Movie Songs

All 9 Songs Ranked From Worst To Best

March 26, 202413 Mins Read


  • The Greatest Showman’s soundtrack eclipses the film itself, gaining popularity through high-profile covers and TikTok.
  • Tightrope is an emotional ballad sung by Michelle Williams, setting up Barnum’s fall and redemption in the film.
  • Come Alive brings life to the circus with its energy, showcasing the misfit troupe’s talents and the excitement of Barnum’s venture.

The Greatest Showman songs remain iconic since its release in 2017. The Greatest Showman sees Hugh Jackman star as entrepreneur P.T. Barnum, and he excels, leading an impressive supporting cast that features the likes of Zendaya, Zac Efron, and Michelle Williams. When the Barnum biopic was first announced, expectations and excitement were modest. However, The Greatest Showman performed strongly at the box office, although the reviews were mixed. In the years since release, though, the movie has only gained in popularity, becoming something of a sensation, especially through TikTok,

While it might have glossed over the less savory elements of Barnum’s life, The Greatest Showman delivered in terms of the sheer spectacle, the uplifting fun, and the music. The lasting popularity of The Greatest Showman‘s soundtrack (by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul) arguably eclipses the film itself, delivering a string of musical theater pop hits covered by high-profile artists and local performing arts groups ad nauseam ever since. Even those who haven’t seen the movie should still have heard at least one of The Greatest Showman songs.

The Greatest Showman Soundtrack

Song Title

Performed By

“The Greatest Show”

Hugh Jackman, Keala Settle, Zac Efron, Zendaya

“A Million Dreams”

Ziv Zaifman, Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams

“A Million Dreams (Reprise)”

Austyn Johnson, Cameron Seely, Hugh Jackman

“Come Alive”

Hugh Jackman, Keala Settle, Daniel Everidge, Zendaya

“The Other Side”

Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron

“Never Enough”

Loren Allred

“This Is Me”

Keala Settle

“Rewrite the Stars”

Zac Efron and Zendaya


Michelle Williams

“Never Enough (Reprise)”

Loren Allred

“From Now On”

Hugh Jackman


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Performed By Michelle Williams

“Tightrope” comes as P.T. Barnum takes off on tour with “Never Enough” singer Jenny Lind as The Greatest Showman enters its third act, leaving behind Charity and the couple’s two daughters for the aristocratic glamour he always aspired for. At times delicate and rousing at others, “Tightrope” is a waltzing, emotional ballad performed by Michelle Williams’ Charity that sets up Barnum’s fall before his inevitable redemption. It accompanies a montage that juxtaposes the past and present of Jackman’s lead, highlighting both how far he’s come and how much he’s strayed from his ideals.

The track may be the least spectacular and memorable, but it is still a feat of composition and is stirringly performed by Williams.

“Tightrope” is Charity reaffirming her love for Barnum and acknowledging the risk she took in choosing a husband with such wild and lofty ambitions. It’s a beautiful song, no question, but “Tightrope” comes during one of The Greatest Showman‘s inevitable lulls in momentum, carrying the story from one phase to the next. Of The Greatest Showman‘s musical offerings, the track may be the least spectacular and memorable, but it is still a feat of composition and is stirringly performed by Williams.

Come Alive

Performed By Hugh Jackman, Keala Settle, Daniel Everidge, Zendaya

“Come Alive” is an upbeat, get-up-and-dance song that begins in an understated fashion before exploding into life, sending Jackman into his full pomp as a performer. While Barnum himself takes point, “Come Alive” brings in the various members of his circus misfit troupe, including Keala Settle’s Bearded Lady and Daniel Everidge’s Lord of Leeds. Relying on heavy percussion, “Come Alive” brings pure, undiluted energy as the circus begins to burst into life, surging in popularity as customers flock to P.T. Barnum’s controversial new attraction in town.


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As a song considered on its own merits, “Come Alive” isn’t as catchy, intricate, or vocally impressive as “Tightrope,” but its placement in The Greatest Showman is far more vital, breathing life into the film at exactly the right moment. The tune is the perfect accompaniment to Barnum busily getting his performers ready for their long-awaited debut – music and visuals coming together to create an inspirational sequence that has the audience genuinely believing in the impossible.

From Now On

Performed By Hugh Jackman

After Jackman’s Barnum goes a little too far and eventually realizes the error of his ways, The Greatest Showman needs an epic song to bring the story to a climax; something that sees circus master P.T. Barnum make amends in typically heartfelt fashion. “From Now On” checks both boxes. A big musical number with country stylings, it begins slowly and gradually builds to a crescendo of acoustic guitars, vocal choruses, and foot-stomping. Jackman is in top form as a man reborn and the song perfectly captures the feelings of joyous reunion and righting wrongs.

The song stands perfectly on its own, even without the emotional weight of an entire film behind it.

The Greatest Showman‘s closing number begins with Barnum, in a bar, making amends with his former employees. However, after an anthemic singalong, he’s sent running home to his family in a tear-jerking moment, leaving the audience unsure whether to punch the air or shed a tear. Whatever the response, “From Now On” leaves cinema-goers with satisfied smiles and, even more impressive, the song stands perfectly on its own, even without the emotional weight of an entire film behind it.

Never Enough

Performed By Loren Allred

The Greatest Showman’s musical centerpiece is “Never Enough,” performed by Rebecca Ferguson’s Jenny Lind (sung by Loren Allred). Coming into P.T. Barnum’s life as an esteemed opera singer, Lind lures Barnum away from his family and circus to enjoy the high life as her tour manager, and “Never Enough” is where that all begins. The scene represents Barnum being enraptured by Lind’s performance, so it should be an extravagant vocal powerhouse guaranteed to capture attention.


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Featuring a big-time chorus that continues to grow, “Never Enough” makes classical music accessible to those who prefer a poppier sound. This is one instance where the movie’s on-screen events take a back seat to the music. Aside from a few telling glances and a complication in the relationship between Phillip and Anne, the focus is firmly on Lind and her voice, as “Never Enough” delivers with power and passion. But with the focus so heavily on the vocals, this isn’t necessarily the most well-rounded track on The Greatest Showman‘s soundtrack.

Loren Allred provides Jenny Lind’s singing voice while Rebecca Ferguson plays the role.

The Greatest Show

Performed By Hugh Jackman, Keala Settle, Zac Efron, Zendaya

Opening in grand fashion, “The Greatest Show” sets out the story of P.T. Barnum from the beginning. In many ways, this opening performance typifies The Greatest Showman‘s hype and popularity, conjuring the excitement and wonder of a circus in musical form. Beginning with Hugh Jackman’s now-iconic whisper intro and Queen-style foot-stomping, “The Greatest Show” takes the audience on a roller-coaster ride of Barnum’s dreams, as he imagines his future as a successful circus ringmaster.

Now instantly recognizable, “The Greatest Show” is a near-faultless choice for a bookend song.

“The Greatest Show” is reprised in the movie’s ending after Barnum returns to the circus he built, bringing his journey to a natural conclusion. The dreams that a young P.T. Barnum once had became reality. As the character realizes what’s truly important in life, he hands the famous hat and cane to Zac Efron’s Phillip, who takes to the stage and symbolically takes Barnum’s role from the opening number. Now instantly recognizable, “The Greatest Show” is a near-faultless choice for a bookend song.

A Million Dreams

Performed By Ziv Zaifman, Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams

“A Million Dreams” remains a deeply underrated The Greatest Showman song. Younger versions of P.T. Barnum and Charity initially deliver the performance. Exploring the couple’s classic “poor boy gets rich girl” backstory, the two youngsters bond throughout the performance, giving the audience a crash course of a love story. Suddenly, the pair are adults, and the performance is taken over by Jackman and Michelle Williams in the present day, dancing on the rooftop of their humble apartment.


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The unrecognizable child actors, and the shift from young to old mean “A Million Dreams,” rarely gets the credit it deserves from a songwriting perspective. The verses simmer with child-like hope and wonder before exploding into a life-affirming chorus. There’s a lull in the middle and “A Million Dreams,” somewhat ironically, doesn’t quite succeed with its ambitious attempt at time-jumping. However, the song’s importance to The Greatest Showman‘s story and ending cannot be overstated. So much character and history is established in those notes and lines.

Rewrite The Stars

Performed By Zac Efron and Zendaya

“Rewrite The Stars” remains an undoubted highlight of The Greatest Showman. The love story between Zac Efron’s Phillip and Zendaya’s Anne is The Greatest Showman‘s most fascinating and emotional subplot, and “Rewrite The Stars” represents the pinnacle of their story, capturing a budding relationship hampered by class and racial divide. “Rewrite The Stars” conveys the pain, drama, and injustice of their separation without straying from the standard format of an accessible musical theater song.

As strong as this song is on its own, the accompanying acrobatic and trapeze dance sequence elevates an already intimate duet to an even higher level.

Making full use of musical dynamics, “Rewrite The Stars” sees Zac Efron harking back to his High School Musical years, while Zendaya’s voice shows she is the real deal as well. The lyrics wear The Greatest Showman’s heart proudly on-sleeve and err just on the right side of corny, but as strong as this song is on its own, the accompanying acrobatic and trapeze dance sequence elevates an already intimate duet to an even higher level.

This Is Me

Performed By Keala Settle

“This Is Me” is The Greatest Showman‘s biggest hit, transcending the limits of a musical soundtrack to become a hit single in its own right, and the song enjoyed significant radio airplay since 2017, largely thanks to an astounding vocal from Keala Settle. Embodying the message of optimism at the heart of The Greatest Showman, “This Is Me” became a rallying cry for the LGBTQIA+ community and anyone unique and different across the world, and provides the defining moment of the entire soundtrack.

Simultaneously defiant and delicate, “This Is Me” is arguably Pasek and Paul’s greatest contribution to the story of P.T. Barnum and the one song audiences were singing upon exiting movie theaters. The image of beating down angry protesters with performing arts is a welcome detachment from reality, but perfectly communicates the sense of camaraderie among Barnum’s troupe through soul and R&B influences.

Perhaps more than any other scene or moment of dialogue in the film, this sequence also establishes the personalities and hopes of the circus characters under Barnum’s employ. From this driving performance onward, the audience is fully on the side of the Bearded Lady and her fellow artists. Were it not for “This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman‘s reviews might have been even more mixed, and the film may not have enjoyed the same mainstream success.

The Other Side

Performed By Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron

Considered purely in terms of song quality, “This Is Me” might narrowly be the greatest number in The Greatest Showman, but when judging the entire performance, the film’s duet between Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron has to take top honors. “The Other Side” sees Barnum attempting to convince wealthy uptown playwright, Phillip, to invest in his circus for a percentage. The first verse is Barnum’s sales pitch, the second Phillip’s rebuttal, and then a third chorus brings the two actors together.


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“The Other Side” is a great song, innovative in concept and free-flowing in its rhythmic structure, but what sets this number apart is the dance routine between Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, and their outrageously talented barman, with all three gliding across the establishment with ease. Jackman is in his element as the extravagant showman and Efron enjoys his best musical turn since High School Musical in this thrilling combination of star-power, slick moves, and storytelling vocals. “The Other Side” gives The Greatest Showman fans something to sing about.

Will There Be A Greatest Showman Sequel?

Hugh Jackman Wants The Greatest Showman 2, But Doesn’t Think It Will Happen

With the widespread success of The Greatest Showman and its hit-packed soundtrack, it’s natural to wonder whether The Greatest Showman 2 is on its way. Unfortunately, it seems that a sequel may not be in the cards. Hugh Jackman has said he’d be willing and eager to make The Greatest Showman 2 if it had a worthwhile story to tell, but the actor is doubtful that it will happen before he’s too old. Here’s what he had to say (via LADbible):

“There’s no script. I don’t know what’s happening with that… But it did take us eight years to get that first movie made, you know, to create and write music and build it. So if there’s going to be a sequel, and I’m not going to be on a Zimmer frame, we better get going.”

With Disney’s acquisition of Fox, The Greatest Showman officially became a Disney property, which could have changed whatever special status it had under Fox. Disney is never one to turn down a good opportunity to draw in viewers (especially with musical numbers). The Greatest Showman 2 would likely be a huge win given the original’s success. That said, with so much on Disney’s plate, a sequel to The Greatest Showman is unlikely to rank high on its priority list.

The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman tells the incredible true story of P.T. Barnum and his famous circus. The film chronicles the rise of Barnum (Hugh Jackman) from a penniless dreamer to a wealthy and well-respected gentleman, establishing his circus with the help of playwright Philip Carlyle (Zac Efron). Telling Barnum’s unbelievable story in a musical format, The Greatest Showman showcases all the highs and lows of the infamous character’s professional life.

Michael Gracey

Release Date
December 20, 2017

20th Century

1h 45m

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