Top Ten Songs from The Music ManThe 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
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 which Harold Hill sings to get the townspeople convinced of his idea for a marching band in River City.
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, and in this way, he convinces them to fund his idea of a boy's marching band.
A fun song and dance number performed by Marcellus that is 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 it's rendition on the popular animated television show, Family Guy.
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 places 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 ear-worm of them all.
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.
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, but eventually finds herself dancing along, though she still is not 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.
The town's ladies gossip to Harold Hill about Marian's an affair she 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.
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 does it.
A love song 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 you say goodnight to if you don't have a love, and Marian says to just make it generic. In the song, you get both senses of sadness and hopefulness as Marian longs for the day she finally finds a someone.
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."