Musical Song Lists

49 “I Want” Songs To Bring Out Your Inner Dreamer

Usually the second or third number in a show, the “I Want” song helps establish a character’s dreams, goals, or desires. And often times, it hints at the plot to come. These “I Want” songs are usually sung by the protagonist, but sometimes they are sung by supporting character, and sometimes they’re even sung by the antagonist. Here’s a list of our favorites!

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Disneyland” – Smile

Funny” – My Favorite Year

Live Out Loud” – A Little Princess

One Perfect Moment” – Bring It On

Right Hand Man” – Something Rotten!

Superhero Girl” – Starmites

Waiting for Life” – Once on This Island


Dust and Ashes” – The Great Comet

Grow for Me” – Little Shop of Horrors

If I Only Had a Heart” – The Wizard of Oz

If I Were a Rich Man” – Fiddler on the Roof

Purpose” – Avenue Q

Santa Fe” – Newsies

Who I’d Be” – Shrek


Be Prepared” – The Lion King

Half As Big As Life” – Promises, Promises

I Wanna Make the World Laugh” – Mack & Mabel

I Want to Go Home” – Big

In My Own Lifetime” – The Rothschilds

Waitin’ For The Light to Shine” – Big River

When the Children Are Asleep” – Carousel


Before I Kiss the World Goodbye” – Jennie

Buenos Aires” – Evita

I Want the Good Times Back” – The Little Mermaid

I Want to Go to Hollywood” – Grand Hotel

It’s Not About Me” – The Prom

King of the World” – Songs for a New World

Woman” – The Pirate Queen

Psst… Here’s where you can find out your vocal type!


Lady’s Maid” – Titanic

My Grand Plan” – The Lightning Thief

No One Else” – Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

On My Way” – Violet

Out Tonight” – Rent

Part of Your World” – The Little Mermaid

The Movie in My Mind” – Miss Saigon


Colored Woman” – Memphis

Green Finch and Linnet Bird” – Sweeney Todd

In My Own Little Corner” – Cinderella

Love, Don’t Turn Away” – 110 in the Shade

Nightlife” – All American

Waitin’ for My Dearie” – Brigadoon

Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” – My Fair Lady


Corner of the Sky” – Pippin

I Want to Make Magic” – Fame

One Song Glory” – Rent

Someone Is Waiting” – Company

The Wall in My Head” – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Where I Want to Be” – Chess

Why God Why?” – Miss Saigon


Castle on a Cloud” – Les Misérables

I Want to Know” – Big

Maybe” – Annie

One Pal” – Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical

Up on the Fridge” – Dear Edwina

When I Get My Name in Lights” – The Boy From Oz

Where Is Love?” – Oliver!

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Do you know of any other great “I Want” songs?

And which of the above “I Want” songs are your favorite? We would love to hear all about it in the comments below!

Stacy Karyn, Author of I Want Songs.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She holds a BA in theatre, a TESOL drama certificate, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


4 thoughts on “49 “I Want” Songs To Bring Out Your Inner Dreamer

  • One “I Want” song that is glaringly omitted is “Somewhere That’s Green” from Little Shop of Horrors.

  • I think that you could put Valjean’s soliloquy from Les Mis on the list for tenors as well as On top of the world from Disney’s The hunchback och Notre Dame. They really tell the purposes of the actions taken by the characters.

    • Hi Kristian!! Thanks for the suggestions. I especially love that you pointed out Valjean’s Soliloquy. What a powerful example of an “I Want” Song!!

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