Top 10 Songs for your Imagination
“If music be the food of love, play on.” As Shakespeare expressed best in Twelfth Night, music somehow sucks us in to a world somewhere between comfort and melancholia. Is that word allowed outside of a Reese Witherspoon film? It cheers us up, tugs at our heart strings, and puts an extra pep in our step as we travel through the day. Some of us take that pep a little too far and salaciously film music videos in our heads while taking out the garbage.
These moments of daydreaming have fulfilled me many times over and reminded me where my interests continue to lie. If you haven’t figured it out yet, those songs are what this article is about. Let’s relive my glory days of creativity and spend a little time playing in our imaginations. To the world, I give you songs of confidence and play.
1. “Take Me or Leave Me” (Rent)
Everyone loves a good duet. Especially one with analogies of tigers and divas. This is the ultimate moment of “give me confidence or give me death.” I used it to that purpose for many years as a dorky and awkward teen, pretending to be the ever-looked-at wonder that is Maureen. And based on the popularity of this song at karaoke, it has that same magic for many others.
2. “The Witch” (Big Fish)
When delivered by a powerhouse, this is a true testament to the power of the diva. It is mystical and spectacular, bigger than life. Even if one missed the run of Big Fish, the music of this song swells and fills a person with the imagery of long forgotten dreams and fantasy. If it doesn’t kick your imagination into high gear, nothing will.
3. “Nothing is Too Wonderful to be True” (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)
A room filled with smoky haze. A lone piano. A singer wrapped in the richest of reds cooing out the melody is what I picture when this song starts to play. If that singer is me in said fantasy depends on how raspy my voice is and how much whiskey I’ve shared with friends.
4. “Waiting for the Girls Upstairs” (Follies)
A little Sondheim in the diet is always a great plan of attack. With a spoonful of reminiscing and a pinch of sadness, the song is ripe with energy and gives the opportunity to be as passionate as a stage door Johnny, something that should be pretty visceral considering our current tabloid culture.
5. “Hello Again” (Hello Again)
If I include another song about a lady of the night, feel free to check back in three months with a few questions and some job recommendations. But in the meantime, let’s analyze the luster of this song. It is methodical. It is caressing. It is rich in storytelling. All of these components make it simple to plant your feet in the shoes of either character and make it easier to be immersed in the fantasy. The oldest profession lives on, and so does my intrigue with the music about it.
6. “Hold Me in Your Heart” (Kinky Boots)
To be Billy Porter at his most ravishing and powerful is the ultimate fantasy. The glamor and the Whitney pastiche are enticing to say the least. The lyrics are drenched with longing. Before you know it, he is imagining a crowd of 1000 standing at attention as he belts the last note. Or at least, that’s my pretend version of events.
7. “Serious” (Legally Blonde)
Some romance with a sour punch is always easiest to dramatize. And also leads to a lot of fun. There were many days filled with singing along to this with a friend, and I can only imagine others are just as captivated by the wit.
8. “Grow for Me” (Little Shop Of Horrors)
As a child with oversized goggles for glasses, Seymour was almost a hero. Though if I had known the original ending at the time, that observation might have been different. Listening to him rhapsodize to his sweetheart of a freakish plant was like icing on a cake. I find myself pushing up my glasses along with him and begging the soon to be carnivorous beast to sprout and flourish even now.
9. “Pegasus” (Myths And Hymns)
Who doesn’t want to daydream of the flying horse and his almost everlasting companion? Even if that dream is interrupted with a buzz and a prick.
10. “Fabulous, Baby” (Sister Act)
With performing comes the lust for exhibition. Even if one only dreams as far as Pittsburgh, there’s still the feeling of being “born to be on display.” With the help of some swinging backup singers, this dream seems ever more real and fantastic. With a touch of imagination, It’s a little more than just a wish.