Saddest songs in musical theater

Tim Barstow
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joined:2/7/15
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Saddest songs in musical theater #1
Posted: 6/25/18 at 3:19pm

For me, it’s either It’s Quiet Uptown or Words Fail. 

Updated On: 6/25/18 at 03:19 PM
Jvj24605
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Swing
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Saddest songs in musical theater #2
Posted: 6/25/18 at 3:27pm

Not a Day Goes By, Telephone Wire, I’m Still Hurting, the final sequence of Sweeney Todd to name a few.

Updated On: 6/25/18 at 03:27 PM
Jarethan
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Saddest songs in musical theater #3
Posted: 6/25/18 at 4:36pm


-- Somewhere (West Side Story)

-- Bill (Showboat)

-- Empty Chairs at Empty Tables and Bring Him Home (Les Mis)

-- Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story (Hamilton)

-- What Would You Do? (Cabaret)

-- I'd Give My Life for You (Miss Saigon)

-- Words Fail and So Big, So Small (Dear Evan Hansen)

-- Not a Day Goes By (Merrily We Role Along)

-- Send In the Clowns (A Little Night Music)

-- As Long As He Needs Me (Reprise)

-- I Never Loved You (Cyrano)

-- When Your Feet Don't Touch the Ground (Finding Neverland)

-- His is the Only Music That Makes Me Dance (Funny Girl)

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dmwnc1959
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Saddest songs in musical theater #4
Posted: 6/25/18 at 4:37pm

“She Used to be Mine” - Waitress

Updated On: 6/25/18 at 04:37 PM
JSquared2
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Saddest songs in musical theater #6
Posted: 6/25/18 at 4:41pm

"Ti Moune"  (Once On This Island)

"Finale" (Les Miserables)

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qolbinau
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Saddest songs in musical theater #7
Posted: 6/25/18 at 5:13pm
In Buddy’s Eyes - I can’t think of much sadder than a woman lying through her teeth that she has had a happy marriage for 30 years to the man she actually loves. Almost no one can act this song like Bernadette can, especially the last verse.
"It’s the fractured quality in [Bernadette Peters'] singing voice and line readings that puts across the character as someone for whom resentment is sliding into madness." - NYtimes on Follies (2011).
WestEndGal
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joined:6/25/18
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Saddest songs in musical theater #8
Posted: 6/25/18 at 5:29pm

dmwnc1959 said: "“SheUsed to be Mine” - Waitress"

Yes! I’ve cried like a baby every time I’ve seen this performed

nasty_khakis
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Saddest songs in musical theater #9
Posted: 6/25/18 at 5:32pm

qolbinau said: "In Buddy’s Eyes - I can’t think of much sadder than a woman lying through her teeth that she has had a happy marriage for 30 years to the man she actually loves. Almost no one can act this song like Bernadette can, especially the last verse."

Vicky Clark would like several words. (but I agree the "truth" of this song, as Paul Gemingani calls it, is downright heart-shattering).

ScottyDoesn'tKnow2
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Saddest songs in musical theater #10
Posted: 6/25/18 at 5:36pm

The whole "I Hate the Bus"/"Moon, Emmie, and Stuart Trio" sequence. Actually almost all of Caroline, or Change is seriously sad.

"Jerry Likes My Corn", "Around the World", and "Another Winter in a Summer Town" from Grey Gardens.

"Far From the Home I Love" from Fiddler on the Roof. Also that whole Look at my daughter's eyes from Teyve about Chava.

"Petrified" from Taboo.

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RaisedOnMusicals
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Saddest songs in musical theater #11
Posted: 6/25/18 at 5:46pm

Words Fail is certainly a sad song, but listening to Rachel Bay Jones sing So Big So Small gets me every time. The song is heartbreaking. 

CZJ at opening night party for A Little Night Music, Dec 13, 2009.
HugoP
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Saddest songs in musical theater #12
Posted: 6/25/18 at 5:54pm

agree with a lot of what's posted so far....

would add

Left Behind from SPRING AWAKENING

Something Just Broke from ASSASSINS

everything else not already mentioned from DEAR EVAN HANSEN

and

Playing Nancy from GROUNDHOG DAY is lovely and really sad.    That score really stays with me.

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Cat Guy
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Saddest songs in musical theater #13
Posted: 6/25/18 at 6:11pm

I first saw "Cabaret" in London, starring Judi Dench and Lila Kedrova, in 1968.  I was 21.  I still remember the emotional wallop that this song packed....Miss Kedrova standing still on the stage, singing beautifully.  Now half a century has passed, and I am 71.  The song has meaning for me in my twilight years that I could not have understood as a young man.  And as the music begins to swell at 2:00, I am once again brought to tears.  Every single time.

 

 

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raddersons
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Saddest songs in musical theater #14
Posted: 6/25/18 at 6:14pm

Your Daddy's Son. Heartbreak. Every time.

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asoftplacetoland
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Saddest songs in musical theater #15
Posted: 6/25/18 at 6:45pm
I’ve always found “No One is Alone” and the “Finale (Children Will Listen)” from Into the Woods both really sad.
ScottyDoesn'tKnow2
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Saddest songs in musical theater #16
Posted: 6/25/18 at 6:47pm

All of Jenny Honey's songs from Matilda. I always found her songs to be relatable in the way people can ruminate over things, express their lack of self-worth, and be driven to anxiety.

Updated On: 6/25/18 at 06:47 PM
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TotallyEffed
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Saddest songs in musical theater #17
Posted: 6/25/18 at 6:48pm
Almost the entire score of Next to Normal. I saw the show many times but listening to the cast album can be overwhelmingly painful at times.
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quizking101
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Saddest songs in musical theater #18
Posted: 6/25/18 at 7:00pm

"If I Met Myself Again" - Everybody's Talking About Jamie

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thecometbringsnofear
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Saddest songs in musical theater #19
Posted: 6/25/18 at 7:10pm

I agree with so many already mentioned, and would include I Am Here from Come From Away, What Would I Do and You Gotta Die Sometime from Falsettos, Just Ask Flowers from Here Lies Love, Those You've Known from Spring Awakening, The I Love You Song from Spelling Bee, and Alabanza from In The Heights. 

¿Macavity?
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Saddest songs in musical theater #20
Posted: 6/25/18 at 7:15pm
Go Back Home - The Scottsboro Boys

Love and Love Alone - The Visit

Sarah Brown Eyes, and I’ll also echo Your Daddy’s Son - Ragtime
jo
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Saddest songs in musical theater #21
Posted: 6/25/18 at 7:21pm

From the saddest musical I have ever seen - Andrew Lloyd Webber's THE BEAUTIFUL GAME ( aka BOYS IN THE PHOTOGRAPH).

Poignant, haunting and heartbreaking -- GOD'S OWN COUNTRY is about love of country.  This part is about the plight of people who have to leave their homelands to seek a better future elsewhere, no matter how hard it is to do that. It is only one part of the song.

Scene is not from the play, but a choral cover of GOD'S OWN COUNTRY.
 


 

Updated On: 6/25/18 at 07:21 PM
jo
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Saddest songs in musical theater #22
Posted: 6/25/18 at 7:34pm

This is an expanded version, touching on love of one's own country  --

 

 

Updated On: 6/25/18 at 07:34 PM
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Harriet Craig
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Saddest songs in musical theater #23
Posted: 6/25/18 at 8:03pm

Supper Time (As Thousands Cheer)

This Nearly Was Mine (South Pacific)

Her Face (Carnival)

There's Always One You Can't Forget (Dance A Little Closer)

OlBlueEyes
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Saddest songs in musical theater #24
Posted: 6/25/18 at 8:22pm

"It Never Was You"   Kurt Weill   Knickerbocker Holiday   1938

Vocalist:  Judy Garland, 1963

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQlwINqlHFE

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Charley Kringas Inc
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Saddest songs in musical theater #25
Posted: 6/25/18 at 8:31pm

Telephone Wire, from Fun Home - the way she's in that position of memory, begging her past self to say anything to her dad that might open him up, even though she, and we, know that that's impossible, because otherwise the show, and the pain, wouldn't exist. I was a mess when I saw this on tour.

Children and Art, from Sunday in the Park - "Isn't she beautiful, there she is, there she is, there she is, there she is...mama is everywhere, he must have loved her so much" is one of the saddest and most beautiful lyric lines ever put into any musical. It says so much about love and time in such a strange way, the emotional and conceptual epiphany always catches me off guard.

The I Love You Song, from 25th Annual - The absolutely devastating desperation knocks me over even when I'm just listening to the album while doing chores. When she spells the word and we hear "that is correct" in a distant echo, and then she and her parents sing the last notes in perfect, imagined, and impossible harmony, my heart aches.

stlrod
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Saddest songs in musical theater #26
Posted: 6/25/18 at 8:32pm
You Learn to Live Without from If/Then.