Top Ten Songs from The Music Man

The Music Man is a 1957 musical with music and lyrics written by Meredith Willson about a traveling salesman by the name of Harold Hill who arrives in River City, Iowa, passing himself off as a leader and organizer of marching bands to naive locals. The show was a massive success on Broadway, running for 1,375 performances and winning 5 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The show's cast album was the first ever recipient of the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album and includes many memorable tunes. The musical continues to be a hit with audiences today.
The Top Ten
1 Seventy-Six Trombones

This is the signature song from the musical and is commonly performed by marching bands. Like many numbers in the musical, it is a very catchy, upbeat song that Harold Hill sings to convince the townspeople of his idea for a marching band in River City.

2 Ya Got Trouble

One of the most popular and recognizable songs from the musical, Ya Got Trouble is an incredibly fun and catchy number in which Harold Hill warns the townspeople about the youth becoming corrupted by activities such as billiards. In this way, he convinces them to fund his idea of a boy's marching band.

3 Shipoopi

A fun song and dance number performed by Marcellus about finding love. This is the moment in the play where Marian really starts to fall for Harold, and the pair happily dance together in the scene.

Some may recognize this song from its rendition on the popular animated television show, Family Guy.

4 Gary, Indiana

Harold tells Winthrop about his hometown of Gary, Indiana, which Winthrop then sings about to Marian and Mrs. Paroo once he returns home. Considering the ghost town that Gary, Indiana, is today, it's kind of weird to hear someone sing fondly about it, but this musical takes place in the early twentieth century when Gary, Indiana, was a major industrial city.

Of all the songs in the musical, I think this one is the biggest earworm of them all.

5 Marian the Librarian

In this catchy song, Harold Hill tries to woo Marian at the library. At first, she is completely disinterested, seeing right through the smooth-talking con man. Eventually, she finds herself dancing along, though she still isn't interested in him, as evidenced by her trying to slap him after being kissed.

This is a very fun song and dance number that is likely to get stuck in your head.

6 Lida Rose

A song sung by the school board (Barbershop Quartet) after Harold distracts them from collecting his credentials. The song is first sung separately, but then in unison with Will I Ever Tell You, a song sung by Marian on her front porch.

7 Pickalittle (Talk-a-Little)

The town's ladies gossip to Harold Hill about an affair Marian supposedly had with a man who lent all of the library's books to her and that she advocates "dirty books." The song is very fast-paced, and the group of women sound much like a brood of hens.

8 Till There Was You

Marian meets Harold Hill on the bridge and sings to him about how much he has changed her life. The Beatles recorded a version of the song and included it on the albums With the Beatles and Meet the Beatles! This would be the only Broadway song to be recorded by the group.

At the risk of sounding crass, this song kicks ass... no matter who sings it.

9 Goodnight, My Someone

A love song that Marian sings to the evening star since she has no one she can call her sweetheart. She is asked by her piano student, Amaryllis, Who do you say goodnight to if you don't have a love? Marian says to just make it generic.

In the song, you get both a sense of sadness and hopefulness as Marian longs for the day she finally finds someone.

10 Iowa Stubborn

The first sung number of the musical in which the River City townspeople tell the stranger Harold Hill that despite their reserved and stubborn attitude, he still "ought to give Iowa a try."

The Contenders
11 The Wells Fargo Wagon
12 Rock Island
13 Sadder but Wiser Girl
14 My White Knight
15 Good Night Ladies
16 Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean
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