If you’re just joining us, we’re in the middle of our blog series on great contemporary songs by genre. Check out our previous posts on Story Songs, Dramatic Up-Tempos, Dramatic Ballads, Comedic Up-Tempos for Women, and Comedic Ballads for Women, by clicking on the corresponding links. Today we’re featuring five Comedic Ballads for Men.
Writing a good comedy song is tough. Good comedy has to build on itself, be character driven, with music that doesn’t get in the way of the lyrics. We are so happy to report that we have lots of great comedic options on our site.
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So, here are five great examples of comedic ballads for men:
Mr. Potato Head
Music & Lyrics by: Barry Wyner
Performed by: Noah Weisberg
From Calvin Berger, Barry Wyner’s adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, comes this poignant song sung by the show’s title character. Calvin wishes he could replace his facial features as easily as Mr. Potato Head so he could remove his big nose and make Rosanna fall in love with him instead of helping her fall in love with his friend, Matt. With funny rhymes like “You beautiful yam /How jealous I am” and “Why can’t other creatures / change their facial features? / I really covet what you do / I wish that I could do it too” the song is both funny and heartbreaking. A great song for a young baritone, it also has a lovely lyric line. So if you use this song for an audition you can show off your legit singing, AND your strength as both a comic and dramatic actor. Win. Win WIN!
She Doesn’t Go Fer Me
Music & Lyrics by: Jeff Ward
Performed by: Jay Freeman
In Jeff Ward’s show Intervention!, Rodgers and Hammerstein are battling during the New Haven tryout of Oklahoma! Hammerstein wants to cut “She Doesn’t Go Fer Me,” a Jud Fry song that he says weakens the plot. Rodgers vehemently disagrees. The two watch from the wings as “Jud” performs the contentious song in question. The song has a Golden Age feel and is written for a real baritone. And it’s funny! Which makes it a great addition to any baritone’s book.
Music & Lyrics by: Michael Wartofsky
From The Man in My Head, by Michael Wartofsky, a one-man musical in which Drew Durango careens from one romantic entanglement to the next, eventually eschewing perfection for connection. I love the confusion suggested by the musical accompaniment juxtaposed with the song’s jazzy melodic line. It underscores that this is a guy who isn’t quite sure what he wants. For a tenor who isn’t afraid of belting a high B flat, this is a great showpiece of a song.
Music by: David Sisco
Lyrics by: Tom Gualtieri
Performed by: Tom Gualtieri
Falling to Earth is a re-telling of the Pygmalion myth, set in ancient Cyprus, but filtered through a skewed, contemporary lens. Paphos, Pygmalion’s best friend, sings this song to persuade Venus not to harm Pygmalion. Written for a lyric tenor, it’s funny and sweet (and a little naughty!) with witty rhymes and a wistful melody. A real love song, he really is willing to do ANYTHING for her.
Music by: Michael Kooman
Lyrics by: Christopher Dimond
performed by: Anderson Davis
There aren’t a lot of music theatre songs about stalkers so the writing team of Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond thought that was a topic ripe with comic possibilities! This is a man who will go to any lengths for his love. Note they way they build the comedy by reusing the phrase “If it’s a crime to (insert really crazy behavior here), then I guess I am guilty of loving you to excess.” There’s a fine line between being creepy and funny and this song, but for the singer who can pull it off, there’s a great comedic payoff.
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