I’ve been waiting for this all year. Today is the Tony Awards, my favorite awards show, and Kevin Spacey is hosting! I’m looking forward to all the performances, especially Dear Evan Hansen, and seeing James Earl Jones, one of my favorite actors, receive a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.
I love the theatre. Musicals – the performing arts – have been a huge part of my life and have inspired me so much. So in honor of this special occasion, I’ve put together a playlist of Broadway songs that inspire my (and hopefully your) writing:
“A Brand New Day” – The Wiz
“Brotherhood of Men” – How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
“Dear Theodosia” – Hamilton
“Defying Gravity” – Wicked
“Find Your Grail” – Spamalot
“I Know Where I’ve Been” – Hairspray
“King of Pride Rock / Circle of Life (Reprise)” – The Lion King
“Mamma Mia” – Mamma Mia
“My New Philosophy” – You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown
“Non-Stop” – Hamilton
“One Day More” – Les Misérables
“Raise Your Voice” – Sister Act
“Revolting Children” – Matilda the Musical
“Ring of Keys” – Fun Home
“The Wizard and I” – Wicked
♦This weekend’s theme is: MUSIC♦
—find inspiration for your writing with these songs—
Song: “Decode” | Artist: Paramore
Channel Source: Fueled By Ramen
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Song: “Rise” | Artist: Katy Perry | Cover By: SUPERFRUIT, Mary Lambert, Brian Justin Crum, Mario Jose
Channel Source: SUPERFRUIT
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Song: “Dear Theodosia” | Artist: Lin-Manual Miranda; Hamilton (musical) | Performed By: Leslie Odom Jr. (as Aaron Burr), Lin-Manuel Miranda (as Alexander Hamilton)
Channel Source: Leslie Odom Jr. – Topic
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Song: “Radioactive” | Artist: Imagine Dragons | Cover By: Lindsey Stirling, Pentatonix
Channel Source: Lindsey Stirling
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Songs: “I See The Light” (Tangled), “You’ll Be In My Heart” (Tarzan), “Go The Distance” (Hercules) | Performed By: Voctave; feat. Kirstin Maldonado & Jeremy Michael Lewis
Channel Source: Voctave
Today’s writing playlist are all songs from the TV musical show, Glee. I remember when Glee first started I didn’t think much of it, that it wasn’t my kind of show. But I gave it a chance and fell in love with it – the songs, the characters, the tackling on social issues. Seasons 1 through 3 are my favorites, after that it kind of lost its memento with me but I still watched. Still, Glee has a special place in my heart. RIP Cory Monteith aka Finn Hudson.
Because of this show I learned about and fell in love with a lot of songs I’d never/barely heard of. Some covers made me re-fall in love with certain songs like the Journey medley from Season 1. A lot of the songs from Glee really get the creative juices flowing- great scenes can be written from them.
In no particular order and with who sang the song (to the best of my knowledge) in the show:
“Defying Gravity” – Rachel and Kurt (S1)
“Somebody to Love” – New Directions (S1, by Queen)
“Faithfully” – Rachel, Finn, New Directions
“Any Way You Want It/Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'” (mash-up) – New Directions
“Don’t Stop Believin'” – The New Directions (S1)
“Keep Holding On” – New Directions (S1)
“Roots Before Branches” – Rachel, Finn
“Loser Like Me” – Rachel, Santana, Finn, Brittany, New Directions (S2)
“Rise” – New Directions
“Raise Your Glass” – Blaine, Dalton Academy Warblers (S2)
“Here’s To Us” – Rachel, New Directions
“Don’t Dream It’s Over” – Finn, New Directions
“All of Nothing” – Marley, Blaine, New Direction
“The Scientist” – Rachel, Finn, Will Schuester, Emma Pilsbury, Santana, Brittany, Kurt, Blaine
“Singin’ In The Rain/Umbrella” (mash-up) – Will Schuester, Holly Holliday
“I Feel Pretty/Unpretty” (mash-up) – Quinn, Rachel
“Mr. Roboto/Counting Stars” (mash-up) – Jean-Baptiste, Throat Explosion
“True Color” – Tina, New Directions
“Chasing Pavements” – Marley, New Directions
“I’ll Stand By You” – Finn (S2)
That’s it for today’s post. I’ve always felt music and writing go hand in hand, so I hope you enjoyed it.
And, as always, happy writing!
I really love music and have been enjoying creating these writing playlists. For this list I picked songs from my (still) current musical obsession, Hamilton: An American Musical. When I was first listening to this soundtrack it felt so uplifting and inspiring. The writing was just so beautiful and good. I found myself picturing scenes of new story ideas in my head, ideas that begged to be written down. It’s such a great soundtrack/musical with so many fantastic songs to sing and dance to.
In track order, here is my writing playlist made from my top favorite Hamilton songs:
“The Story of Tonight”
“The Schuyler Sisters”
“You’ll Be Back”
“Wait For It”
“Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)”
“Take A Break”
“The Room Where It Happens”
“One Last Time”
“It’s Quiet Uptown”
“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story”
This post was immediately followed by a jam session of epic proportions, of course. There are 46 songs total on the soundtrack, so I begrudgingly had to narrow this list down to keep it relatively short. The writer/music lover/musical theater geek in me just loves Hamilton and…well, you know I could gush about it all day so I’ll leave it there.
If you’re a fan of Hamilton, what are your favorite songs from the soundtrack? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let me know in the comment section below.
And, as always, happy writing!
Every been watching something – a TV show? a YouTube video? a movie? – and someone mentions a song or a song starts playing that triggers in you a sense of nostalgia and feel-good vibes? And then you’re compelled to stop what you’re doing and go listen to that song, rocking out to it like nobody’s watching? That happened to me yesterday.
It got me to thinking about all these songs awesome old-school songs from the 20th century. I thought, “Hmmm, some of these would make a great playlist to write to.” So today I thought it would be fun if I shared another writing playlist (and of course have a jam session to).
*in no particular order
“My Girl” by The Temptations
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
“Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
“Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder
“I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5
“Fantasy” by Earth, Wind & Fire
“Man In The Mirror” by Michael Jackson
“Greatest Love Of All” by Whitney Houston
“Mr. Wendal” by Arrested Development
“Dancing Queen” by Abba
“Dream On” by Aerosmith
“Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley
“Stand By Me” by Ben E. King
I love each of these songs. If I here them, I can’t help but start singing and dancing – they’re so good!
Of course, this isn’t a complete list but ones I could remember off the top of my head. Earlier this month, I made a post with another writing playlist, which you can check out here.
What are your favorite old-school songs? What songs should I check out? Let me know in the comments below.
And, as always, happy writing!
Music is a great source of inspiration for writing. It can help find the right emotions to illustrate what you’re trying to write about. For me, there are just certain songs that really get my creative juices flowing. Every time I hear these songs I am either jamming out to them and/or a scene plays out in my head as if I’m watching a movie made from my imagination.
Normally when I write I need it to be quiet with no distractions. I wish I could listen to music while writing but it would be slow going and I would lose concentration easily especially if a great song came on.
But these are the songs that would be on my writing playlist (in no particular order):
“Hold Your Dream” – Fame (2009 movie)
“Go The Distance” – Hercules (Michael Bolton version)
“A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri
“Fix You” by Coldplay (Glee cover)
“Keep Holding On” by Avril Lavine (also Glee cover)
“Our Farewell” by Within Temptations
“One Day More” – Les Miserables
“Simple and Clean” by Utada Hikaru (Kingdom Hearts video games)
“History Maker” by Dean Fujioka
“Behind These Hazel Eyes” by Kelly Clarkson
“Hold On” by Extreme Music
“Defying Gravity” – Wicked (Original Broadway Cast version)
“Dancing Queen” by ABBA (Mamma Mia! 2008 movie version)
“Roots Before Branches” by RoomForTwo (Glee cover)
“Let Me Be Your Star” – Smash (TV series)
“Find Your Grail” – Spamalot (Original Broadway Cast version)
“Son of Man” – Tarzan (Disney movie or Broadway versions)
“Two Worlds” – Tarzan (Broadway version)
“It’s Quiet Uptown” – Hamilton: An American Musical
“History Has It’s Eyes On You” – Hamilton: An American Musical
“The Climb” by Miley Cyrus
“Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga
“Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake
“My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)” by Fall Out Boy
“Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons (also Pentatonix/Lindsay Sterling cover)
“Hero” by Pegboard Nerds
These are the songs I could think of off the top of my head that would be on my playlist (there’s more but didn’t want this list to be too long). It’s kind of a random group of songs but they do make me feel creative and pumped to write something.
What songs inspire your writing? Do you listen to music when you write? Let me know in the comment section below.