The start of every new year feels like a clean slate, a time to take control of your life and chase all those dreams that you dare to dream. You’re not alone — plenty of characters from musicals have taken the stage to belt out their greatest desires and inspire themselves to escape their current situations and take action in what’s typically known as the “I want” song.
In honor of 2018, here are 25 “I want” songs to lift your spirits and send you off into the next 12 months:
1. ‘Not For the Life of Me’ from ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’
“Clap-a-your hands, just-a-because don’t you know that where I am ain’t where I was,” Millie sings as she rips up her ticket back to her hometown after landing in New York City in pursuit of a rich husband. This song is all about new starts and not looking into the rearview mirror after making a major decision.
2. ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ from ‘The Wizard of Oz’
Dorothy sings this classic song before she’s blown away from Kansas to Oz.
3. ‘How Far I’ll Go’ from ‘Moana’
Sometimes you’re lucky enough to know what you want from the world, but there’s something standing in your way of having it. Moana sings this song about her yearning for the sea, even after her chief father and the rest of the village prevent her from going after her dream. This is perfect if the voice inside of you sings a different song from what’s expected.
4. ‘Corner of the Sky’ from ‘Pippin’
If your New Year’s resolution was to get a better grasp on who you are and where, exactly, you belong, this song from “Pippin” is perfect.
5. ‘Roxie’ from ‘Chicago’
Okay, so maybe you shouldn’t be aiming to give up your humdrum life in exchange for homicidal infamy this year, but if you’re looking for fame in 2018, this ditty from “Chicago” is a sultry tune to sing along to.
6. ‘Let Me Be Your Star’ from ‘Smash’
Channel your inner Marilyn and leave Norma Jean behind as you become a new you.
7. ‘When Will My Life Begin?’ from ‘Tangled’
You don’t have to be locked in a tower with nothing but your long locks to appreciate wanting to kick-start your life in the new year.
8. ‘Santa Fe (Prologue)’ from ‘Newsies’
In this version of the song, we are first introduced to Jack Kelly’s desire to hit the road and escape to Santa Fe to find a life worth living.
9. ‘Proud of Your Boy’ from ‘Aladdin’
Cut from the movie version of “Aladdin” but included in the musical, this song is great for those who have resolved to make their parents proud in the new year.
10. ‘The Impossible Dream’ from ‘Man of La Mancha’
“This is my quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far,” sings Don Quixote, beautifully capturing what it’s like to chase a dream that seems out of reach.
11. ‘Out There’ from ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’
Sometimes, all you want is one day that is different from the rest, like Quasimodo and his desire to leave his cathedral home.
12. ‘If I Were a Rich Man’ from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’
Dance wackily along with Tevye if you want this new year to be filled with bigger paychecks.
13. ‘Sal Tlay Ka Siti’ from ‘The Book of Mormon’
Sung by Nabulungi, this song represents her longing to escape from her village in Africa to go to Salt Lake City, even if she doesn’t fully understand what that entails.
14. ‘Reflection’ from ‘Mulan’
This song is a great reminder that you can’t sacrifice your individuality in order to please other people.
15. ‘Good Morning, Baltimore’ from ‘Hairspray’
Dance your way around any obstacles that get in your way as you follow your passions.
16. ‘Purpose’ from ‘Avenue Q’
Jam along with Princeton if you’re spending this year wondering what your purpose is.
17. ‘The Wizard and I’ from ‘Wicked’
Listen to this song to remind yourself that your future is unlimited!
18. ‘My Shot’ from ‘Hamilton’
This year, don’t throw away your shot at glory — instead, smash every expectation that comes your way.
19. ‘Skid Row’ from ‘Little Shop of Horrors’
In this song, both Seymour and Audrey sing about how stuck they feel in Skid Row and how badly they want to get out.
20. ‘Belle (Reprise)’ from ‘Beauty and the Beast’
This song is perfect if you’re determined to have more adventures in 2018 in the great wide somewhere.
21. ‘Journey to the Past’ from ‘Anastasia’
Though the placement of this song changes between the original movie and the musical, it still perfectly encapsulates Anastasia’s desire to find her family and finally know where she comes from.
22. ‘Something’s Coming’ from ‘West Side Story’
Tony’s not quite sure what’s around the corner before he meets Maria, but he has a feeling that it will be something good — or even great.
23. ‘I Have Confidence’ from ‘The Sound of Music’
If you’re off to new things this year, take your cue from Maria Von Trapp and have confidence in yourself!
24. ‘Go the Distance’ from ‘Hercules’
When his godlike strength gets him in trouble once again in his hometown, Hercules vows to travel as far as he needs to go to find where he belongs in the world.
25. ‘Part of Your World’ from ‘The Little Mermaid’
In this song, Ariel longs to explore that shore up above after falling in love with Prince Eric, even though her father disapproves.