The Greatest Showman first premiered in late 2016, and it's based on the true story of Phineas "PT" Barnum, the man who opened a museum turned circus in the nineteenth century. Although reviews from critics were mixed, the film quickly became the fifth highest-grossing live-action musical of all time.
One thing that makes The Greatest Showman such a great movie is the original songs sung by the stars. The tunes are filled with inspiring and empowering words as well as catchy melodies and harmonies. Here are the best lyrics from each song on the soundtrack:
10 "We Light It Up, We Won't Come Down, And The Sun Can't Stop Us Now."
The movie opens in the middle of the story with a powerful number entitled, "The Greatest Show." This song is about going to the circus as the anticipation builds to see all of the performers. The music gets the at-home audience excited for the movie to begin, and the audience of the circus gets just as psyched to be at the circus.
This particular lyric sets the stage for the rest of the movie because even though Phineas comes across several obstacles, he does not let them stop him from achieving his dreams.
9 "Every Night I Lie In Bed, The Brightest Colors Fill My Head; A Million Dreams Are Keeping Me Awake."
The real story of the film begins when Phineas is just a child, and he and a young girl named Charity have sneaked out to be together, although Charity's father disapproves of their friendship.
Charity announces that she has to go to finishing school, and she is unsure about what will become of her future. Phineas sings the song, "A Million Dreams," to her as they go off exploring. Even though Phineas is poor and Charity is about to start something new, Phineas still has hope and dreams for the future.
8 "'Cause You're Just A Dead Man Walking, Thinking That's You're Only Option, But You Can Flip The Switch And Brighten Up Your Darkest Day."
Phineas has begun to gather people for his circus, and he has chosen people who are unusual in one way or another, whether it be that they are very tall, very short, very heavy, or something else. A lot of these people, including Lettie, a woman with a beard, have spent their lives hiding in shame of who they are.
In "Come Alive," Phineas tries to convince everyone that they don't have to live life feeling alone and depressed. They can make something of themselves by joining his circus and letting their uniqueness shine.
7 "Forget The Cage 'Cause We Know How To Make The Key."
Phineas is getting his show off the ground, and things are going well so far. However, what he feels he needs next is a business partner. He turns to a young man named Phillip in the hopes that he will want to join the circus life.
Phillip insists that he is fine with the way his life is now, but Phineas tries to convince him that he doesn't have to stay stuck where he is in the song, "The Other Side." Phillip eventually agrees to join, and the two go off to build their fame and fortune.
6 "All The Shine Of A Thousand Spotlights, All The Stars We Steal From The Night Sky Will Never Be Enough."
While Phineas' show is going very well, he wants more. He soon meets a singer from Sweden named Jenny, who has a beautiful voice, and he decides that he wants to take her to the states to make her famous there.
In her first performance, she sings, "Never Enough." This song is extremely symbolic in the film, and it mirrors the way that Phineas keeps wanting more and more. He gets the girl of his dreams, the family he wanted, a successful circus, and he still is not satisfied, going after the next big thing, in this case, Jenny.
5 "I'm Not Scared To Be Seen, I Make No Apologies; This Is Me."
"This is Me" is a song by Lettie the bearded lady and the rest of the circus performers after they get turned away from a fancy party due to their differences. After being made to feel ashamed of who they are their entire lives, they decide that enough is enough.
The group of performers burst into the party and later face a mob of angry protesters. They realize that they don't need to feel bad, and they don't need to be sorry just for existing. They are strong and powerful just as they are, even if they've been through some hardships and are a little different than everyone else.
4 "Another Round Of Bullets Hits My Skin. Well, Fire Away 'Cause Today I Won't Let The Shame Sink In."
"This is Me," is such a powerful song that it deserves two spots on the Best Lyrics list! The song has become the anthem of the film, and many people have taken it to heart as a motto and words to live by when they are feeling down about themselves or their life situation.
It has been particularly popular with members of the LGBT+ community and those with physical differences like the characters in the film, but anyone can find inspiration in the words of the song.
3 "It's Up To You, And It's Up To Me; No One Can Say What We Get To Be."
Phillip is in love with a young trapeze artist named Anne, but she insists that they can't be together. Phillip is a white man living an upper-class life in full view of society while Anne is a woman of color slumming it with the "freaks" of town in the circus.
Interracial relationships are very taboo at this time, and Anne knows this. Phillip, on the other hand, does not care, and together they sing, "Rewrite the Stars," a song about how they could be in charge of their own destiny and do what they want rather than what others say they should do.
2 "Never Know How Far We Could Fall, But It's All An Adventure That Comes With A Breathtaking View."
Phineas is enjoying his new fame and fortune, but as he becomes obsessed with Jenny and making her a star, his wife Charity and his two daughters get left behind, especially when Jenny kisses Phineas on stage.
Charity sings, "Tightrope," about how she has always been willing to follow where Phineas leads her, even if that means living a life of uncertainty and taking risks. She's unsure of whether or not Phineas is still there for her, but she knows this is the life she agreed to, although it may not be going as she'd hoped.
1 "From Now On, These Eyes Will Not Be Blinded By The Lights."
Phineas is met with a rather rude wake-up call when the circus building catches on fire, ruining what he has worked so hard for. Everyone gets out okay, but Phillip is injured.
Phineas isn't sure what to do next, but he realizes that he needs to be different than the man he had become as he sings, "From Now On." He remembers that he originally had all these big plans for not just himself but for his wife and their life together, and he vows to be a changed man.
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