Heartbreaking Love Musical Songs

The musical emotions of love and heartbreak work nicely together. Both translate beautifully. There are musical songs that are heartbreaking love songs. Below I will talk about some heartbreaking love songs.

Possible Spoilers:

I’m Not That Girl- this song started out as sad. I was only in middle school when I first realized the song was sad. By high school, I definitely understood this song was part of a love triangle. I was 100% blind to heartbreak growing up. I honesty did not understand unrequited love in those days. The song, “On My Own”, is a huge reason why I discovered this song was heartbreaking and memorizing the lyrics helped as well. This song doesn’t have room to be fully heartbreaking because literally just moments before Elphaba sang this song, she just found out she loves Fiyero so in many ways this song is moderately heartbreaking.

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On My Own- this song is even more heartbreaking than I’m Not That Girl. While both are unrequited love songs, there are obvious differences due to how different Elphaba and Eponine are as characters. Eponine’s story revolves around unrequited love so you know how it affects her unlike Elphaba. Marius is the only person who treats her kindly and that is why she loves him. This song shows just how strong Eponine is and this song is even more powerful and more heartbreaking than “I’m Not That Girl”

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This Nearly Was Mine- while this song is not dealing with unrequited love, there are still some similarities. This is sung in South Pacific by Emelie. Nellie has left him due to the race of his children’s mother. So this sung is dealing with a breakup, which has similar emotions in my opinion with unrequited love.

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Somewhere- this is the last love song in West Side Story. As the love songs go on in this musical, the songs just get sadder and sadder. This song happens right after the rumble takes place and that is when the first traces of tragedy show up. It is so close to the tragic end of this modern Romeo and Juliet tale.

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If I Can’t Love Her/Evermore-I put these two songs together because they are both sung by beast. They both are similar to each other in emotion. Beast has realized that he loves Belle, but doesn’t know if she will ever love him. He cannot be turned back into his human form until he loves someone and he is loved back.

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As Long As He Needs Me- I actually did see Oliver in middle school, but do not remember seeing it. The only knowledge I really have belong to the book and the 2005 movie. So it is interesting how I seem to know that this song is a heartbreaking love song, but the same could be said for “If I Can’t Love Her”. But by knowing who Nancy is in the book and that movie, I know this song is heartbreaking. Nancy loves Bill Sikes even though he is abusive towards her, but she will always love him as long as he needs her even though the situation is dangerous

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In many ways heartbreak and love really fit nicely together. Even though I heard “If I Can’t Love Her” before “I’m Not That Girl”, “I’m Not That Girl” was really the start to sad love songs. That was because Wicked was the musical where I began to understand the negative emotions and Wicked is the best way I can even remember what the negative emotions were like in my younger years.

However “On My Own” started telling me more about sad love songs. I began to understand that sad love songs are actually heartbreaking. If it wasn’t for “On My Own”, I still would be interpreting sad love songs the same way as  I used to call “I’m Not That Girl”. Calling a song heartbreaking is even more devastating than calling a song sad. Due to that, a heartbreaking love song has more fragility and vulnerability. I cannot think of a single sad love song that is not heartbreaking.

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Author: mphadventuregirl

I am a strong spiritual person who is a big fan of musicals. This blog deals with spirituality and musicals. I am finding that by writing about these, I am realizing I know more about each of them then I think I do. I hope you find my blog inspiring!

11 thoughts on “Heartbreaking Love Musical Songs”

  1. The first heartbreaking love song that I ever came across in musicals was “As Long as He Needs Me” but it wasn’t really until “I’m Not That Girl” and eventually “On My Own” came along that I truly realized how heartbreaking it is. It’s amazing how well the emotion of heartbreak translates to song!

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    1. I first heard “If I Can’t Love Her” in elementary school due to seeing Beauty and the Beast in those days live, but doesn’t really count. I have no recollection of seeing that show live and don’t even own the soundtrack.

      So the first heartbreaking love song that I actually connected to was “I’m Not That Girl”, which I originally interpreted as just a sad song. I honestly knew it involved a love triangle. But never knew about heartbreak: just was 100% blind to that emotion.

      So it really was “On My Own” that introduced me to the idea of sad love songs being heartbreaking. I first heard the song in 2012, but doesn’t count until 2013 since I don’t remember hearing the song the first time I saw the movie. To be honest, when I first fell in love with Eponine and On My Own, I knew the song was sad, but it took at least a year until I knew the song was heartbreaking.

      But On My Own helped me a lot when it comes to heartbreaking love songs. It made me realize I’m Not That Girl is heartbreaking. Two unrequited love songs, but by understanding the differences between Elphaba and Eponine, I understand the difference between the two songs.

      On My Own played a big role in other heartbreaking love songs. Heartbreaking love songs tend to portray similar emotions even though the situations are always different due to difference in characters

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      1. On My Own really helped me to figure out unrequited love songs as well. It’s kinda funny because I went from As Long as He Needs Me (a pretty subtle song) to I’m Not that Girl (still slightly subtle but more outright) and then to On My Own which was pretty clearly about unrequited love and from there slowly started to understand those songs better. I think that If I Can’t Love Her is one of my favorite heartbreaking love songs. I love the transition from If I Can’t Love Her in the original song to If She Can’t Love Me in the reprise. It really just shows how much development the Beast undergoes

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      2. There are many reasons why it took me until “On My Own” to understand unrequited love in the first place.

        If you think about it, I was only 12 when I first heard “I’m Not That Girl.” From that age all the way to Les Mis, I was 100% blind to heartbreak. By high school, I defiantly knew “I’m Not That Girl” dealt with a love triangle. Then Elphaba’s story doesn’t revolve around unrequited love.

        Then there is “On My Own”. It is from the musical where I first discovered heartbreak. When I first realized I fell in love with “On My Own” and Eponine, I did not realize the song was heartbreaking. Even though I knew it was about unrequited love, I didn’t know the song was heartbreaking. I honestly had to know Eponine more and more until I figured that out. Unlike Elphaba, Eponine’s story revolves around unrequited love, which is why “On My Own” is stronger and even more powerful

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      3. Yeah, I’d definitely agree! Éponine’s relevancy to the 1832 part of the story hinges on that unrequited love for Marius which brings her to help him find Cosette for him and later sacrifice her life for his.

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      4. In many ways, I’m Not That Girl really shows just how far the negative emotions have gone. From being just a sad song to being a heartbreaking song sure says a lot. Good thing On My Own helped me figure that song out because it gave me a bigger appreciation of I’m Not That Girl

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      5. The reason why I said “I’m Not That Girl” really shows just how far the negative emotions have come is due to when I first fell in love with Wicked. Starting at age 12, that song was just a sad song and slowly developed into a heartbreaking song

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