Worst song from a good musical?

I am going to say “Shipoopi” from The Music Man. The title alone makes me puke in my mouth. But the lyrics are execrable and (to say the very least) dated, and the tune is pure… crap.

If you want your eyes to bleed:


For similar reasons, “Marry the Man Today” from Guys and Dolls. Dated, downright awful advice, and just a song I can’t enjoy in a musical that is normally just so much fun it distracts me from my usual responses to mafiosos.

“Something Godd” from The Sound of Music is the most sugary sweet of all of th sugary sweet songs in that show. It woulld get my vote, but insyead i’ll go for the song from 7 Brides for 7 Brothers which laughs about the rape of the Sabine women in ancient times.

Les Miserables is my favorite musical of all time, but the song “Little People” is beyond horrible. They cut it out of the 25th anniversary concert a few months ago.

Little People

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreacoat’s “One More Angel in Heaven.” The ghastliest thing Lloyd Webber and Rice ever wrote.

Of course the singers are trying to put one over on Jacob so I guess I’m not surprised it’s such an awful song. They’re kind of awful people.

In the original French version and in the West End version, Gavroche’s song is “Ten Little Bullets”, which is about 1000x times more poignant and appropriate.

Oh, and my addition to the thread is “Little Lamb” from Gypsy. Hate it.

Awful people in musicals do have good songs. Les Miz’s Javert is as awful as they come, and he gets “Stars.”

But One More Angel in Heaven is the brothers’ attempt to fool Jacob and since they’re country bumpkins who don’t really have any plans beyond satisfying their immediate needs, it makes sense to me, at least, that this song is clunky and cloying because they’re going over the top in getting Jacob to believe their story. It’s different than other songs by ‘villains’ because they’re not expressing some deep emotion or anything, they’re just running a con.

While my vote’s for Sound of Music, it’s for that awful number the countess and the meddling friend sing about money marrying money. Yuch.

Though I can tolerate it now, I agree on “Shipoopi.” Lousy song – and I had to sing it in our HS production.

Even worse is “Soliloquy” from Carousel. Clichéd lyrics and Richard Rogers’s absolutely worst tune.

Has there ever been a musical number that was good?

I take the Eddie Murphy argument:
He was vicious. Sing his ass off. He sang so good, they let him do movies, he couldn’t act.
They said:“Fuck it ! Let him sing all his dialogues !” “Elvis, we got to win this race!”
“We got to win this race…”
“Elvis, want some lemonade?”
“Lemonade, that cool, refreshing drink…”
Sing ! That’s the key to it.
You don’t even have to be able to talk.

My take is: let’s use a 10 minute number to communicate an idea that would be otherwise boring and predictable.

Coming into a thread to say that the premise of the question under discussion is stupid is threadshitting, and it’s against the rules.

Don’t do this again.

twickster, Cafe Society moderator

I’d certainly agree with “Shipoopi,” and I’ll suggest “Too Darn Hot” from Kiss Me Kate.

There are a lot of bad songs in musicals, but in spite of their “badness,” most of them seem to somehow do something to advance the plot or develop characters or describe the action. The two above don’t do much more than offer a choreographed and unnecessary song-and-dance number for its own sake that (IMHO) distracts from the show. Take them each out, and the story can still move forward without the viewer missing anything important.

Grand Hotel isn’t a great musical, although it does the job, but “The Boston Merger,” makes every other song sound brilliant in comparison.

As a general rule, I hate the sappy love song that gets dropped into the show. Even when the sappy love song, taken on its own, is a perfectly nice song.


The Street Where You Live, from My Fair Lady.

I Don’t Know How to Love Him, from Jesus Christ Superstar.

People Will Say We’re in Love, from Oklahoma!

They bring the show to a halt and they don’t do anything to advance the characters or the story. For that matter, you could probably swap Goodnight My Someone in the *Music Man * with Somewhere from West Side Story and not really hurt either show.

Yes, but “Somewhere” is the motif of the show. It’s almost the theme music.

I’d have to say that my favorite musical is “Cabaret.” I was first exposed to it (as a child, I tried to avoid Liza Minelli in everything except “Arthur”) during the production that was touring after the revival directed by Sam Mendes that starred Alan Cumming and the late, great Natasha Richardson. The production I saw had the luscious Lea Thompson as Sally Bowles, and she did a fantastic job.

That said, I realize how essential “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” is to the plot, but it’s my least favorite of the production.

No one sings, but I will always fast forward the dream sequence in Oklahoma. I hate it.

For that matter just about any dream sequence in anything, but the Oklahoma one is on topic.

I do have to defend the sappy love song in musicals. They are usually my favorites including The Street Where You Live and People Will Say We’re In Love. :wink:

I don’t know about the other two, but the first example you cite was created to cover a scene change at a specific point in the show. Character comes out front, sings about how in love he is in front of a curtain (which can pass for a street) while techies move setpieces behind the curtain.

Those placeholders tend not to be used as frequently now, with all the automated scene-changing technology. But songs written for that purpose are still useful audition songs. :cool: