February 8, 2007

The Most Romantic Song Ever–According to Jersey Boys

February 8th, 2007

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s time for BroadwayWorld.com to ask some of the biggest Broadway stars and industry leaders: “What’s the most romantic Broadway song ever?”

Check out what Jersey Boys cast members (Erich Bergen, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer, and John Lloyd Young) and co-author Rick Elice had to say:

Erich Bergen: Well, let me be a total shill for a second and say that every night I get to hear “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” from JERSEY BOYS (which makes it a showtune, right?, and I fall in love with the song more each night. I love the fact that Bob Gaudio had 3 different songs, took parts of the 3 and made up what we now know as one of the greatest love songs ever written. Nothing beats watching Christopher Jones (who plays Frankie) from the catwalk above and seeing him sing the first line of the song, “You’re just too good to be true…,” and hearing 1600 people go “ahhhh…..” and then break into applause. It gives me goosebumps everytime. As far as the most romantic song written directly for the theatre…I’ll never forget when I went to go see BIG, THE MUSICAL. It was the first Broadway show I ever saw, and I remember falling in love with Crista Moore as she sang “One Special Man.” I still listen to it all the time. The chord changes in between the verses give me chills, and nothing beats the lyric”you shake me, astound me, like no one else can.” I’m in love just thinking about it. Is that weird?

Rick Elice: For my money, the most romantic songs are the conditional ones, because I personally find it more romantic (in a play, not in life) when an individual can’t quite bring himself to admit the love with which he is so overcome.

In life, of course, I’m all for blurting it out. (“I love him, I’m his, and everything he is, I am too” and the other frontal statements of love that issue forth from the score of WEST SIDE STORY to cite but one show’s instances, are certainly unforgettable, and I have certainly blurted out my share of bold declarations in my youth…even if, at my age, I better understand the power of nuance. With all due respect to ROMEO AND JULIET, can’t somebody do “Antony & Cleopatra” for the grown-ups?)

Of all the conditional love songs, the defining example, for me, is “If I Loved You.” To call it a number is really insufficient, because it is an entire scene, in which two people almost drugged by sexual attraction, manage to express themselves instead through romantic longing. The distance they travel in the course of this sequence, from strangers who are hot for each other through the slow dawning in each that this time it’s the real thing, is not just a great lesson in theater writing. The window into their souls is humbling to witness, adding immeasurably to the pure luxury of melody. And the catch at the end, after that magnificent crescendo in the penultimate line… the circumspection of the lyric and music on the last line is, well, so human that it simply breaks my heart. As if the “if” will somehow protect them from heartbreak. As if the “if” is the out they can always exercise, except for the undertow of love that has already pulled them under.


Christian Hoff: These lyrics say it all: “Are you my love, has life begun for me? Are you my love, the moon and sun for me? Are you my joy, are you my pain, are you my universe, earth and heaven? Are you a dream, that’s overtaken me? If you’re a dream, then don’t awaken me. My heart must know or miss a beat. Are you my love, my sweet?” With a gentle, seductive melody to match. Rodgers and Hart, 1936. For my forever valentine, Melissa.

Daniel Reichard: “The Shortest Day of the Year” from BOYS FROM SYRACUSE…though it actually could be any of the love songs in BOYS FROM SYRACUSE from “This Can’t Be Love” to “You Have Cast Your Shadow on the Sea.” These songs all have the most tender and delicate melodies and such perfectly, simple lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Of any love song that I have sung, “The Shortest Day of the Year” is my absolute favorite. It’s so romantic and its message is so basic and so heartfelt.

J. Robert Spencer: The most romantic Broadway love song ever…the one that always makes me cry…is “Sleepy Man” from THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM. It’s soooo beautiful. There’s something about that chorus that gets me everytime. It makes you instantly want to find that special someone, so you can sing it to them…for the rest of your life.

John Lloyd Young: “So Far” from ALLEGRO. Though in its original context I think it was sung to a newborn baby, out of context it’s always sung as a love song. It’s a great song because it’s about that overwhelming anticipation and hope at the beginning of any relationship.


  1. “Some One To Watch Over Me” FROM THE MUSICAL “Crazy for You” The words say it all. I
    love that song! Thea

    Comment by THEA — February 10, 2007 @ 2:14 am

  2. “All I Ask of You” from “Phantom of the Opera” has always been my favorite. And this summer, Christian, Bobby, Michael, and Dominic gave it a whole new life for me at “Broadway Under the Stars.” I can still hear Michael’s great falsetto.

    Comment by Howard Tucker — February 10, 2007 @ 8:09 am

  3. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”
    This song always does it for me and it is sung beautifully by John Lloyd Young!

    Everytime I hear it, it gives me chills up by back.
    Is that crazy or what…


    Comment by Damaris Dugan — February 11, 2007 @ 11:44 am

  4. The beautiful “With You” from Pippin, Stephen Schwartz at his best:

    My days are brighter than morning air
    Evergreen pine and autumn blue
    But all my days are twice as fair
    If I could share
    My days with you

    My nights are warmer than firecoals
    Incense and stars and smoke bamboo
    But nights were warm beyond compare
    If I could share
    My nights with you

    To dance in my dreams
    To shine when I need the sun
    With you
    To hold me when dreams are done

    And oh….
    My dearest love
    If you will take my love
    Then all my dreams are truly begun

    And time weaves ribbons of memory
    To sweeten life when youth is through
    But I would need no memories there
    If I could share
    My life with you

    Comment by Pat — February 12, 2007 @ 7:37 am

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