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"I Am" Song

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"I am anger, under pressure
Locked in cages, a prisoner, the first to escape
I am wicked, I am Legion
Strength in numbers, a lie, the number is one
I, I, I Everything that I see is for me"
Black Sabbath, "I"

Bob Fosse said that most songs in musicals fall into two categories: the "I Want" Song and the "I Am" Song. The "I Am" Song is, simply put, a song which establishes a character's personality, role in the plot, and/or motivations right away. It can be more effective than setting up a character by dialogue, and it's almost always more fun.


Despite the name, the song doesn't have to be sung by the characters themselves. "The Villain Sucks" Song is an example of an "I Am" Song sung by other people about a villain they despise.

May also be an I Am What I Am, but not always. Sometimes the lyrics will contain I Am the Noun.

Note: Contrast the "I Want" Song. Although the two are not mutually exclusive, the "I Am" Song should be primarily about who the character is, rather than what they want (there's a clue in the name). Try to avoid citing an "I Want" Song as an "I Am" Song.

Compare Villain Song, which are almost always of this type (when they aren't I Want Songs), as well as Sidekick Song. See also Leitmotif for an instrumental version. Image Song is when it doesn't appear in the actual show, but rather in All There in the Manual extras. See "I Am Becoming" Song for when a character explains his or her new motivations or self. See also "I Am Great!" Song, which show how great the character thinks of themselves. Can overlap with Job Song if a character's job is a significant part of themselves.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch: "Oh, Yeah! Alala!" establishes Alala as an evil Kawaiiko Idol Singer (strangely enough for a shoujo series).
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: The ending theme, "Maru Kaite Chikyuu", along with its variations by the different characters. There are also some of the character songs, namely "I am German-Made" for Germany, "Absolutely Invincible British Gentleman" for England, "My Heart Has a Light" for Russia and both "Mein Gott" and "My Song That Is Written By Me, For Me" for Prussia since he's all about telling people who he is.
  • Detroit Metal City opening theme "Satsugai" ("Murder"), performed in-universe by the eponymous band themselves, is an introduction of their frontman and guitar/vocals, Johannes Krauser II, and some of the evil deeds he has done.
  • Great Mazinger's theme, "Ore Wa Great Mazinger" is easily this. It can also be considered to be an almost-literal "I Am Great!" Song, seeing as the not only does the title translate to "I Am Great Mazinger", "Ore Wa" is the boastful version of the phrase "I am" and the song boasts about how it doesn't shed tears and wants to kick evil's ass.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Beauty and the Beast
    • "Belle" introduces Belle's enjoyment in reading and dreaming about exciting adventure, the other villagers' regarding these as strange interests for a young woman of their era, Gaston's desire to marry Belle, and the other villagers' admiration of his handsomeness and masculinity. It covers all this in only five minutes.
      • It also serves as an "I Want" Song ("There must be more than this provincial life ..."), though the official I Want Song in the movie is the reprise to "Belle".
    • "Gaston." It's sung by Le Fou and Gaston predominately. It's almost a subversion of "The Villain Sucks" Song, as everyone in Belle's town loves Gaston except her and her father. The Broadway musical version also includes the aptly named "Me", sung by Gaston himself as he tries (unsuccessfully) to woo Belle.
  • "One Jump Ahead" from Disney's Aladdin.
    • The Genie has "Friend Like Me", where he establishes his powers and personality.
  • "Li'l Ark Angel" from Cats Don't Dance is mildly different: although it's more of a plot device, her cheerily singing about people and animals drowning establishes Darla's character immediately. She gets a Villain Song later, too.
  • The Little Mermaid: "Poor Unfortunate Souls" for Ursula.
  • "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers" from the Disney Winnie the Pooh cartoons.
  • "All I Ever Wanted" from The Prince of Egypt is a deconstructed version. Despite following the traditional pattern and Moses explicitly declaring "I am a sovereign prince of Egypt/A son of the proud history that's shown," the song implies that he is beginning to doubt his identity and the life that he thought he knew.
  • "Why Should I Worry" from Oliver & Company is Dodger's.
    • And "Perfect Isn't Easy" is Georgette's. And boy does she ever want you to know it.
  • Zephyr the monkey gets one in Babar: The Movie.
  • "My Name Is Mok" from Rock & Rule.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: He is, indeed, the Oogie Boogie Man.
    • From the same movie, "Jack's Lament" is both this and a "I Want" Song.
  • The first and only song in The Emperor's New Groove (before the credits) is an I Am Song.
  • "Thomas O'Malley's Song" from The Aristocats.
  • The Disney version of Robin Hood has "The Phoney King of England" which also serves as an example of "The Villain Sucks" Song about Prince John.
  • "We're three caballeros!"
  • "I'm a Happy-Go-Lucky Fellow" from Fun and Fancy Free, which was originally created for Pinocchio but was ultimately not used.
  • Speaking of Pinocchio, that movie has "I've Got No Strings".
  • "Witch Doctor" from The Rugrats Movie about the monkeys, their way of life, and how they want the babies to live with them.
  • The first All Dogs Go to Heaven film has "You Can't Keep A Good Dog Down," which also serves as Charlie's Leitmotif at several later points in the film.
  • "The Batty Rap" from FernGully
  • In Barbie and the Secret Door, the first version of "What's Gonna Happen" is about how Alexa would rather stay in her room and read.
  • Maui's song "You're Welcome" from Moana is all about Maui's many triumphs such as slowing the sun and lifting up the skies.
  • Toy Story has two:
    • Woddy's "I am" song is "Strange Things": Woody has gone from top toy and loved by Andy to falling out of favor over the new Buzz Lightyear. Understandably, he's rather bitter about the situation. The first two stanzas are the best examples of the song's meaning.
    • Buzz's is "I will go sailing no more", a somber song of Buzz (painfully) coming to terms with he's not a space ranger, just a toy.
    Now I know exactly who I am
    And what I'm here for
    And I will go sailing no more.
  • Quest for Camelot has Garrett's "I Stand Alone" which describes his emotional state and worldview in contrast to his unwelcome guest, Kayley. Although several seconds after the song ended, he reluctantly lets Kayley join him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Horse Feathers: "Whatever it is, I'm against it!"
  • "I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow" from O Brother, Where Art Thou? if you count it as a diegetic musical.
  • "I Yam What I Yam" from the movie Popeye.
  • "Sweet Transvestite" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show for Dr. Frank-n-furter, a (not so) sweet transvestite from Transylvania.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory has interesting twists: The opening number "The Candy Man" is a typical celebration of a title character, but none of the other characters, to say nothing of the audience, has actually seen him in years. Willy Wonka, who turns out to be far more eccentric than expected, has his own I Am Song in "Pure Imagination", which better fits his personality, especially with its choreography. (It also doubles as a Follow Your Heart song.)
    • The 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie had its own take on this concept with Wonka's Welcome Song, which was written by Wonka himself, and could also be said to represent some of his character traits. Again, he is far more eccentric than the song suggests, as it only concentrates on his "positive" traits.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera, being a rock opera and featuring an ensemble cast, has one for the majority of the characters.
    • Perhaps the two most classic examples are "Legal Assassin" and "Things You See In A Graveyard", which introduce Nathan and Rotti's characters, respectively, their motivations, their pasts, and much of the plot besides.
    • Also "Seventeen" and "Infected". The latter is incredibly whiny, but still an I Am Song.
  • "Main Hoon Don" (which translates to "I Am Don") from the Bollywood film Don. This one is an interesting combination of Trick Twist and Villain Song. When you are first watching the film, you fully believe the singer to be Vijay. At the end you discover it was Don pretending to be Vijay prentending to be Don, and he was so confident in his having fooled everyone that he is just reveling in his evilness.
  • "We are the Three Aaaaaamigos! We are the three Aaaaaaaaaaaaamigos!!! We are the three AAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamigos, and Amigos forever we'll be!"
  • "The Vegetarian" from Doctor Dolittle.
  • "The Life I Lead" from Mary Poppins.
  • The song of White Knight "On m'appelle le chevalier blanc" ("My name is White Knight") from the movie You won't have Alsace and Lorraine.
    • He sings it every time he's asked "Who are you?" (and it's long. Hilarity Ensues).
  • Camp Rock loves this trope with "This is Me", "Here I Am", "Too Cool", "Introducing Me", and "Who Will I Be?" which doubles as an "I Want" Song.
  • The "Knights of the Round Table" song from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • "Chilly Down" from Labyrinth about the Fireys and their way of life.
  • "Spaceballs" The Song from the Spaceballs The Movie, is part of the soundtrack, and is, as such, not sung by any character in the story, but it is, as one might guess from the title, the I Am (or, more precisely, We Are) Song for the eponymous Spaceballs.
  • In Love Finds Andy Hardy, teenager Betsy, played by Judy Garland, sings a song called "In Between" about how she's too old for little girls' toys but too young to attract older boys like Andy.

  • The songs of the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter.
  • The Bible:
    • Satan in Isaiah 14:12-15.
    • There's a rather strange example at the end of Deuteronomy. Moses' final lesson to Israel before his death is to teach them a national anthem: a song spelling out the future of Israel, complete with the fact that they will grow rebellious and turn away from God, and that this apostasy will spell disaster for their descendants, ultimately leading to their scatter and the destruction of all but a remnant.
    • Also, Psalm 51.

    Live-Action TV 

  • This isn't an exclusively Musical Theatre trope. Many rappers have an introduction song, and some bands have theme songs, anthems, or otherwise similar I Am Songs.
  • Eminem:
    • "My Name Is..." is the most famous example of this in rap history.
      Hi kids, do you like violence? Want to see me stick Nine Inch Nails in each one of my eyelids?
    • "The Way I Am" also qualifies, to a lesser extent.
      'Cause I am whatever you say I am
      If I wasn't, then why would I say I am?
      In the paper, the news everyday, I am
      I don't know, it's just the way I am
  • Anthrax's "I Am The Law" and "I'm the Man."
  • Neil Diamond's "I Am... I Said".
  • Michael Jackson's "Bad".
  • "Jesus of Suburbia", "St. Jimmy" and "She's a Rebel" from Green Day's American Idiot.
  • "Back In NYC" from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway serves this purpose for the main character, Rael.
  • John Denver's "The Eagle and the Hawk": "I am the eagle, I live in high country...I am the hawk, and there's blood on my feathers..."
  • The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil." from Beggars Banquet
  • "I'm the Urban Spaceman" by The Bonzo Dog Band
  • Kiss' "I" from Music from "The Elder"
  • "I Am Woman," Helen Reddy's 1973 anthem to feminism.
  • Simon & Garfunkel's "I Am a Rock."
  • Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention's "Help, I'm a Rock" from Freak Out. "I'm the Slime" is a combination of this and Villain Song.
  • "The Song of Dusk" from Märchen isn't an "I am" song so much as it's a "Who am I?" song in which the eponymous character knows nothing of who he once was, only that he's woken up at the bottom of a well with a Creepy Doll in his arms and feels an intense desire to enact revenge and seeks to satisfy it by granting the chance at revenge to others.
  • "Nemesis" by Arch-Enemy.
  • "Prophecy" from Judas Priest's concept album, Nostradamus, is the I Am Song for Nostradamus himself.
  • Voltaire's song "When You're Evil" is a classic I Am Song for any villain.
  • The Devil gets one in Showbread's song "The Goat (Nervosa)". Almost every line is a description of what he is, and every other set of words is "I am." Also, in their song "The Sky (Anorexia)", the refrain is a deathly and commanding "I AM."
  • Grottomatic has "I Am."
  • By contrast, Theocracy not only represent Christian Metal on this list, but the trope is played as almost totally straight as can be, as almost every single lyric begins with the words "I am" as an autobiographical description of God.
  • A common trope for Crush 40, most notably I Am (All of Me)
  • Marian Call has two: "Vanilla (I'm Not Sexy)" is a declaration of her general uncoolness (in a positive way) while "I'll Still Be A Geek After Nobody Thinks It's Chic" is a geek anthem.
  • The Monkees' theme song ("Hey Hey We're the Monkees!")
    • A self-deconstructed one appears in their movie, Head ("Hey, HEY we are The Monkees! You know we love to please! A manufactured image, with no philosophies...").
  • Portal's "Still Alive" is a pretty simple one:
    I'm doing science and I'm Still Alive
    I feel fantastic and I'm Still Alive
    When you're dying I'll be Still Alive
    And when you're dead I will be Still Alive
  • "Divide" by Disturbed, as well as 'Indestructible', 'I'm Alive', and a few others.
    I am a little more provocative then you might need
    It is your shock and then your horror on which I feed
    So can you tell me what exactly does freedom mean
    If I'm not free to be as twisted as I want to be?
    Don't wanna be another player losing in this game
    I'm trying to impress upon you, we're not the same
    My psychotic mentality is so unique
    I'm one aggressive motherfucker, now wouldn't you say?
  • The Beatles' "I Am the Walrus" from Magical Mystery Tour.
  • The Decemberists seem to like this trope, but, as so many of their songs are almost writ as monologues, this is hardly surprising.
    • "The Engine Driver", "Leslie Anne Levine", and "The Legionnaire's Lament" stand out as the best examples.
    • "The Mariner's Revenge Song" is basically one guy telling another guy who he is inside of a whale.
  • "We Are the World", by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, sung by USA for Africa.
  • Doctor Steel's songs "Lament for a Toy Factory", "Dr. Steel", and "The Dr. Steel Show"
  • The GWAR theme song.
  • India Arie's "Video" is a pure example. Video Lyrics
  • Sabaton's "Carolus Rex" is this for King Charles XII of Sweden.
  • Nine Inch Nails has three: "Mr. Self-Destruct," "Big Man with a Gun," and "Sanctified."
  • "Lecher Bitch" by the Genitorturers.
  • Roy Harper wrote 'The Lord's Prayer' as a sort of musical last will and testament when he believed he was dying. It contains 104 descriptions of himself, each beginning with 'who' or 'whose'. 'The Lord's Prayer' is also a sterling example of a list song.
  • LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It."
  • Metallica's "The View"
  • The Who (or at least Pete Townshend) were fond of these: Tommy alone has "Cousin Kevin", "Acid Queen", "Fiddle About" and "Sensation". Other examples include "I'm a Boy", "The Real Me" and "Behind Blue Eyes".
  • Devo's anthem "Jocko Homo" doubles as an I Am Song and a manifesto for their "de-evolution" concept:
    They tell us that we lost our tails
    evolving up from little snails.
    I say it's all just wind in sails:
    Are we not men? (We are DEVO!)
    Are we not men? (D-E-V-O!)
    • "Stop, Look, and Listen", an early demo on the Hardcore Devo compilation, more directly refers to the band ("I hear em' coming, gonna mess up the plumbing/It's D-E-V-O! From O-H-I-O!")
    • "Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA", in which Devo announce themselves collectively as the Smart Patrol ("suburban robots who monitor reality") who are ultimately subjected to self-sacrifice by the "man with a plan," Mr. DNA.
    • "Speed Racer" is an I Am Song for four different characters, presented in order in each verse ("I'm Speed Racer and I drive real fast..."; "I'm a big pirate and I like to steal..."; "I'm a Barbie doll but I've got brains..."; " "I'm your doctor and here's the bill...") and reprised all together in the last verse.
  • Overlapping with Singer Namedrop, the chorus of "Infinity" by Infinity Ink repeats the line, "Oh, you know we are the Infinity."
  • The Roches introduced themselves with "We," the first song on their first album, The Roches. They began by simply singing their names: "We are Maggie and Terre and Suzzy Roche."
  • Maria Conchita Alonso's "Soy Tu Mujer"
  • Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'."
  • Ratt's "I'm Insane" crosses this with Sanity Slippage Song.
  • "I'm A Boinger" by Billy And The Boingers, from Billy And The Boingers: Bootleg.
  • The Ramones' "I'm Against It' from Road to Ruin.
  • "I Am the Alter-Destiny" by Sun Ra from Space Is the Place.
  • The Raubtier track "Panzarmarsch" is one, told from the perspective of a decommissioned Leopard II MBT being returned to service.
  • Queen has several examples, notably "We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions", "Invisible Man", "Princess of the Universe" and "Don't Stop Me Now".
  • "My Name is Prince", by Prince, naturally.
  • "WE ARE MILKCAN!" from MilkCan's Make It Sweet!, as you can guess from the title.
    Rockin' to the rhythm, rollin' with the beat.
    Here we come, here we come, hold on to your seat!
    Cheerful and pleasing, cute and appealing.
    Give it up, give it up, can you feel the heat?
    We're the girls from around the block.
    Gorgeous sweet and we love to rock.
  • Meshuggah brings us I am Colossus from Koloss.
    ''I am life. I'm death. You belong to me
    Call me what I am. I am colossus
  • BABYMETAL takes it Up to Eleven in "BABYMETAL DEATH"; the only lyrics in the song are Japanese puns on "I am..."
    SU-METAL DEATH (I am Su-metal.)
    YUIMETAL DEATH (I am Yuimetal.)
    MOAMETAL DEATH (I am Moametal.)
    BABYMETAL DEATH (We are Babymetal.)
  • The second aria of Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht is Lieschen singing about her love for coffee.
  • Anaal Nathrakh brings us "I am the Wrath of Gods and the Desolation of the Earth" from In the Constellation of the Black Widow.
  • Three Days Grace performed "I Am Machine".
  • In Steeleye Span's Wintersmith concept album, the Nac Mac Feegle have "Wee Free Men" and the Summer Lady and Wintersmith have "Fire and Ice".
  • Miracle of Sound: Numerous songs are written from the first-person perspective of the or a main character from a given work as they describe themselves in song.


    Pro Wrestling 
  • A number of Professional Wrestling entrance themes (at least the ones with lyrics) fit this pattern. Of particular note:
    • AJ Styles' theme in TNA, in one incarnation, was actually titled "I Am." The later remix, "Get Ready to Fly", has completely different lyrics, but is still an I Am song.
      • Stable Fortune's theme has this: "We are, we are! Fortune Four!"
    • Triple H: "I am the game, you don't wanna play me..."
    • Chyna's theme was titled "Who I Am."
    • "I am Lei'D Tapa, the Queen of Rings"
    • Colt Cabana's theme, "Boom Boom", is more of a He Is song, but otherwise fits the trope well, talking about Colt walking away from "Corporate America" (i.e. WWE), his love of Chicago, and his desire to create "Good times, great memories".

  • "Hey, Tom Sawyer" from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer establishes Tom's cunning, mischievous character, although it is technically more a "He Is" song.
  • Drood has "A Man Could Go Quite Mad" for Jasper and "The Wages of Sin" for Princess Puffer.
  • Next to Normal
    • "I'm Alive" takes this pretty literally, half the lyrics starting with "I am..."
    • "I Am The One".
    • "Superboy and the Invisible Girl" combines this with a "I Want" Song, about how Natalie feels she is always ignored, and wishes she could be free of her mother's expectations;
    Take a look at the invisible girl/ Here she is clear as the day
    Please look closely and find her before she fades away
  • Chicago
    • "All I Care About Is Love" . Of course, he's lying, but...
    • Mama also has her own song, "When You're Good to Mama", which is more accurate (metaphorically, anyway).
    • Amos has "Mr. Cellophane".
  • "The Jet Song" from West Side Story.
  • "I Cain't Say No" from Oklahoma!!
  • "I Am What I Am" from La Cage aux folles.
  • Wicked:
    • "A Sentimental Man" is a subversion. The Wizard believes what he's saying, but it's only later that the audience finds that he has his own ideas about who qualifies as a "citizen of Oz" and that part of his motivation for helping Elphaba is to use her magic for his own ends.
    • "Defying Gravity" is more of an "I Am Becoming" song, since Elphaba's entire character for the second act stems from that song...both the good and the bad.
    • "Popular" is an interesting twist, as it's supposed to be about Elphaba and Galinda's attempt at making her, well, popular. However, it's quite clear that Galinda's plan for achieving this is to make Elphie as much like her as possible, thus making it an "I Am" Song.
  • Speaking of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, "Great Big Stuff" is both an I Am Song and an "I Want" Song.
  • "Angry Inch" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
  • "Always True to You" from Kiss Me Kate.
  • "Some People" from Gypsy, as well as "Rose's Turn" and "Little Lamb".
  • "Colored Spade", "Manchester England", "I Got Life" and probably more from Hair. That whole show was basically an I Am Song for the hippies.
  • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee: "I'm Not That Smart" (Leaf), "I Speak Six Languages" (Marcy) and "Woe Is Me" (Schwartzy).
  • Cats is nothing but I Am Songs (or rather, You Are Songs in most cases).
  • "Miss Baltimore Crabs" from Hairspray.
  • "All That's Known" from Spring Awakening.
  • "Bring Me My Bride", Miles Gloriosus' song from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
    • Which is also an "I Want" Song, as the title suggests.
    • Also "Lovely" for Philia and... well, half the songs in the play.
  • "C'est moi", from Camelot establishes Lancelot's puissance and hubris. (Notice the literal translation of the title).
    • "I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight" (sung by Arthur himself) establishes his fallibility.
  • Dear Evan Hansen has "Waving Through A Window" which is sung by Evan and establishes his severe social anxiety.
  • "Now", "Soon", and "Later" (for Fredrik, Anne, and Henrik respectively) from A Little Night Music. "The Glamorous Life" might count as Desiree's.
  • "Not For the Life of Me" for the title character of Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • "The Beauty Is" for Clara from The Light in the Piazza.
  • "Fortune Favors the Brave" for Radames in Aida.
    • And "My Strongest Suit" for Amneris.
    • "How I Know You" is sort of an I Am song for Mereb as he details his backstory...which then turns into a You Are song for Aida as he reveals(the first time it's revealed in the show) that he knows she is the Nubian princess
  • "Clean the Kit" in The Beautiful Game for John.
  • "30/90" for Johnny in tick, tick... BOOM!
  • "Oh, What a Circus" is sung by Che, but completely describes Evita's role in the musical named for her.
  • "I Put My Hand in There" for the title character of Hello, Dolly!!. Replaced in the film version by the Movie Bonus Song "Just Leave Everything To Me".
  • "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," in the Peanuts musical of the same name.
  • Bill Sykes' "My Name" from Oliver!.
  • "I Can Cook, Too" from On the Town.
  • "My Name Is Samuel Cooper" from Love Life.
  • "The Lady Is A Tramp" from Babes In Arms.
  • "I Jupiter, I Rex" from Out Of This World (1987).
  • "The Hostess With The Mostes'" from Call Me Madam.
  • "Wand'rin' Star" from Paint Your Wagon.
  • "Independent (On My Own)" from Bells Are Ringing.
  • "I Enjoy Being A Girl" from Flower Drum Song.
  • "A Little Brains, A Little Talent" from Damn Yankees.
  • "I'm The Greatest Star" from Funny Girl.
  • "His Name is Lancelot" from Spamalot is more of an "Just Admit It, You Are" song.
    • There is also "Laker Girls Cheer" with Arthur declaring that he is Arthur, King of the Britons.
  • Gilbert and Sullivan love these. To list just a few:
    • The Mikado: "A Wand'ring Minstrel I" (Nanki-Poo), "Behold The Lord High Executioner" (Ko-Ko), "Three Little Maids From School Are We" (Yum-Yum, Pitti-Sing, Peep-Bo), "A More Humane Mikado Never Did In Japan Exist"
    • The Pirates of Penzance: "O, Better Far to Live and Die" (or "I Am A Pirate King"), "I Am The Very Model of a Modern Major General"
    • H.M.S. Pinafore: "I'm Called Little Buttercup", "I Am The Monarch of the Sea" and "When I was a lad" (Sir Joseph), "I Am The Captain of the Pinafore" (Captain Corcoran), "We sail the ocean blue" (the crew).
    • Princess Ida: "We Are Warriors Three" (Arac, Guron, and Scynthius), "If You Give Me Your Attention" (Gama)
    • The Gondoliers: "We're Called Gondolieri" (Marco and Giuseppe), "In Enterprise Of Martial Kind" (Duke of Plaza-Toro)
    • The Sorcerer: "My Name is John Wellington Wells", "Love Feeds on Many Kinds of Food"
    • Patience: "If You Want a Receipt For That Popular Mystery" (Colonel)
    • Iolanthe: "Good Morrow, Good Mother" (Strephon), "The Law is the True Embodiment" and "When I Went to the Bar" (The Lord Chancellor), "My well-loved lord" (Phyllis), "When all night long, a chap remains" (Private Willis)
    • Trial by Jury: "When I, good friends, was called to the Bar" (The Judge).
  • Les Misérables has a boatload: for Fantine, it's "I Dreamed a Dream". For Thenardier, we get "Master of the House". "Stars" for Inspector Javert, although it borders on the "I Want" Song, but then, Javert's character is defined by its goals. And for Jean Valjean, it's the side-splittingly obvious name for an I Am Song: "Who Am I?"
  • "I, Don Quixote" from Man of La Mancha qualifies for this as its first reprise - not to be confused with its second reprise, which is more of an I Am What I Am song. Aldonza also gets such a song with "It's All The Same".
  • The Phantom of the Opera has "Stranger Than You Dreamt It" after Christine removes the Phantom's mask.
  • "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'" from Porgy and Bess.
  • "How Can I Call This Home?" for Leo in Parade.
    • Leo also gets the much more somber "It's Hard to Speak My Heart" near the very end of the first act
  • "The Barber and His Wife" from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, though the title character who sings this speaks of himself in those days in the past tense because as far as he's concerned, That Man Is Dead. It gets a Dark Reprise at the end of the play after Sweeney unknowingly kills his wife, learns of Mrs. Lovett's treachery in not telling him said wife was still alive, and then throws her in the oven.
    • Another example for Todd is, of course, his part of "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd".
    • Meanwhile, Mrs. Lovett has "The Worst Pies in London", which tells you just about everything you need to know about that character in two minutes flat.
    • And Adolpho Pirelli gets his entrance which actually opens with the lines "I am Adolpho Pirelli, / Da king of da barbers..."
  • Just about every character in Keating! has one:
    • Bob Hawke gets "My Right Hand Man" (sorta. It's more about Keating, but it applies to him too).
    • Keating himself gets "Do It in Style".
    • John Hewson has his part of "On The Floor".
    • Gareth Evans and Cheryl Kernot have "Heavens, Mister Evans".
    • Alexander Downer has "Freaky".
    • John Howard has "Power" (which doubles as his Villain Song).
  • Despite the name, "I Want More", from Lestat is actually Claudia's I Am Song. (Her "I Want" Song is "I'll Never Have That Chance").
  • "Advantages of Floating In the Middle of the Sea" is pretty much the I Am Song for all of Japan in Sondheim's Pacific Overtures.
  • The bitterly ironic "Rich and Happy" from Merrily We Roll Along: Frank has sold out his principles, abandoned his dreams and destroyed his most important friendship... but he's "rich and famous and therefore happy too". And if you believe that, there's a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.
  • In Children Of Eden, Yonah has a song about how she is not a "Stranger to the Rain", which establishes her as The Woobie because she is descended from Cain.
  • Chess has quite a few as well. Freddie's lyrics in Merano, Where I Want to Be for Anatoly and Someone Else's Story for either Florence or Svetlana. Plus Molokov and Svetlana's new songs in the Stockholm version.
    • Arguably, "Pity The Child" for Freddie as well.
  • The title character of Barnum gets two in "There's a Sucker Born Ev'ry Minute" and "The Prince of Humbug".
  • Curtains: "I do the Kama Sutra with a Richard Rodgers score. It's a Business."
  • "I'm a Bad, Bad Man" for Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun.
  • Passion has "I Read" for Fosca, a mild conversation about a borrowed book taking a sharp right turn into a slightly unhinged, passionate song explaining Fosca's philosophy, tinged with mental illness, and hinting at her tragic backstory.
  • Pippin has "Spread a Little Sunshine" for Fastrada, "Kind of Woman" for Catherine and "Extraordinary" for Pippin himself.
  • You will probably never get a more literal example than "I'm Martin Guerre."
  • The Producers has "The King of Broadway." Though in this case, it's more of an "I used to be" song. This song doesn't appear in the film adaptation of the musical, however.
    • Roger De Bris and Carmen Ghia have "Keep it Gay" though it is in part an "I Want" Song about his desire to make more lighthearted productions.
    • Ulla has "When You got it, Flaunt it.''
  • Little Shop of Horrors has "Dentist!" for Orin Scrivello. Additionally, the film version has "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space" for Audrey II.
  • "I Am Aldopho" from The Drowsy Chaperone.
  • "I Was The Most Beautiful Blossom" in Of Thee I Sing is more accurately described as an "I was" song, but it defines Diana to the extent that she sings its first bars on her subsequent entrances.
    Wintergreen: You like that song, don't you?
    • Also: "We're the one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine Supreme Court judges..."
  • "Different As Can Be" from A Very Potter Musical is a duet I Am Song for Quirrell and Voldemort
    • Hermione gets "Coolest Girl" in the sequel.
  • "How Lovely to be a Woman" from Bye Bye Birdie.
  • "Backwoods Barbie" is the I Am Song for 9 to 5: The Musical. Funny enough, following it being written for the musical itself, Dolly Parton decided to use it for the title track of her album Backwoods Barbie, so not only is it the I Am Song for the musical, but it is for Parton personally as well.
  • The Cobbler's Song from Chu Chin Chow (But not "I am Chu Chin Chow").
  • An interesting example in Stephen Sondheim's Assassins: in "Unworthy of Your Love" where John Hinckley Jr. and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme sing for their respective Love Interests. While at first it sounds like an "I Want" Song, it's really about Hinckley and Fromme's insecurity and how they are completely lost in their lives. It even begins with 'I am'.
    • "Another National Anthem" is one for the Assassins in general.
  • In Once Upon a Mattress, Princess Winnifred gets one in "Shy". Queen Aggravain's is "Sensitivity", and then "The Minstrel, The Jester, and I" for the Minstrel, Jester, and King.
  • Probably the most famous opera example: "Largo al factotum della città" (aka "Figaro's introduction") from The Barber Of Seville.
    "Figaro here, Figaro there, Figaro up, Figaro down, swifter and swifter, I'm like a thunderbolt: I'm the factotum of the city!"
  • In Vanities: The Musical, "An Organized Life" is this for Kathy, in addition to being an "I Want" Song, and in its Dark Reprise it becomes her BSoD Song and "I Am Becoming" Song. The first two productions also had "Hey There, Beautiful", which was later replaced by "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing". Also, the closing song "Letting Go" from the Pasadena Playhouse and ACT Theatre productions.
  • Disney's Alice in Wonderland Jr. adds two 'I Am' songs not in the movie:
    • "Ocean of Tears" for the Dodo Bird
    • "Whooooo Are Youuuuu?" for the three Alices
  • "A Little Girl from Little Rock" from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
  • Strike Up The Band had "A Typical, Self-Made American" and "The Unofficial Spokesman" for Horace J. Fletcher (who, judging from his song, made himself much like Sir Joseph Porter did) and Colonel Holmes.
  • "Der Vogelfänger Bin Ich Ja" (I Am the Birdcatcher, Yes) from The Magic Flute, sung by Papageno.
  • Rodolfo and Mimi's introductory songs "Che gelida manina" and "Si, mi chiamano Mimì" from La Bohème.
  • "Out Tonight" from RENT begins as an "I am" song for Mimi (as in, I am a sexy Latina firecracker) and ends as an "I want" song when she gets into Roger's apartment.
  • "I'm an Ordinary Man" from My Fair Lady is an introduction to Henry Higgins and his misogyny.
    • "With a Little Bit of Luck" establishes Eliza's father Alfred as a slacker, drinker and womanizer.
    The Lord above gave man an arm of iron
    So he could do his job and never shirk
    The Lord above gave man an arm of iron, but
    With a little bit of luck, with a little bit of luck,
    Someone else'll do the blinkin' work!
  • "What Do You Do With a BA In English / It Sucks To Be Me" from Avenue Q serves as an I Am Song for more than half the cast: Princeton, Kate Monster, Brian, Christmas Eve, Rod, Nicky and Gary each get a verse. Additionally, "Special" is Lucy The Slut's I Am Song.
    • "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist" is a We Are Song where the cast acknowledges that they all carry unconscious biases.
  • "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof is a We Are Song.
  • "A Cockeyed Optimist" from South Pacific.
  • "An Orthodox Fool" from No Strings.
  • "Johnny's Theme/The Dreamer" from Only You Can Save Mankind: The Musical, establishes Johnny as, well, a dreamer, albeit more confident in that role than the book version:
    Me, I'm a dreamer and I choose to be,
    It's my dreams that will set the world free.
    Me, I'm a dreamer, it's my destiny,
    Look around, see the world that I see.
  • "Hooray for Captain Spaulding" from Animal Crackers. One of the few songs from the original stage show retained for the film.
  • Legally Blonde has a late-in the story version in the song "Legally Blonde", in which Elle, after seeing her future in law disappear, dejectedly expresses that she's nothing but what everyone always thought ("some girls fight hard, some face the trial, some girls were just meant to smile").
    • In the "remix" version a scene later, Elle reclaims her confidence with a much more upbeat "I Am" song, in which she finally figures out an identity encompassing both her legal talents and her "sorority girl" personality, as exemplified by her pink suit.
  • "Good Old Reliable Jake" and "Bit Part Demon" from Evil Dead: The Musical, although "Good Old Reliable Jake" is consist of nothing but Blatant Lies.
  • "The Lees of Old Virginia" in 1776. Richard Henry Lee giving a laundry list about why he, his family, and Virginia are undeniab-LEE the best thing in America in the hammiest way possible.
  • From the 2013 adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
    • "Almost Nearly Perfect" establishes Charlie Bucket's creative nature and Cheerful Child disposition, despite his hardscrabble life.
    • Augustus Gloop and his family have "More of Him to Love", which claims that the boy is Big Fun but reveals he's really more of a Fat Bastard.
    • "When Veruca Says" establishes both her Greed and her father's indulgent nature.
    • "The Double Bubble Duchess" is a Boastful Rap for the gum-chewing starlet and her Shameless Self-Promoter dad.
    • "It's Teavee Time" has Mrs. Teavee desperately trying to convince the media that her son's just a little high-strung and that they have an idyllic, 1960s sitcom-inspired life, but failing miserably — especially when Mike himself speaks up.
    • Willy Wonka has the bridge part of his "I Am Great!" Song "It Must Be Believed to Be Seen" and "Simply Second Nature" (which overlaps with I Am What I Am) to establish that his strange creations are borne of a desire to make the world a lovelier place, even if others don't understand or fully appreciate what he's doing.
  • The off-Broadway musical Closer Than Ever has "Life Story," in which a middle-aged woman reflects on the choices she's made and the experiences she's had throughout her life. It differs slightly from the average "I Am" Song in that the musical is a revue, and as such, this song is the only time the audience encounters this particular character.
  • "Howdy There (I'm Oedipus Tex)" from P.D.Q. Bach's Oedipus Tex.
  • Pretty much every song in Working is either this, an "I Want" Song, or both.
  • The Wiz subverts this with both "Mean Ole Lion", the Cowardly Lion's introductory song, in which he presents himself as anything but cowardly, and "So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard" for the Wiz's flashy, smoke-and-mirrors entrance.
  • Heathers has "Candy Store" for all the Heathers but especially Heather Chandler, and "Freeze Your Brain" for JD. In addition, "Beautiful" is a We Are song in a "what have we become" sorta way.
  • The Lightning Thief, the musical adaptation of the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, has "Son of Poseidon" for Percy.
  • Wonderland has "Mad Hatter" for, well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Königskinder has "Bin ein lustiger Jägersmann" ("I am a happy huntsman") for the King's Son. (This was one of the many musical numbers that were spoken through rather than fully sung in the original melodrama version.)

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Isabella sings about how she longs to see Phineas every day and see what he's doing.

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