Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: My Top 10 Songs From Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon is full of wonderful music and moving lyrics, but on today's post I will share my absolute favourite songs and try to explain why I like them so much. I didn't put them in order of preference because it would be impossible for me to rank them – they are listed in the order where they appear in the show. Please remember what I said about the questionable language in the Miss Saigon lyrics!

The Movie In My Mind
This song takes place near the beginning of the show at the Dreamland club. Gigi, one of the bar girls, starts to sing about her impossible dream of escaping Vietnam and living the American Dream. Kim joins in, making it a wonderful female duet where Gigi's deep, dark voice contrasts with Kim's bright, youthful one. Female duets are much rarer in musical theatre than the traditional male-female ones, and I tend to like them as a rule.

Why God Why?
Chris has just realized he's in love with Kim and boy does he sing a beautiful song about his overpowering feelings! I chose to present a video with Gareth Gates singing, because I did mention how much I would love him to play Chris' part! I think his voice was made to sing this song. Blogger wouldn't let me put the video in like I did with the other songs, but I'll give you a link:

Why God Why? sung by Gareth Gates

This Money Is Yours
Chris asks Kim to tell him more about herself. While it's terrible to hear what happened to Kim's parents, I like this song because Lea Salonga delivers it with such deep emotion and maturity of voice that it's impossible to believe she is just 17 years old here.

Sun and Moon
This is Kim and Chris' first love duet (yes, they have two of those). I love the imagery in the lyrics, how it compares Kim and Chris' unlikely romance to the sun and the moon meeting in the sky.

Dju Vui Vai
I've cried at every real wedding I've attended, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to cry when I get to see this performance on stage. The girls' chorus is like from another world, and the atmosphere of hope and promise really reaches your heart, which is much more important than having an authority figure to make the marriage official.

The Last Night of the World
Chris and Kim sing another duet after their unofficial wedding, and this is my favourite out of the two. The arrangements for the two voices are wonderful and the melody is so memorable it's constantly playing in head.

The Morning of the Dragon
One of the many ensemble numbers in this musical which correspond to the word EPIC. The Viet-Cong takes over in determined song. The harmonica is quite interesting here, but I actually think it sounds good.

You Will Not Touch Him/Thuy's Death/This Is The Hour

These three are always grouped a little differently depending on which album they're in – sometimes This Is The Hour is a separate track, sometimes it's put together with Thuy's Death and isn't mentioned by name at all. Anyway, they happen one right after the other, I think they're all great and clumping them all together means I've got more room in my Top 10 list, so they're going to be one item in this list. The story gets to one of its highest points here when Kim shows that she really will do anything to protect her little boy when Thuy comes back and threatens him. After this comes This Is The Hour, another ensemble number that sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it, and features what I think are honestly the best harmonies in the universe of musical theatre. Yes, I'm really going to make such a huge statement!

The ensemble sings again, led by John. John has become such a different person than what he was in Act I – in a positive sense! Once again, I love the melody and the harmonies...

Now That I've Seen Her
This is Ellen's solo which will no longer be heard in the revival. Ellen gets a lot of dirty looks from fans because of how they interpret these lyrics, but like I stated in my earlier post, I can't see what there is to hate about her. She has to go through a lot emotionally, suddenly hearing that her husband basically has another family in Vietnam!


  1. I was very surprised and pleased to find out how many of these songs I already knew! And the songs that I hadn't heard before I now love. My favourite is probably still Bui Doi though. If I could make any changes to the Les Mis musical I'd like Enjolras to get a similar song to this when the students are at the Barricades. And I had no idea that Lea Salonga was only 17 when she did Miss Saigon! That's incredible!

  2. Lea Salonga has such a GORGEOUS voice. I'm not very well acquainted with this musical as yet but I hope to return to your posts later and dig a little deeper into what looks like a beautiful (though sad) story!