Which is which? Showtunes with the same names…

I can’t be the only one who’s been confused by different songs with the same names.

In the plethora of shows that make up our beloved Music Theatre canon, it’s not a total shock that songs share names. I do, however, find it kind of funny to put these songs up against each other and hear just how different they truly are.

Here’s a list of a few songs you might have heard of, and some with the same name that you mightn’t have!

“With You” – Ghost; Pippin; Baby

Molly’s in mourning, Pippin’s in love, and Nick and Pam have reconciled after a fight.

“Suppertime” – Little Shop of Horrors; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; As Thousands Cheer

These could not be more different. A man-eating plant, some hungry kids, and a woman whose husband has left her. Common theme? Food. But not much else.

“Without You” – Rent and My Fair Lady

Another lot of polar opposites, Rent’s version is full of longing, whereas Eliza is rather resentful in the My Fair Lady equivalent.

“Santa Fe” – Rent and Newsies

I’ve always wondered why this place is the subject of multiple theatre tunes. There isn’t really a proper explanation either – both the characters in each of these songs are longing to go to Santa Fe. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that it’s because it’s quite far from NYC where, again, both shows are based.

“Maria” – West Side Story; The Sound of Music; You’ll Never Know

Who would have thought Maria was such a popular name? A Puerto Rican living in New York, an Austrian nun, and a sneaky maid… sounds like the start of a joke!

“The Telephone Song” – Cabaret and Miss Saigon 

An oft forgotten track, Cabaret’s “The Telephone Song” was replaced in the revival by “Mein Herr,” an addition written for the film adaptation. The Miss Saigon version is a conversation between protagonist Chris and his friend John at a particularly important part of the show that I won’t spoil.

“The Confrontation” – Les Miserables and Miss Saigon

I guess this one isn’t too surprising, considering they’re both Boublil and Schonberg shows. Maybe they ran out of song title ideas? (Note: not to be confused with “Confrontation,” sans the, from Jekyll and Hyde.)

“Home” – The Wiz, Beauty and the Beast, Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know, 70 Girls 70, The Human Comedy

Who would have guessed that such a common word has so many songs named after it? These all have the same fundamental meaning: the characters all wish for, or are remembering, a home.

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator, and is the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief of AussieTheatre.com. She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *