobbi, as it will be when Rosalie Craig takes on the part), a single man (…or woman) who can’t hold down a relationship, and whose best friends are all coupled off. This song closes the first act, with Bobby blowing out his/her candles wishing for someone for himself.
"Shall We Dance?"
The King and I
"Shall We Dance?" is the first moment in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I when the King makes his feelings known for Anna, the British teacher brought to Siam to help modernise the country. The musical was originally written for actress Gertrude Lawrence to play the lead part, however she passed away during the original Broadway run. In the 1956 film, Deborah Kerr played Anna opposite Yul Brynner King. The above version is performed by Ken Watanabe and Kelli O'Hara, who will appear in the musical at the London Palladium.
"So in Love"
Kiss Me, Kate
Actress Lilli sings this song after receiving flowers from her ex-husband Fred, and announces that she is still into him. However what she doesn’t know is that the card in the flowers reveals they weren’t for her all along. That’s quite sad, but Cole Porter’s melancholy ballad is a musical standard.
"I've Never Been in Love Before"
Guys and Dolls
A timeless duet from Guys and Dolls, it comes as Sky and Sarah decide to confess their love for each other. Other than the musical, Frank Loesser’s song has been recorded by some of the great American recording artists, such as Shirley Bassey, Frank Sinatra or Chet Baker (as heard above).
"All I Ask of You"
The Phantom of the Opera
Andrew Lloyd Webber knows how to write a love song. He wrote the part of Christine in Phantom for his muse Sarah Brightman, who starred in the show in London and on Broadway. It happens as Raoul promises his love to Christine, and she reciprocates, but they are overheard by the jealous phantom.