Top 10 Greatest Pasek and Paul Songs
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Top 10 Greatest Pasek and Paul Songs

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Taryn Crankshaw
These Pasket and Paul songs will be found. Our countdown includes "La La Land," "The Greatest Showman," "Aladdin," and more!
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Top 10 Pasek and Paul Songs


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Pasek and Paul Songs.

For this list, we’ll be looking at musical theater songwriting duo of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s greatest hits.

After you watch the video, be sure to let us know what your favorite song of theirs is!

#10: “Middle of a Moment”
“James and the Giant Peach”


When Pasek and Paul were tasked with crafting music for the Roald Dahl classic “James and the Giant Peach”, they had their work cut out for them. The story about an orphan, who is joined by a group of ragtag insects on a journey aboard an enormous fuzzy fruit that ultimately ends in New York City, requires a great suspension of disbelief. During James' big first act number, he makes a choice to say farewell to his cruel guardian aunts. Not only is the song full of character development, but also sweeping instrumentals that capture the imaginative nature of Dahl’s work. Followed by the equally inspired “Floatin’ Along”, “Middle of a Moment” is one of the most remarkable moments in the show.

#9: “Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun”
“A Christmas Story: The Musical”


Christmas came early in 2012, when this holiday classic got a musical makeover. Following the holiday season through the eyes of a young boy in 1940s Indiana, the show has played Broadway and even Madison Square Garden. Three songs in, “Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun '' is the perfect “I Want Song”. The lyrics convey Ralphie’s desire to obtain the much sought after toy, setting up his objective for the show. Pasek and Paul tap into the nostalgia of the much loved Christmas staple while also capturing its comedy and heart.

#8: “Do You Remember?”
“Peter Pan”


After news of Broadway’s “Finding Neverland” put the kibosh on Pasek and Paul’s “Peter Pan” adaptation, the duo scrapped their concept for a darker version of the beloved story. However, despite the shelving of the project, they kept this hidden gem. “Do You Remember?” is a gorgeous reflection on the adventures of Peter and Wendy. While the song mourns the hardship of leaving childhood, we are mourning what could have become of this adaptation. Here’s hoping with some wishing and a little fairy dust that one day this “Peter Pan” musical will become fully realized.

#7: “In Short”
“Edges”


Before they became Broadway legends in the making, Pasek and Paul were musical theater students with a knack for composing songs. During their college years, they created their first show together, “Edges”. A song cycle, the show encompases the challenges of being an adult, including songs like “Along the Way” and “In Short”. The latter is a hilariously honest account of someone wanting to inflict pain and distress upon their ex-partner. The comedy of the piece balances out the violent lyrics and results in one of the most side-splitting pieces in the Benj and Justin cannon.

#6: “Speechless”
“Aladdin”


After making a big splash with their work on “La La Land”, Pasek and Paul became the go-to songwriters during the latter half of the 2010s. When Disney announced a live action remake of “Aladdin'', Benji and Paul were invited to help craft new songs. Among their contributions is Jasmine’s song, “Speechless”. Without any of her own musical moments in the animated film, Jasmine’s solo was highly anticipated and Pasek and Paul exceeded the hype. The song captures the princess’ unwavering strength and determination. Featuring vocals by Naomi Scott, it’s a powerful moment in the film that gives Jasmine’s character much deserved agency.

#5: “Caught in the Storm”
“Smash”


If there’s one thing that musical theater lovers will never get over, it’s the cancellation of “Smash”. After only two seasons, the Broadway-centered primetime show never got the justice it deserved. Luckily, despite its short run, the series gave fans several new songs, like Pasek and Paul’s “Rewrite This Story” and “Caught In The Storm”. Sung by Jeremy Jordan, the latter song makes its debut as his character, Jimmy Collins, presents the new composition to a room of his peers. Fit for both television and theater, the number is a fan favorite and a memento from a show whose curtain dropped too soon.

#4: “First Date/Last Night”
“Dogfight”


Adapted from the 1991 film of the same name, “Dogfight” was one of Pasek and Paul’s earliest triumphs. The story follows a mean-spirited game where a group of Marines has to bring a date they deem “unattractive” to a party for a prize. Things become complicated for the soldier, Eddie, when begins to fall for one of the girls, Rose. The story is problematic, to say the least. Thankfully, the music allows for insight into the painful toll that the prank has caused. During an awkward date, Rose and Birdlace debate why they bothered to even go through with the night. Their duet is a standout from the musical’s soundtrack, helping launch the careers of Broadway faves Lindsay Mendes and Derek Klena.

#3: “This Is Me”
“The Greatest Showman” (2017)


Everything about “The Greatest Showman” screams spectacle. From the big orchestrations to the stunning set and costume design, the movie musical is a feast for the eyes and ears. Despite its pageantry, the musical also possesses a great deal of heart and depth. In the most emotional moments in the film, Lettie Lutz, played by Keala Settle, leaves jaws hanging with this show-stopping number. After being abandoned by Barnum, Lutz rallies her circus family to stand up and fight back. An anthem of self-love and acceptance, the tune won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song. It’s no surprise considering it’s one of Pasek and Paul’s brightest achievements yet.

#2: “Another Day of Sun”
“La La Land” (2016)


In 2016, “La La Land” burst its way into the history books. The glitzy Damien Chazelle-directed ode to Hollywood, featuring songs by Pasek and Paul, dazzled audiences with its awe-inspiring song and dance sequences. Arguably, the most impressive one happens to be the opening scenet of the film. Transforming an LA freeway into a full blown Hollywood musical, everything about “Another Day of Sun” is applause-worthy. A dizzying tribute to the dreams of show biz, it’s hard to resist smiling along to its cheerful melody. Even though “City of Stars” won the Oscar for Best Original Song, “Sun” is the true winner in our hearts.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Pretty Funny, “Dogfight”
Lindsay Mendez Sings This Heart-Wrenching Song to Close Out the First Act of the Musical

“Sincerely, Me”, “Dear Evan Hansen”
An Uptempo Tune That Demonstrates How Evan Crafts His Big Lie

“Rewrite the Stars”, “The Greatest Showman” (2017)
A Love Song Performed by Zac Efron & Zendaya While Performing an Aerial Routine

“Runnin’ Home to You”, “The Flash” (2014-)
Written for a Musical Crossover Episode of “The Flash” & “Supergirl”

“In the Market for a Miracle”, “A Christmas Story Live!” (2017)
One of Two Songs Written Just for the Live Broadcast Was Sung by Ana Gasteyer

#1: “You Will Be Found”
“Dear Evan Hansen”


Even though “Waving Through A Window” has become one of the most memorable songs in the modern musical theater songbook, Pasek and Paul’s “You Will Be Found” can’t be beat. In addition to featuring the soulful vocals of Ben Platt, it gives each “Dear Evan Hansen” cast member a chance to join in. The emotionally heavy lyrics and the message that no one is “ever alone” make it a song for the digital age, where isolation and distance prevail. Rounding out the first act, it’s the perfect piece to close out the emotionally taxing story by giving both the characters and audience hope. Plus, given the revelations of the second act, Pasek and Paul prove that they’re masters of subtext.
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