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Death Song
Death Is Dramatic. So is musical theatre. Therefore it should come as no surprise that major deaths are often accompanied by a final musical exclamation by the dying character—and frequently another, for extra duet points. Often followed, fittingly enough, by a Grief Song. Sometimes the two even overlap. Frequently a Tear Jerker or a Dark Reprise. In some works can attract Killed Mid-Sentence/Musicalis Interruptus.

It should be noted that this can describe a song a character sings as he or she dies, or a song building up to (and ending with) the singing character's death.


Examples:

  • "How Glory Goes" from Floyd Collins.
  • "Count To Six and Die" from Marilyn Manson's Concept Album Holy Wood. However, "The Death Song", from the same album, is not a Death Song.
  • "Tell Her I Love Her" from Urinetown, a duet which is half this and half Grief Song.
  • "A Little Fall of Rain", "Come To Me", "Javert's Suicide", and the epilogue from Les MisÚrables.
  • "Eva's Final Broadcast" and/or "Lament" (depending on production) from Evita.
  • "Sh'ma" from Parade could be argued to be this, as Leo is about to die.
  • "I Didn't Know I'd Love You So Much" from the film version of Repo! The Genetic Opera.
  • The reprise of the titular song in Man of La Mancha - but a surprise, as Don Quixote does not know he is dying.
  • "I'm Goin' Home" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, though Frank doesn't die during it, but afterwards, and isn't even aware he's going to be killed until afterwards.
  • The reprise of "Somewhere" is Tony's Death Song in West Side Story. *sniffle*
  • "Some Things Are Meant To Be" from the musical adaptation of Little Women acts as Beth's Death Song, even though she doesn't actually die at the end. She dies afterwards, off-screen.
  • "Mother Earth and Father Time", from the 1973 film of Charlotte's Web.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street ends with the title character singing a reprise of "A Barber And His Wife" which is both one of these and a Grief Song given that he unknowingly killed his wife, who he had spent the entire plot seeking to avenge, because he did not know she was still alive, just before Toby uses Sweeney's own razor to slit his throat.
  • "The Mole's Reprise", from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. It's a Dark Reprise of the earlier "La Resistance".
  • Parodied in The Bachelor when Jimmie notes that Mariah Carey's character is singing even while she's dying.
  • "Blue" from Cowboy Bebop. (But we're not quite sure he is dead...)
  • "Farewell at the Foot of the Hill" from CLANNAD.
  • Judas's Death from Jesus Christ Superstar.
  • "It's Just The Gas" for Orin and "Somewhere That's Green (Reprise)" for Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors. Two other characters die, but they either do not die immediately after a song or die immediately after a song sung by someone else.
  • Neil Young's Birds has been interpreted as this.
  • In Children Of Eden, Abel sings a few lines of 'The Wasteland' as he dies.
  • The Crucifixion from Godspell.
  • "The Flesh Failures" from Hair is Claude's death song. He even gets a Dark Reprise of his "I Am" Song in.
  • "Last Midnight" for The Witch in Into the Woods. Of course, we're not quite sure if she's dead...
  • "No One Mourns the Wicked" from Wicked. Subverted, as we later find out she's just hiding.
  • In Kristina, the musical adaptation of The Emigrants, it's the reprise of "Out to the Sea" for Robert and "I'll Be Waiting There" for Kristina.
  • Infamously, and memetically, the violent death scene from the finale of The O.C..
  • "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's Life of Brian.
  • The band Enter The Haggis puts a positive spin on this trope in both "One Last Drink" and "Let Me Go".
  • "Contact" from Rent.
  • The Musical Episode of X-Play has "Love Me (Reprise)" sung by Adam and Morgan's video game (it Makes Sense In Context) just before it expires.
  • "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" from The Rose. Followed up by "The Rose", which counts as a Grief Song.
  • Star Trek Online: Episode "Klingon War", mission "The Doomsday Machine". K'Valk, a Klingon Defense Force officer who is trying to help Starfleet Ambassador B'vat from siccing a planet killer on Federation, rams his shuttle down its throat while belting out "The Warrior's Anthem", a Klingon war hymn.

Dark RepriseMusical Number IndexThe Eleven O'Clock Number
Dark RepriseMusic TropesDistant Duet

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