One of my favorite types of heartbreaking songs in musical theatre belongs to romance. Here is something that is interesting- part of them are ironic. I know that seems crazy to say that, but it is true. MAJOR SPOILERS
This Nearly Was Mine
This a breakup song sung by Emelie after Nellie left him. You literally think she will never get back to him. He literally just decided to go on a dangerous mission with Joe Cable. All of a sudden, Nellie realizes the massive mistake she made- this is when she was able to come to realize just how much she cared about Emelie, and worried for his children.
At the end of the musical, Emelie came back from the misson alive. Nellie decided to return to Emelie.
If I Can’t Love Her/ Evermore
These two songs are basically the same. They are sung by Beast- in the movie, he sings Evermore after realizing his love for Belle, but in the stage show it is If I Can’t Love Her. Both are heartbreaking love songs.
If I Can’t Love Her is sung twice- originally was when Beast started to change. That was back when he realized that he needed to fall in love with Belle. He has softened up a bit at that point. But in the reprise, he has fallen in love with Belle (more similar to Evermore), and is convinced Belle doesn’t love her. He doesn’t believe she will come back. Well, what do you know- Belle already fell in love with Beast and does come back for him especially when she heard that Gaston was going to kill him- she would never allow that to happen.
While on the topic of Disney, this is from Frozen. An added song to the Original Broadway Show, which got cut when it first went on tour. One of the biggest mistakes ever. This actually belongs to Anna, which happens after Hans betrays her—-a moment she isn’t expecting.
I’m Not That Girl
As a matter of fact, this is the first heartbreaking love song I fell in love with. Despite taking a while till I realized it was a heartbreaking song- began as no more than a sad song. Yes, it is an unrequited love song, but after seeing Wicked, you will understand why I call it ironic. True, when Elphaba sings it, you think she will ALWAYS have unrequited love for Fiyero. Yes, she also doesn’t steal him away from her best friend.
But the irony comes from a plot twist in act II. It isn’t JUST Elphaba with the unrequited love. You realize Fiyero had love for Elphaba all along- making the unrequited love jump to Glinda, who like Elphaba, doesn’t steal him away. Why the plot twist- based on observation, he had a crush on Elphaba during his days at Shiz, which first became clear during the Lion Cub Scene, a moment he couldn’t stop thinking about. Even Glinda sings I’m Not That Girl, but only a reprise of it.