Oh, What a Beautiful Partnership! The 50 Greatest R&H Songs
With the just-opened revival of The King and I, the classic songs of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II are home again on Broadway, something that has occurred for countless theater seasons since 1943 with their first collaboration, Oklahoma! While their fruitful songwriting partnership begat 11 complete Broadway musicals, sometimes those shows can fall into a pattern: the dreamy-eyed manly men, the women who put up with them, matriarchs with their big, inspirational solos. However, when you remove the songs from their shows and let them stand alone, their individual brilliance shines. In honor of the masterful musical theater duo, Broadway.com humbly presents our 50 greatest songs, along with iconic performances of each. Listen, debate and enjoy!
50. "Kansas City" from Oklahoma!
In which Will Parker tells of his eye-opening trip featuring cool things like cars, phones and strippers. Performed by Jimmy Johnston.
49. "I Enjoy Being a Girl" from Flower Drum Song
In which Linda Low proves to be the girliest of girls. Performed by Pat Suzuki.
48. "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music
In which Maria Rainer distracts the children from a thunderstorm with yodeling. Performed by Mary Martin & Company.
47. "Grant Avenue" from Flower Drum Song
In which showgirl Linda Low sings about the swingingest San Fran street. Performed by Pat Suzuki.
46. "June is Bustin' Out All Over" from Carousel
In which Nettie Fowler makes the townsfolk hungry for love and clams. Performed by Katherine Hilgenberg & Company
45. "The Gentleman Is a Dope" from Allegro
In which Joe Taylor Jr.'s nurse Emily says she'd take him even though he is. Performed by Lisa Kirk.
44. "Younger Than Springtime" from South Pacific
In which Joe Cable turns into a romantic at the sight of gorgeous Liat. Performed by Matthew Morrison.
43. "Bali Ha'i" from South Pacific
In which Bloody Mary sings the ultimate island-as-metaphor ballad. Performed by Juanita Hall.
42. "Lonely Room" from Oklahoma!
In which Jud Fry talks about where and how he obsesses over Laurey Williams. Performed by Howard Da Silva.
41. "Impossible" from Cinderella
In which the Fairy Godmother dazzles with her bibbidi-bobbidi-boo magic. Performed by Victoria Clark.
40. "Mister Snow" from Carousel
In which Carrie Pipperidge reveals her newfound love of fish. Performed by Sarah Brightman & Barbara Cook.
39. "In My Own Little Corner" from Cinderella
In which Cinderella dreams of a better life in Egypt, Milan, Japan… Anywhere else. Performed by Julie Andrews.
38. "Everybody's Got a Home But Me" from Pipe Dream
In which maybe-hooker Suzy sings of her life on the road. Performed by Laura Osnes.
37. "No Other Love" from Me and Juliet
In which Jeanie, the chorus girl, and Larry, the asst. stage manager, smolder at a rehearsal. Performed by Isabel Bigley & Bill Hayes.
36. "Many a New Day" from Oklahoma!
In which Laurey Williams says there are plenty of other cowboys in the sea besides Curly McLain. Performed by Christine Andreas.
35. "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" from The Sound of Music
In which Rolf passes himself off as an older man Liesl Von Trapp. Performed by Michael Campayno & Ariane Rinehart.
34. "I Am Going to Like It Here" from Flower Drum Song
In which Mei Li immediately feels at home with her new man and city. Performed by Lea Salonga.
33. "The Next Time It Happens" from Pipe Dream
In which scorned lovers Suzy and Doc go their opposite ways with vigor. Performed by Judy Tyler & William Johnson.
32. "A Cockeyed Optimist" from South Pacific
In which Nellie Forbush explains her simple, clear-eyed outlook on life in 100 seconds. Performed by Mary Martin.
31. "Ten Minutes Ago" from Cinderella
In which Cinderella and her prince experience love at first sight. Performed by Santino Fontana & Laura Osnes.
30. "My Lord and Master" from The King and I
In which Tuptim explains that the King will never own her heart. Performed by Lea Salonga.
29. "There is Nothin' Like a Dame" from South Pacific
In which Luther Billis and the sailors need to get laid. Performed by Danny Burstein & Company.
28. "It Might As Well Be Spring" from State Fair
In which Margy Frake needs to get to the fair and fall in love already. Performed by Jeanne Crain.
27. "A Hundred Million Miracles" from Flower Drum Song
In which Mei Li explains her positive outlook on the miracles of life. Performed by Miyoshi Umeki.
26. "So Far" from Allegro
In which Beulah expresses the best attitude ever for a first date. Performed by Gloria Wills.
25. "We Kiss in a Shadow" from The King and I
In which Tuptim and Lun Tha sing of their forbidden love. Performed by Jose Llana & Joohee Choi.
24. "People Will Say We're in Love" from Oklahoma!
In which Laurey Williams and Curly McLain pretend like they don't want each other. Performed by Josefina Gabrielle & Hugh Jackman.
23. "The Sound of Music" from The Sound of Music
In which Maria Rainer sings about and twirls through her beloved mountains. Performed by Connie Fisher.
22. "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top" from Oklahoma!
In which Curly McLain boasts of his fancy ride to Laurie Williams. Performed by Laurence Guittard.
21. "Wonderful Guy" from South Pacific
In which Nellie Forbush rejoices after Emile de Becque agrees to put a ring on it. Performed by Kelli O'Hara.
20. "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?" from Cinderella
In which the Prince and Cinderella fall for each other. Hard. Performed by Santino Fontana & Laura Osnes.
19. "Love, Look Away" from Flower Drum Song
In which Helen Chao's heart breaks over Wang Ta lack of interest in her. Performed by Arabella Hong.
18. "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music
In which Maria Rainer lists a lot of awesome things. Performed by Rebecca Luker & Company.
17. "I Have Dreamed" from The King and I
In which Lun Tha and Tuptim fantasize about their live outside the palace walls. Performed by Larry Douglas & Doretta Morrow.
16. "Getting to Know You" from The King and I
In which Anna Leonowens is adorable with her students and their moms. Performed by Christiane Noll.
15. "Oklahoma!" from Oklahoma!
In which the farmers and the cowmen and their ladies cheer for statehood. Performed by Alfred Drake & Company.
14. "What's the Use of Wond'rin'" from Carousel
In which Julie Jordan tells her lady friends that yes, her feller is bad, but what are you gonna do? Performed by Shirley Jones.
13. "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" from The Sound of Music
In which Mother Abbess inspires Maria Rainer with hiking metaphors. Performed by Audra McDonald.
12. "Hello, Young Lovers" from The King and I
In which Anna Leonowens has an amazing attitude about being a widow. Performed by Julie Andrews.
11. "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music
In which Captain Von Trapp expresses his love of his country by way of it's flower. Performed by Theodore Bikel.
10. "This Nearly Was Mine" from South Pacific
In which Emile de Becque reflects on how close he came to true love. Performed by Paulo Szot.
9. "I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair" from South Pacific
In which Nellie Forbush says she can get over a man in just one shower. Performed by Reba McEntire.
8. "Shall We Dance" from The King and I
In which Anna Leonowens puts her moves on the King. Performed by Gertrude Lawrence & Yul Brenner.
7. "Do-Re-Mi" from The Sound of Music
In which Maria Rainer proves to be the greatest music teacher ever. Performed by Carrie Underwood.
6. "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel
In which Nettie Fowler tells Julie Jordan that things are gonna get better. Performed by Meg Johnson.
5. "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific
In which Emile de Becque sings basically the sexiest song ever to Nellie Forbush. Performed by Ezio Pinza.
4. "Soliloquy" from Carousel
In which Billy Bigelow learns he's going to be a father and tries to figure out WTF to do. Performed by Gordon MacRae.
3. "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" from Oklahoma!
In which Curly McLain is enjoying an awesome day out West. Performed by Hugh Jackman.
2. "Something Wonderful" from The King and I
In which Lady Thiang explains that, although the King is kind of a pill, he says nice stuff, too. Performed by Anita Darian.
1. "If I Loved You" from Carousel
In which Julie Jordan and Billy Bigelow feel the deepest feelings at first meeting. Performed by John Raitt & Eileen Christy.
What do you think are the best Rodgers and Hammerstein songs? Sound off in the comments below—or make your own list!