Heartbreaking Love Songs- Ironic?

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.

True Love

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.

Favorite Rodgers and Hammerstien Musicals

Rodgers and Hammerstein are one of the most famous musical theatre duos. I actually love their musicals. I decided to talk about the musicals I love that they wrote.

Sound of Music

My all-time favorite musical they wrote is Sound of Music. Sound of Music is one of my childhood favorite musicals. I was raised on the movie, and Edelweiss was my first piano recital song. It has memorable songs that are fun to sing to, a memorable plot about the importance of family and music, and memorable characters. It has a double love story- meaning two love stories, which is true for most Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals.

In 2015, I finally saw the stage show. Seeing the stage show made Sound of Music more meaningful. I got even more emotional. I cried during Edelweiss, which took me off guard. Sound of Music will always be my favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

Cinderella

For some reason, I keep on forgetting about Cinderella. Wonder if that has anything to do with its popularity with Disney. However, I love Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. It has such memorable songs- from “In my Own Little Corner”, “Impossible”, and “Ten Minutes Ago”. Like expected, it has an incredible story. Both the Prince and Cinderella get more developed in the musical.

South Pacific

Like almost all R and H musicals, it is filled with incredible songs. I feel like this musical teaches you a lot about Racism and where it comes from. It has two love stories- one is more serious and one is lighter. It focuses mostly on Nellie and Emelie.

Oklahoma

Like usual, another R/H musical with memorable songs. It took me a while to realize Oklahoma is home to two love triangles. While it might seem it is just about this dance, it really isn’t. Oklahoma focuses mostly on the romance between Curly and Laurey. You even have the fun romance between Will Parker and Ado Annie.The love triangles still are weak—you have the whole fighting for someone thing. But, how you want the romances to end up do end up the way you want it to. Curly does everything to prevent Laurey from being with Jud- Jud is abusive. It is also about Oklahoma becoming a state.

“You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”

One of my favorite musicals is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific”. One of its main central themes is Racism- I actually think that theme might be the antagonist of the musical. There is an incredible song in there called “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”.

Do you know what makes that particular song incredible. Well, it does show that no one was born racist, but was taught it.

You’ve got to be Taught

Before its too late

Before You are Six

Or Seven

Or Eight

To hate all the People your Relatives hate

You’ve got to be Carefully Taught

You’ve got to be Carefully Taught- South Pacific

This is a great example of where racism comes from. No one was born that way. You are taught about it. South Pacific is a love story between Emelie and Nellie. There is another romance, which is a subplot, that is between Joe Cable and Liat. After finding out about Emelie’s biracial children, Nellie wants to break up with them- due to the race of his children. That does lead to Emelie’s heartbreaking, “This Nearly was Mine”. Quickly, Nellie realizes her mistake- but doesn’t know if Emelie will survive after he agrees with Joe Cable to go on a risky mission. That mission gets Joe Cable killed, but Emelie actually lives.

Joe Cable is kinda of like Nellie in a way. He did not want to have biracial children with Liat. It is not like Nellie’s case where she realizes the mistake she made. That all came as a result of her not wanting Emelie’s children to end up being parentless, and discovering that she still wants to be with him.

It is crazy in a way to think about South Pacific could easily have been a tragic love story. That would have been the case if the two romances were switched- as in Joe and Liat being the main couple with Emelie and Nellie being only a subplot. But due to South Pacific being about Emelie and Nellie, South Pacific remains a happy love story.

It actually is Joe Cable that teaches Emelie about this message. Emelie obviously wasn’t taught racism. Joe Cable and Nellie were, which leads to tragic consequences for almost both of them. Emelie almost didn’t survive, but good thing he did. I actually think “Some Enchanted Evening” is one of the most romantic love stories in musical theatre.

My love of Rodgers and Hammerstein

I fell in love with Rodgers and Hammerstein when I was a child. I fell in love with Sound of Music- it has a wonderful cast of characters, an incredible plot, along with fun and exciting songs. I love more than just Sound of Music- there are other Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals that I love. Just the others did not get in my life in childhood. I know I fell in love with two more when I was still a student at Central Piedmont Community College. I feel like nothing can really go wrong with this duo. These are Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals I have seen.

Sound of Music

I already stated I love Sound of Music. Maria is such an incredible protagonist. Julie Andrews was my first Maria. I love the songs from “Do Re Mi”, My Favorite Things”, “Lonely Goatherd”, “Something Good”, “Edelweiss”, “Climb Every Mountain”, and “Sound of Music”. Sound of Music actually was the final musical the duo did together.

South Pacific

This is a musical romance. Like almost all Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, there is a double romance. The main story is between Emelie and Nellie, but the subplot is between Liat and Joe Cable. It is weird to think that this musical could almost be a tragedy if the main romance was between Liat and Joe Cable. From “Some Enchanted Evening”, “This Nearly Was Mine”, “Younger than Springtime”, “There is nothing like a Dame”, and “I’ve Got to Wash that Man outta my Hair”. I feel like the antagonist of South Pacific is actually a theme: Racism. Through, “You Got be Carefully Taught”, you realize that you are not born racist, but are taught it: that is something I love about that song. This is a SPOILER: but Joe Cable does die in this musical- that is why if the romances were switched, South Pacific would be a tragedy. But due to being between Emelie and Nellie, South Pacific is a happy musical.

Oklahoma

This musical romance also has a double romance. It took be a while to realize this, but this musical is home to two love triangles. Curly and Laurey is what the musical is between, but Jud does add the third thing: but he is the antagonist of Oklahoma. The other love triangle is between Ali Hakim, Ado Annie, and Will Parker. However, these two love triangles are a bit weak: due to two characters fighting in both. However, the couples become who you want them to be: meaning it will end up as Curly and Laurey and Ado Annie and Will Parker. This is noticed through song and through characters. Considering that Jud is abusive, you know you want Curly and Laurey together- Curly does everything he can be with Laurey.

Songs like “Oklahoma”, “Kansas City”, “Surrey with the Fringe on Top”, “People will Say we’re in Love”, and “Oh, What a beautiful Morning”. People think Oklahoma is basically revolving around the dance, but in reality not true. It is about Curly and Laurey’s relationship, Oklahoma becoming a State, and between Ado Annie and Alik Hakim.

Cinderella

I don’t know why this keeps on happening, but for some odd reason I keep on forgetting about their Cinderella. The past Friday, I saw the 1957 televised recording of the musical, which stars Julie Andrews as Cinderella. The only problem with it was that it was way out of sync and has some annoying background noise.

Cinderella become popular through Disney. I love the songs, “My Own Little Corner”, “Impossible”, and “Ten Minutes Ago”. I love Cinderella- as in both Disney adaptions: I really love the live action one with Lily James as Cinderella. If Disney did not create the original Cinderella, it is hard to think that this story wouldn’t have become that famous.

Still, don’t know why I keep on forgetting about this one. I think that might have to do with being associated with Disney. I still love this musical- Rodgers and Hammerstein are extremely good at creating memorable songs.

King and I

I don’t exactly love this musical, but I don’t really dislike it either. I actually can parallel Anna with Maria. They are both strong-willed and called difficult women. They play a similar role: as in one being governess and the other a teacher. Both teach children. King and I still has some songs I love: “Getting to Know You”, “Shall We Dance”, and “I Whistle a Happy Tune”.

Carousel

Of all Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals I have been around, Carousel is my least favorite. It has to do with plot and partly due to songs. Like expected, there is a double romance- Bill and Julie, and Carrie and Mr. Snow. Julie and Carrie are best friends. The plot really really confuses me. I keep on forgetting about the songs.

Some Enchanted Evening

Once again, this is another Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. South Pacific first entered my life around the exact time as Oklahoma. How, let me say why I love South Pacific.

Songs

Those songs are incredible. It is a collection of romantic and exciting songs- there even is a heartbreaking song in the mix.

Plot

Just like Oklahoma, it is a double romance (meaning two love stories). However, there is still one main love story, which is between Emelie and Nellie. The other one is Liat and Joe Cable. I really do not know WHY I love this story. It truly is a romantic story. You might be wondering who the antagonist of South Pacific is- well the antagonist is not a person- I think it is the theme of Racism- so the show is a man vs. self conflict in some way. Like any Rodgers Hammerstein musical, one couple is serious and one is more light.

Characters

Well, I still do not know the characters well to know what to think of them. However, I do know I love Emelie and Nellie- they make a wonderful couple.

Favorite Song: Some Enchanted Evening