Guide to the songs of Barry Manilow’s ‘Harmony’ on Broadway

Manilow may be best known for pop hits like "Copacabana," but he composed entirely original songs for this musical about a singing group lost to history.

Joe Dziemianowicz
Joe Dziemianowicz

During his long and illustrious career, Barry Manilow has famously sung about writing “songs that make the whole world sing.” For his new Broadway musical, Harmony, he composed 20 original numbers to make the story sing.

And what a story. Based on true events, the show dramatizes the lives and times of the Comedian Harmonists, a group of six performers who became “the toast of Europe,” according to a footnote in the script by book writer and lyricist Bruce Sussman. The rise of the Third Reich changed everything.

Songs in the show, which had Broadway in its sights for more than 25 years, express every emotion under the stars. A canopy of light where one can find hope is where this musical journey ends. Learn more about the show and Manilow's songs, then get tickets to hear them live.

What is Harmony about?

The Harmony musical tells the story of the Comedian Harmonists, a German sextet who seamlessly blended voices and performed onstage antics, inspiring their name. The Harmonists ascended to stardom in 1920s and '30s, but when the Nazis seized power, this group of Jewish and non-Jewish men disbanded and fell into obscurity. Harmony sees the last surviving member — and with him, the audience — revisit this long-lost story.

Is Barry Manilow’s pop music in Harmony?

Manilow is a Grammy-winner singer and songwriter whose career spans seven decades. “Looks Like We Made It,” “Even Now,” and “Copacabana (At the Copa)” are just a few of his hits. They tell evocative stories and are catchy and hummable, but none of them are in Harmony, and Manilow doesn't perform in the show, either.

Harmony isn’t a jukebox musical; the score doesn’t borrow from Manilow’s pop catalog. It features original songs by Manilow and Bruce Sussman, who wrote the lyrics and the show’s book.

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About the songs in Harmony

The music helps tell the story unfolding on stage and add shading to characters. Songs performed by the Comedian Harmonists capture the period stylings of the time. Learn more about some of the standout songs in Harmony below.

“Harmony”

The show’s catchy title song is an extended opening number that establishes the group and the musical’s main theme. “Where you find you’re in harmony, you find shelter in a storm.” This lyric is foreshadowing: the political tempest that's brewing proves catastrophic when it arrives.

“Every Single Day”

Manilow’s pop ballads, such as “Even Now,” often tip toward sobering, drama-drenched storytelling. Manilow evokes that tone in this moody showtune a member of the Comedian Harmonists sings to his soon-to-be fiancée. It speaks about the permanence of one’s decisions: "Every single day, we'll remember what we do today [...] Was that the bridge we should've crossed, the one we burned?"

“How Can I Serve You, Madam?”

When the Comedian Harmonists perform, Manilow’s music approximates the style that the group would have sung in the 1930s. This jaunty tune, which the group delivers in waiter uniforms and underwear, is broadly comic, with its many double entendres played for laughs.

“Come to the Fatherland!”

The Comedian Harmonists perform this number amid the rise of the Third Reich. It's a parody of a tourism advertisement for Germany, but the song oozes anger as the six singers morph into marionettes. "Come to the fatherland if you're a little squirt!" they sing. "You don't have to be dumb to give up your freedom, but it shouldn't hurt."

The New York Theatre Guide review of Harmony describes "Come to the Fatherland!" as a “scathing satirical number the Harmonists perform in Copenhagen to eviscerate the Nazi cultural agenda.”

“We’re Goin’ Loco!”

This one’s for the Fanilows! There’s a lot going on in this lively Act 2 opener, a kindred spirit to “Copacabana (At the Copa)” in tempo and tenor. “We’re Goin’ Loco!” is the kind of song the Comedian Harmonists would’ve performed alongside the likes of Josephine Baker if they stayed in New York, rather than returning to Berlin, as Nazism rose. But they went back, so the whole number is an illusion.

“Where You Go”

Sung by the wives of two Comedian Harmonists, the song deepens the roiling dramas surrounding both couples. “Where you go, I will go,” one wife sings. “Where you walk, I will follow.” The melody remains the same, but the lyrics tell a decidedly different story for the other wife. “Where you go, I will go. In your dreams, in your shadows.” Stirring music and telling lyrics add up to a moment that soars – and stings.

“Stars in the Night”

Count on Manilow to wring every drop of emotion from a song, and Harmony's finale overflows with it. The message is simple yet profound: As world events turn dark, the stars refuse to die. They're a ray of hope – and a needed one.

All the songs in Harmony on Broadway

The above tunes are some of Harmony's best-known songs, but there are more than 20 musical numbers in all. Here are all the songs featured in the show.

Act 1

  • “Concert at Carnegie Hall”
  • "Harmony"
  • “The Auditions”
  • “And What Do You See?”
  • “This Is Our Time”
  • “Your Son is Becoming a Singer”
  • "Every Single Day"
  • "How Can I Serve You Madam?"
  • “The Wedding”
  • “Tour of the World”
  • “The Group”
  • “Home”
  • “Threnody (Part 1)”

Act 2

  • "We're Goin' Loco!"
  • “Hungarian Rhapsody #20”
  • "Come to the Fatherland"
  • "Where You Go"
  • “In This World”
  • “The List”
  • “Threnody”
  • "Stars in the Night"

Photo credit: Steven Telsey, Blake Roman, Danny Kornfeld, Chip Zien, Eric Peters, Sean Bell, and Zal Owen in Harmony. (Photo by Julieta Cervantes)

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