As we move towards International Women’s Day (March 8th….note it down folks!), we’re taking a look at the work of some incredible women who broke through the male-dominated world of musical theatre writing. So get ready to delve deep into these brilliant songs written by women for women.

1. “She Used to Be Mine” from Waitress (music & lyrics by Sara Bareilles)

A beautiful and emotional tug at the heart strings – check out Jessie Mueller and Sara Bareilles’ stunning performance at the 70th Tony Awards.

2. “Me and the Sky” from Come From Away ( music & lyrics by Irene Sankoff*)

Come From Away was Tony-nominated for Best Original Score and this song perfectly showcases the musical’s carefully crafted music and lyrics.

3. “So Much Better” from Legally Blonde ( music & lyrics by Nell Benjamin*)

A triumphant song that celebrates success in the face of adversity. And it’s pretty fun too!

Legally Blonde the Musical. Photo credit Eva Rinaldi.

4. “Let It Go” from Frozen (Kristen Anderson-Lopez*)

I know, I know, we’ve all heard it a billion times. BUT that doesn’t stop “Let It Go” being the perfect example of female empowerment!

5. “Sun’s Gonna Shine” from Bright Star (Edie Brickell*)

A beautiful bluegrass number full of yearning and hope.

6. “The Bus From Amarillo” from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (music & lyrics by Carol Hall)

A powerful alto ballad that asks the question: “What if?”

7. “Backwoods Barbie” from 9 to 5 (music & lyrics by Dolly Parton)

A determined reminder that there is much more to a woman than her appearance. (Yes Dolly!)

8. “The History of Wrong Guys” from Kinky Boots (music & lyrics by Cyndi Lauper)

A funky little number about having a crush on the wrong guy…doh!

9. “Shy” from Once Upon a Mattress (music by Mary Rodgers)

A fun “I Am” song, first performed by Carole Burnett in her Broadway debut in 1959.

10. “It’s a Perfect Relationship” from Bells are Ringing (lyrics by Betty Comden*)

Another fun song about the perils of unrequited love!

* denotes that the score had additional writing team partners.

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