Hello, I’m Leah G. Alfonso. I write so that I may speak.
Seeing as this is still the Month of Music, I’m continuing by counting down the top 12 fun songs. These songs are fun to sing, fun to listen to, all that jazz.
#12: King of New York from Newsies
I haven’t seen the Broadway musical yet, so I’m using the version from the movie. In this sequence, the Newsies celebrate getting mentioned in the local newspaper. It’s catchy, it’s fun, and the dancing is cool too…even if it wasn’t featured in the right medium.
#11: Step in Time from Mary Poppins
This number is a ton of fun to watch, and Dick Van Dyke showcases his dancing with perfection. The best way I can describe “Step in Time” is like an entire chorus of dancing chimney sweeps reaching Nirvana. I also like how it fades out in the end, like we were dancing along the whole time and it’s giving us a few moments to catch our breath before progressing into the next scene.
#10: Mahna Mahna from The Muppet Show
I haven’t met a Muppet fan yet who wouldn’t finish the song upon hearing the title. It’s so catchy that it’s right on par with “It’s a Small World” without being irritating. I also love how the…lead singer?…is trying to add verses after each chorus, and his two backups are like “what the heck is he doing?” Plus, the end with the phone call cracks me up every time I watch it.
#9: In Summer from Frozen
When I saw Frozen for the first time, I expected Olaf to be nothing short of 100% annoying. Thankfully, he was only 15% annoying. Olaf had a lot of funny moments, and “In Summer” was one of them. I’m a sucker for irony, and the lyrics are filled to the brim with levels upon levels of it. I also love how at the end we see Anna and Kristoff just watching him fantasize about summer. On top of that, it’s a catchy little tune that might get stuck in your head…until you hear the next number on the list.
#8: Phantom of the Opera from Phantom of the Opera
While I don’t think that Gerard Butler was the right choice for the phantom in the 2005 movie, his singing is impressive. The same goes for Emmy Rossum. In addition to the vocals, the instrumentals are good too, adding to the creepy atmosphere of the scene.
#7: In Constant Sorrow from O Brother Where Art Thou?
There’s not much I can say about it because the song speaks for itself. In fact, I’m surprised that you wouldn’t hear cafés playing it in the background. It has a great beat, the instrumentals are simple yet brilliant, and I bet it’s as fun to sing as it is to listen to. Whether you like country music or not, you can’t deny that this song earned a spot on the list.
#6: Tall Ships by Ron Goodwin
A taste of adventures fill the air as you listen to this classical song. Doesn’t it make you feel like you’re sailing on the high seas, looking for adventure? Every time I hear the opening sequence, I keep imagining a pirate captain standing on the bow of his ship, anticipating the upcoming shenanigans of his crew. The song tells a story on its own, and that’s what great classical music does.
#5: Friends on the Other Side from Disney’s Princess and the Frog
I think Randy Newman’s music is boring. There, I said it. We have the Toy Story theme, but aside from that, I don’t remember anything else he’s written. So when I heard this song for the first time, I was a little surprised to hear that Randy Newman wrote it, because—like any other song on this list—it’s fun to listen to. It’s catchy, Keith David provides the right vocals, the animation is creative, and it tells the next part of the story, which is what music numbers in a movie are supposed to do. I’ll admit, I thought it was a big risk for Disney to include voodoo magic in one of its animated movies. I didn’t think “Friends on the Other Side” went too far with it, though. There’s always a catch when you strike a deal with the devil, so be careful in how you pursue what you want. That’s a rare message, and I thought this song demonstrated it perfectly.
#4: This is Halloween from Nightmare Before Christmas
Easily the most memorable song in the whole movie. I especially love the first few seconds before the vocals kick in. It’s like the symphonic way of saying “You are in the wrong place at the wrong time. As punishment, allow me to introduce you to your worst nightmare.” On top of that, the rest of the song has the same creepy environment that you would expect Halloween to have. It’s a creative way to introduce the story as well as the characters.
#3: Popular from Wicked
In addition to busting a few dozen guts, it’s also a song that shows Glinda’s character the best. She’s clueless and ditzy, but she is caring and she tries to be helpful. On top of that, I love how Elphaba is watching Glinda, both bewildered beyond belief and trying not to laugh. The whole soundtrack from Wicked is great, but if I had to pick a song that’s the most fun to listen to, it’d be this one.
#2: Pirates of the Caribbean Theme from Pirates of the Caribbean
It’s almost pointless to talk about this movie theme because it’s so well known. Though the franchise has many flaws, I think we can all agree that the music isn’t one of them. If it doesn’t make you want to do acrobatics, it gets you excited for pirates and swashbuckling adventures. And again, I think the music speaks for itself.
#1: Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin
The first time I heard this song was when I saw Fantasia 2000, so every time I hear it, I think of the cartoon from the film (before you ask, I couldn’t find a link to the cartoon). “Rhapsody in Blue” provides the perfect ambiance for a day in the big city. As far as Fantasia 2000 goes, it has everything a kid wants in the story. It has touching moments, funny moments, all that jazz…no pun intended. My favorite part is about eight minutes into the song, when the music swells in and out and sends chills down the spine. I also had the opportunity to play an excerpt of it with my band class at our last band concert, and the experience was incredible. It’s fun to listen to, it’s fun to talk about, and it fills you with everything that’s good, hence the number one placement on this list.
So that’s my top 12 fun music. Until next time, this is Leah G. Alfonso saying “So long.”