I like showtunes, in fact it’s pretty much the only kind of music I listen to. This has created a problem in my young life. All too often when meeting a peer and we engage in the traditional small talk (“How old are you?” “What school do you go to?”) It is never long before I am inevitably asked what kind of music I listen to. I say showtunes…..I get blank stares.
To be fair, most people my age don’t even really know what I mean by “showtunes”, odds are they know nobody their age who actively listens to them. Even those who can identify showtunes as songs performed in stage plays can only conjure up an image of a straight laced hunk belting “Oh what a beautiful morning”…Fine song it may be…It isn’t an accurate example of my taste in music…
Showtunes thrill me, they stick in my head, they teach me, they make me cry…The genre itself can vary within itself as much as country/western varies from rock music or even hip hop. The one thing that really distinguishes “my” music is that it tells a story. Beautiful stories, tragic stories, inspiring stories…and mostly love stories. There are characters, real people with real feelings that need to be told. The notes can be beautiful…But in the end they are there for the story.
I find a sense of awe in the art of good storytelling, be it a great book or a great serial drama…And most indications are that storytelling was the first of the human arts. So when it comes to music, listening to different bands has never done it for me. The songs are too simple, too self contained, they lack context. So this is it, this is my passion…I decided to make a personal list of my 100 favorite showtunes. I did not expect this mini project to suck me in so much…But I now lay it before you.