While the characters throughout the musical theatre canon vary, most of them share a sense of drive and ambition usually articulated in the classic “I Want” song. The term is thought to have been coined by Lehman Engel, founder of the BMI Workshop for musical theatre composers, librettists, and lyricists. These songs are more than just inspiring musical numbers—in many cases, they launch the journey of a play, allowing the audience to get an inside look at force driving a character's action. They express a dissatisfaction or a dream of the character that propels them through the musical.
From staples like Hamilton's “My Shot” to The Lion King’s “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” and Wicked’s “The Wizard and I,” stay motivated with these 33 tunes and be sure to share your favorite “I Want” songs.