20 Show Tunes And Their Pop Song Counterparts

Part of Broadway’s appeal to the masses is its ability to cross platforms. For example, show tunes such as “Aquarius” (“Hair”), “Superstar” (Jesus Christ Superstar), and “One Night In Bangkok (“Chess”)” were huge hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Other show tunes, while not released as singles, have their own thematically similar parallels in pop music. Here are twenty of our favorite Broadway-to-Pop counterparts!

1. “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair” (South Pacific) –> “New Rules” (Dua Lipa)

“Waste no time, weep no more
Show him what the door is for
Rub him out of the roll call
And drum him out of your dreams”

“Two: Don’t let him in
You’ll have to kick him out again
Three: Don’t be his friend
You know you’re gonna wake up in his bed in the morning
And if you’re under him, you ain’t gettin’ over him”

2. “Helpless” (Hamilton) –> “Countdown” (Beyonce)

Look into your eyes, and the sky’s the limit I’m helpless!
Down for the count, and I’m drownin’ in ‘em”

“Killing me softly, and I’m still falling.
Still the one I need, I will always be with you.”

3. “Out Tonight” (RENT) –> “Tik Tok” (Kesha)

“Let’s Go Ouuuuuut Tonight
I Have To Go Ouuuuuut Tonight
You Wanna Play?
Let’s Run Away
We Won’t Be Back
Before It’s Christmas day
Take Me Ouuuuuut Tonight (Meow)”

“Tonight, I’m-a fight
Till we see the sunlight
Tick-tock on the clock
But the party don’t stop, no”

4. “Get Out And Stay Out” (9 to 5) –> “Bye Bye Bye” (*NSYNC)

“So get out and stay out, I’ve finally had enough
Don’t kiss me on your way out, it wouldn’t move me much
You used me, abused me, you cheated and you lied
So get out and stay out, I’m taking back my life”

“Don’t want to be a fool for you
Just another player in your game for two
You may hate me but it ain’t no lie
Baby bye bye bye”

5. “I’m Not That Girl” (Wicked) –> “Dancing On My Own” (Robyn)

“Hands touch, eyes meet
Sudden silence, sudden heat
Hearts leap in a giddy whirl
He could be that boy
But I’m not that girl”

“I’m in the corner, watching you kiss her, oh oh oh
I’m right over here, why can’t you see me, oh oh oh
And I’m giving it my all, but I’m not the guy you’re taking home, ooh
I keep dancing on my own”

6. “Tonight” (West Side Story) –> “Teenage Dream” (Katy Perry)

“Tonight, tonight
The world is full of light
With suns and moons all over the place
Tonight, tonight
The world is wild and bright
Going mad
Shooting sparks into space”

“Let’s go all the way tonight
No regrets, just love
We can dance until we die
You and I
We’ll be young forever
You make me feel like I’m living a, teenage, dream
The way you turn me on
I, can’t, sleep
Let’s runaway
And don’t ever look back
Don’t ever look back”

7. “Candy Store” (Heathers) –> “Primadonna” (Marina and the Diamonds)

“Time for you to prove you’re not a loser anymore
Step into my candy store!”

“You say that I’m kinda difficult
But it’s always someone else’s fault
Got you wrapped around my finger, babe
You can count me to misbehave”

8. “Nobody Needs to Know” (The Last Five Years) –> “Burn” (Usher)

“Hold on, clip these wings –
Things get out of hand
All right, it’s over, it’s done –
No one will understand”

“Deep down, you know it’s best for yourself, but you
Hate the thought of her being with someone else
But you know that it’s over, we knew it was through
Let it burn, let it burn, gotta let it burn”

9. “Born to Entertain” (Ruthless!) –> “When I Grow Up” (The Pussycat Dolls)

“Instead of walkin’, I go flappin’
When I tap, I make it happen!
Mom says I have Broadway on the brain!


Don’t get too comfy, in that seat.
When I strut my stuff, you’ll be on your feet!
I was born to sing and dance!”

“When I grow up
I wanna be famous
I wanna be a star
I wanna be in movies
When I grow up
I wanna see the world
Drive nice cars
I wanna have groupies”

10. “Climb Every Mountain” (The Sound of Music) –> “The Climb” (Miley Cyrus)

“Climb every mountain
Ford every stream
Follow every rainbow
‘Till you find your dream”

“Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb”

11. “Bring On the Men” (Jekyll and Hyde) –> “It’s Raining Men” (The Weather Girls)

“So let’s bring on the men
And let the fun begin
A little touch of sin
Why wait another minute?!”

“God bless Mother Nature, she’s a single woman too
She took off to heaven and she did what she had to do
She taught every angel to rearrange the sky
So that each and every woman could find her perfect guy”

12. “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” (The Phantom of the Opera)–> “My Immortal” (Evanescence)

Knowing we must say goodbye
Try to forgive, teach me to live
Give me the strength to try
No more memories, no more silent tears
No more gazing across the wasted years
Help me say goodbye”

“I’ve tried so hard to tell myself that you’re gone
But though you’re still with me
I’ve been alone all along”

13. “Cell Block Tango” (Chicago) –> “Hit Em Up Style” (Blu Cantrell)

“He had it coming
He had it coming
He only had himself to blame
If you’d have been there
If you’d have heard it
I betcha you would have done the same!”

“There go the dreams we used to say
(Oops) There goes the time we spent away
(Oops) There goes the love I had but you cheated on me
And that’s worth that now”

14. “There’s a Fine, Fine Line” (Avenue Q) –> “Too Little, Too Late” (JoJo)

“And I don’t have the time to waste on you anymore.
I don’t think that you even know what you’re looking for.
For my own sanity I’ve got to close the door
And walk away…”

“I can love with all of my heart, baby
I know I have so much to give (I have so much to give)
With a player like you, I don’t have a prayer
That’s no way to live
It’s just too little too late”

15. “Astonishing” (Little Women) –> “Roar” (Katy Perry)

“I will blaze until I find my time and place
I will be fearless,
Surrendering modesty and grace
I will not disappear without a trace
I’ll shout and start a riot
Be anything but quiet”

“I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!”

16. “Say It Somehow” (The Light in the Piazza) –> “Thinking Out Loud” (Ed Sheeran)

“You are good to me
I know the sound
Of touch me
I think I hear the sound of
Wrap your arms around me
Tell me things”

“Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are”

17. “A Call from the Vatican” (Nine) –> “Partition” (Beyonce)

“I’ve got a plan for what I’m gonna do to you
So hot!
You’re gonna steam and scream
And vibrate like a string I’m plucking.
Kiss your fevered little brow”

“Take all of me
I just wanna be the girl you like, girl you like
The kinda girl you like
Is right here with me”

18. “If I Can’t Love Her” (Beauty and the Beast) –> “It Will Rain” (Bruno Mars)

“No pain could be deeper
No life could be cheaper
No point anymore
If I can’t love her
No spirit could win me
No hope left within me
Hope I could have loved her”

“‘Cause there’ll be no sunlight
If I lose you, baby
There’ll be no clear skies
If I lose you, baby
Just like the clouds
My eyes will do the same, if you walk away

Everyday it will rain”

19. “Stars and the Moon” (Songs for a New World) –> “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (U2)

“And you’ll meet stars at the parties I throw at my villas
In nice and Paris in June.
And I woke one day
And I looked around
And I thought, “My God
I’ll never have the moon.”

“I have run I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for”

20. “I Am What I Am” (La Cage Aux Folles) –> “Born This Way” (Lady GaGa)

“It’s one life and there’s no return and no deposit
One life so it’s time to open up your closet
Life’s not worth a damn till you can shout out
I am what I am”

“I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way”

Let us know your favorite Show Tune-to-Pop Song parallel in the comments!

Written by Joseph Kisiday

Joseph Kisiday is a 2016 graduate from Christopher Newport University, majoring in Music Composition. Joseph's love for theatre came at a young age through discovering the musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber, such as "Cats" and "The Phantom of the Opera." When he is not writing, Joseph can be found watching operas or Miyazaki films.

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