Five Musical Numbers for When You’re Struggling

A rousing song might not fix everything. But, then again, you don’t know until you try.

“Light” from “Next to Normal”

Tom Kitt & Brian Yorkey

And you find some way to survive
And you find out you don’t have to be happy at all
To be happy you’re alive

(I had to pick a clip starring the recently-departed Marin Mazzie, one of my favorite voices to grace Broadway.)

Image for post
Image for post
The author’s old facebook page.

“As We Stumble Along” from “The Drowsy Chaperone”

Bob Martin, Don McKellar, Lisa Lambert, and Greg Morrison

Then we stumble away
Through dawn’s blinding sun beams
Barely knowing right from right
Nor left from wrong
But as long as we can hear
That little bluebird
There’ll be a song
As we stumble along

The Drowsy Chaperone, for the uninitiated, is a musical within a musical, where a man, sitting alone at home, puts on a record of his favorite musical and it comes to life around him. Punctuated with his narration, this pastiche of an old-timey musical is made rip-roaring funny.

“Me and the Sky” from “Come From Away”

Irene Sankoff and David Hein

Suddenly I’ve got an all female crew
The news talked, it made headlines across the world
Suddenly it stopped,
No one saying “You can’t” or “You won’t”
Or “You know you’re not anything ’cause you’re a girl”

I know that this song is definitely targeted as being an empowerment song for ladies, but the gender binary is shit and I love this song. It gets me going when I’m down, and you can’t ask for more than that.

“Alabanza” from “In the Heights”

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes

Alabanza means to raise this
Thing to God’s face
And to sing, quite literally: “Praise to this.”

Before there was Hamilton, there was In the Heights — which will also be coming to a movie theatre near you, soon.

“The Journey” from “Unbound”

Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk

One choice, one chance, one road we take
the journey’s never the aim.
All the same, we change, we grow, we barely know
who we’ll become.

If you’ve spent any amount of time around me at all, you know how much I love Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk. If not, I think this photo says it all.

Image for post
Image for post
The author.

(He/They) Ninja Writer. Thespian. Queer. Essayist, poet, novelist. “In Search of Sunflowers” available on Kindle now.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store