Top 5: Songs with Questions as Titles

Finally, a Top 5 that combines my nerdy love of musical theater with my nerdy love of grammar.

  1. “Why Can’t the English?”My Fair Lady.  Ah, intellectual elitism.  Always entertaining.
  2. “Do You Love Me?”Fiddler on the Roof.  Simple.  Understated.  Tells you everything you need to know about Tevye and Golde’s relationship.
  3. “Shall We Dance?”The King & I.  The crazy sexual tension that has been mounting for an entire show comes to a head in a perfectly theatrical number.  These Rodgers and Hammerstein guys know what they’re doing.  Why isn’t anybody talking about these kids?
  4. “Diva’s Lament (Whatever Happened to My Part?)”Spamalot.  I debated the validity of this choice, considering the parenthetical issue, but in the end decided to include it.  What’s the best way to deal with structural issues in your source material?  Make a joke out of them in a hilarious belt-your-face-off self-referential number that also calls out Britney Spears.
  5. “Who Am I?”Les Miserables.  You want to write a dramatically compelling song?  Have your main character debating two possible paths, make the stakes rather high (say, returning to prison for life vs. eternal damnation), and have him make a bold decision at the end.  Bonus points for having him ripping his shirt open to reveal the brand on his chest as he holds the climactic note.
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