My Top 5 Showtunes: Don Black

The lyricist tell us the musical numbers he couldn’t live without

Don Black is a musical theatre and film lyricist with credits including Tell Me on a Sunday, Aspects of Love and Stephen Ward the Musical

Two of his shows, Mrs Henderson Presents and Bar Mitzvah Boy are currently playing in London with a third, Sunset Boulevard, opening next week.

We caught up with Don and asked him: "If you were stranded on a desert island which five showtunes could you not live without?"

1. "Sunrise Sunset" from Fiddler On The Roof

I defy any caring parent not to be deeply moved by this song.

2. "I Got Lost In His Arms" from Annie Get Your Gun

A flawless love song from Irving Berlin. He always found a way of saying something fresh about romance.

3. "Being Alive" from Company

It annoys me when people say that Sondheim is a cold and cynical writer. This song could have only been written by a man with a huge heart. The best song I've ever heard about loneliness.

4. "People Will Say We're In Love" from Oklahoma

Wonderful melody and a terrific lyrical idea:

'Don't throw bouquets at me
Don't please my folks too much
Don't laugh at my jokes too much
People will say we're in love'

Yes, that's how it's done!

5. "I Won't Send Roses" from Mack and Mabel

Jerry Herman has never had the acclaim he deserves. He writes great melodies and immaculately crafted lyrics. This song is specific yet touches a universal nerve, something all of us writers aim for. It has a killer last line: "And roses suit you so."