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Godspell the Musical

Godspell CDs, DVD, Sheet Music, Licensing, Lyrics, History, Overview, Links...

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BOOKS on Godspell - Essential Reading

The Godspell ExperienceThe Godspell Experience: Inside a Transformative Musical. This book that covers all things Godspell and features a Foreword by composer Stephen Schwartz. It includes show history, lyrics, song chapters, 90 photos, and much more.  384 pages! Read about the creative people who took this show from a rough off-off-Broadway romp to a blockbuster musical. For USA amazon link: The Godspell Experience: Inside a Transformative Musical

To order copies signed by Stephen Schwartz or to read more: Author Carol de Giere's site: The Godspell Experience

Godspell AlbumsCompact Disk icon

Deciding which Godspell album to buy? Here's some notes:

1. Godspell New Broadway Cast album

Godspell new broadway cast albumFor the Broadway production that opened November 7, 2011, a Godspell cast album has been recorded by Ghostlight Records. It features new orchestrations and the incredible voices of the talented cast. All the great songs by Stephen Schwartz (and Peggy Gordon for "By My Side") are included. Buy the cast album CD Godspell New Broadway Cast Album CD

Includes all the Godspell songs Plus two BONUS tracks:

  • "Beautiful City" sung by John Ondrasik and Five For Fighting
  • "Learn Your Lessons Well" - special version (After Hours) sung by Telly Leung, Lindsay Mendez, and Wallace Smith

Read all about the new Godspell Broadway Cast Album and its orchestrations by Michael Holland

2. Godspell 40th Anniversary

Godspell 40th anniversary album cover.This album set includes the original cast album and movie soundtrack, and has been remastered for the very first time, enhancing the sound quality. It features new liner notes from composer Stephen Schwartz.


CD: Godspell: 40th Anniversary 2-CD Set - OR

Amazon.com Godspell 40th mp3 [+Digital Booklet]

The Original Cast Album sung by the famous first cast; no Prologue or "Beautiful City." Most raw original sound, AND the Godspell Movie soundtrack: smoothest sound, has an early version of "Beautiful City" no Prologue

3. Godspell - 2000 Cast Recording

This CD includes more of the script passages than other albums (e.g. dialogue in the middle of songs). It also includes the prologue. Buy or hear clips from Godspell 2000 Cast Album .

Godspell cast recording 2000 Fynsworth Alley, 2000. CD Includes: Prologue, Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord, Save the People, Day by Day, Learn Your Lessons Well, Bless the Lord, All for the Best, All Good Gifts, Light of the World, Turn Back O Man, Alas for You, By My Side, We Beseech Thee, On the Willows, Finale, Day by Day (Reprise), Beautiful City

This revival production of Godspell Off Broadway was sold out nightly and offered spirited performances from its terrific young cast of players. It includes the new Prologue and maintains the piano- and guitar-based accompaniment. The show's music director Dan Schachner wrote the arrangements.

4. Godspell - 2001 Touring Cast Recording

Godspell musical 2001 National Touring Cast CDDRG, 2001. Buy CD or MP3s or hear clips from Godspell - 2001 National Touring Cast [new browser window].

Includes: Prologue, Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord, Save the People, Day by Day, Learn Your Lessons Well, Bless the Lord, All for the Best, All Good Gifts, Light of the World, Turn Back O Man, Alas for You, By My Side, We Beseech Thee, On the Willows, Finale, Day by Day (Reprise), Beautiful City

The 2000/2001 national Godspell tour offered this CD as its cast recording. It features some of orchestrations and arrangements you won't hear elsewhere, based on modern bands like Dave Matthews, Tori Amos, and others. For contemporary rhythms and fun, try this CD. "Beautiful City" affectionados will not want to miss the up-tempo version on this recording. SEE ARTICLE: Alex Lacamoire talks about his Godspell 2001 changes

Godspell London Studio Cast

[1993 London Cast], Jay (UK), 1997, arranged and conducted by Stephen Schwartz. Available from Amazon.com and other sources. Buy Godspell (1993 London Studio Cast) [new browser window]

Godspell album cover - London - showing lighted face of performer

Includes: Prologue, Prepare Ye (The Way Of The Lord), Save The People, Day By Day, Learn Your Lessons Well/Bless the Lord, All For The Best, All Good Gifts, Light Of The World, Turn Back Old Man, Alas For You, By My Side, We Beseech Thee, On The Willows, Beautiful City, Finale, Bows

Still available

Original Cast Recording

Musical Godspell original cast albumOriginal Cast Recording. Arista, 1973. Includes original hit song "Day by Day" sung by Robin Lamont. Sung by the original cast members David Haskell, Peggy Gordon, Robin Lamont, Gilmer McCormick, Sonia Manzano, Jeffrey Mylett, Stephen Nathan, Herbie Braha, Joanne Jonas, and Lamar Alford.

Buy Godspell original cast album

SONGS: Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord, Save the People, Day by Day, Learn Your Lessons Well, Bless the Lord, All for the Best, All Good Gifts, Light of the World, Turn Back O Man, Alas for You, By My Side, We Beseech Thee, On the Willows, Finale, Day by Day (Reprise)

Godspell SoundtrackGodspell Soundtrack

Godspell Movie Soundtrack, Bmg/Arista; 1973. Available from Amazon.com and other sources. Buy Godspell: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [new browser window]. This recording features the original "Beautiful City" and an all around comfortable cheery sound. Sung by Victor Garber, Lynne Thigpen, and others including many original cast members.

Includes: Prepare Ye (The Way Of The Lord), Save The People, Day By Day, Turn Back O Man, Bless The Lord, All For The Best, All Good Gifts, Light Of The World, Alas For You, By My Side, Beautiful City, On The Willows, Finale tracks!

Godspell Karaoke backing tracksKARAOKE

Sing The Broadway Musical Godspell (2-Disc Karaoke CDG)  Practice with Godspell Karaoke - background music for performers. Here is the company's blurb about it:

Our accompaniment/karaoke CD of songs from Godspell features 32 tracks. Tracks 1-16 contain the background tracks and guide vocals; tracks 17-32 contain the accompaniment tracks alone. This album is a re-recording in the original show key and show tempo. The album plays in any CD player. In a karaoke machine, lyrics will appear on-screen. A lyric booklet is included.

Godspell Movie on Blu-Ray, DVD and instant download - with Victor Garbor

Godspell Blu-RayNEW Blu-Ray with commentary by Stephen Schwartz, Cast members, and others. Godspell Movie on Blu-Ray at Amazon.com

Godspell is not, as some people think, the story of the passion of Christ. It is a joyful musical, featuring songs like "Day by Day," and "Bless the Lord", and focusing primarily on the playful enactment of parables told in Matthew and other books of the New Testament. The last days of Jesus are depicted toward the end of the movie.

Rather than recreate the experience of seeing the Godspell stage show live, this 1973 film version of Godspell uses New York City as its stage. Among its highlights is a view from a helicopter above the newly built World Trade Center towers. We see the movie cast dancing up there (bravely) as part of the "All For the Best" segment that also includes a pentouse garden, Accutron sign, and Pan-Am rooftop.

Godspell - Columbia Tristar Buy Godspell DVD . Watch it now: $9.99 Godspell video on demand

EUROPE: Region 2 Godspell [Region 2] [1973] or Region 1: Godspell [NTSC]

Godpsell movie posterGodspell Movie Cast: All movie cast members had performed in the stage version before they asked to be in the film. For example, Victor Garber played Jesus in the Toronto production that had recently opened.

Those who transfered from the original cast group of New York were David Haskell (John the Bapstist/Judas), Joanne Jonas, Robin Lamont, Gilmer McCormick, and Jeffrey Mylett. Joining them were Victor Garber (Jesus), Katie Hanley, Jerry Sroka, Lynne Thigpen, and Merrell Jackson. John-Michael Tebelak, who originated Godspell, voices the Pharisee Monster.

Songs in the Movie: The film has a score by Stephen Schwartz. It includes all the same songs as the stage production with a few exceptions. The movie director David Greene felt that "We Beseech Thee" was not movie material. Stephen Schwartz wrote "Beautiful City" to replace it. SONGS: Prepare Ye (The Way Of The Lord), Save The People, Day By Day, Turn Back O Man, Bless The Lord, All For The Best, All Good Gifts, Light Of The World, Alas For You, By My Side, Beautiful City, On The Willows, Finale. Read more about "Beautiful City")

Film locations: (In approximate order of appearance): Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, Junkyard on Ward's Island, various modern building scenes and parks, Washington Square Park (The Good Samaritan scene), Lincoln Center (Lazarus), Bandshell at Lincoln Center...Fordham University Plaza (Manhattan campus), Old vaudeville-movie house, Tugboat by Statue of Liberty, Tugboat pier, junkyard at Ward's Island, under Triboro bridge, city streets.

Karaoke CDs - Practice with Godspell Karaoke - background music for performers.

When you're ready to sing Godspell songs but don't have a personal pianist to back you up, try these accompaniment tracks. BACKING TRACKS:

Godspell Karaoke downloadableSpotlight Karaoke Vol. 38 - Godspell  This Chartraxx karaoke version comes as MP3s ready to download for your instant practice. Compatible with MP3 Players (including with iPod®), iTunes, Windows Media Player.

Sing The Broadway Musical Godspell (2-Disc Karaoke CDG) Stage stars version. "Our accompaniment/karaoke CD of songs from Godspell features 32 tracks. Tracks 1-16 contain the background tracks and guide vocals; tracks 17-32 contain the accompaniment tracks alone. This album is a re-recording in the original show key and show tempo."

The Broadway Box- 80 Songs From 51 Shows. Here's a 5-CDG box set that contains 80 classic songs. Includes songs from Pippin and Godspell - 51 top shows in all. Great gift item

Godspell songs sung as covers by recording artists

Laurie Beechman coverNo One Is Alone [new browser window]

Laurie's inspirational album includes a special, one of a kind version of "Beautiful City." All the songs on this CD are upbeat. It's one of my FAVORITE albums--Carol de Giere

"Day by Day" sung by Catherine Carpenter on Broadway Inspirations (a collection of upbeat, uplifting songs) Broadway Inspirations (opens new browser window to Amazon.com [new browser window]

Judy Collins coverJudy Collins sings "Day by Day" on Wind Beneath My Wings

To hear "Day by Day" sung on cast albums, go back up the page to Godspell Recordings

Cast Albums for Godspell: Dozens of cast albums have been made over the years. Read about them from a collector's point of view. Godspell recordings history

Godspell Sheet Music - Godspell the Musical Sheet Music Stephen Schwartz

Godspell sheet music: One of the most comprehensive sources of printed and instant digital sheet music for Godspell is here: Godspell music at Sheet Music Plus - [new browser window] (opens new browser window). In addition to piano/vocal music they have choral arrangements as well.

Vocal Selections at Amazon.com - discount for new and used: Godspell: Vocal Selections [new browser window]

Songbook cover The Stephen Schartz Songbook, includes Godspell songs as Stephen plays them as well as others. 292 pages of music.
Godspell songs included: "Beautiful City," originally from the film, but now often included in this rewritten form in productions of the show, also: "All Good Gifts," "Day by Day"

cover of sheet musicComplete Score: Godspell : Vocal Score [new browser window]

Includes Schwartz songs:

All for the Best
All Good Gifts
Bless the Lord (as O Bless the Lord)
Day by Day
Learn Your Lessons Well
Light of the World
On the Willows
Prepare Ye
Save the People
Tower of Babble
Turn Back, O Man
We Beseech Thee

as well as, "By My Side" (By Peggy Gordan and Jay Hamburger)

GODSPELL CHORAL MUSIC: Visit our Choral Music from Stephen Schwartz Musicals page for more options

Godspell Posters for the Play and Movie

BUY Godspell Play and Movie Posters

Godspell poster - David Byrd artGodspell Movie Poster with Victor Garbor, Robin Lamont, others

BUY Godspell posters The red/black one was only for the play even if the listing says "movie". The colored image with people is for the movie.

Poster art for the original Godspell musical is by David Byrd.

Graphic artist David Byrd attend the same university as Godspell's creators: John Michael Tebelak, Stephen Schwartz, and the first Godspelll cast. They all went to Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Byrd received a BFA in Painting & Design in 1964 and an MFA in Painting & Printmaking in 1966.

Between 1968 & 1973, in addition to the Godspell poster, he created posters for Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, the Who & their rock opera Tommy; Traffic, Iron Butterfly, Ravi Shankar, and the Grateful Dead; also the legendary Woodstock Festival poster.

Godspell Synopsis/Overview

Godspell was conceived and originally directed by John Michael Tebelak, and offers music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. One of the biggest off-Broadway and Broadway successes of all time, Godspell is based primarily on the Gospel According to St. Matthew. Featuring a sparkling, seminal score by Stephen Schwartz, Godspell boasts a string of recognizable songs, led by the international hit, "Day By Day." The show opened 5/17/71 Off-Broadway and transferred to Broadway in 1976. It ran for 2,124 performance off-Broadway and 527 on Broadway.

As the cast of actor/clowns makes it way through "Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord," "Save The People," "Learn Your Lessons Well," "Bless the Lord," "All For The Best," "All Good Gifts," "Turn Back, O Man" and "By My Side," we, as audience members get to see the parables of Jesus Christ come humanly and hearteningly to life. The show also touchingly presents the story of Jesus' last moments beginning with the Last Supper.

The main story of Godspell is portrayed in the show's subtext--in the way the players interact with their leader, coming together to create a loving community.

"Godspell is one of the most ubiquitous properties in theater history," suggests Michael Portantiere, a writer for Theatremania.com. Among the reasons he sites for its popularity is the score by Stephen Schwartz. This score "...embraces more than a dozen terrific songs--including one in particular, 'Day by Day,' that became an international hit soon after the show premiered Off-Broadway some 30 years ago."

Why else is it so often performed and appreciated by local theatre groups? "Godspell calls for a relatively small cast of 10, and its presentational, comically improvisational style appeals to just about everyone. Perhaps the greatest tribute to the show's popularity is the fact that its unabashedly religious subject matter hasn't prevented it from receiving countless stagings in every conceivable venue."

Godspell History & Song Stories

Godspell's Creative Team: Stephen Schwartz, John-Michael Tebelak, and the Original Cast.
By Carol de Giere

In 1971, Stephen Schwartz, the future composer of the Godspell score, was an ambitious twenty-three-year-old. He had a few college musicals on his resume, along with one Broadway song credit, "Butterflies Are Free," used in the play of the same name. Fortunately for him, New York agent, Shirley Bernstein (Leonard Bernstein's sister), had recognized his talent when he played her some songs from the college version of Pippin, and she promoted him to others.

"She had a young man with a musical that she wanted very much for us to hear," recalls Edgar Lansbury, one of many prospective producers who came through Ms. Bernstein's door to hear Schwartz's work. Lansbury and his business partner liked Schwartz's style and energy. They invited him to create a new score for Godspell so they could mount the unusual musical at an off-Broadway venue in Greenwich Village.

Schwartz was the newcomer to Godspell—a show that John-Michael Tebelak had conceived, directed, and brought to New York in a more raw and avant-garde incarnation. The two of them made an odd-looking, but genius creative pair. In charge of making the show a professional musical was the athletic and trim Stephen Schwartz at 5'8" tall. Tebelak, the more laid back and philosophically-oriented of the two, wore his hair in a bushy afro style that accentuated his height of 6'1." Both young men had studied directing at Carnegie Melon University drama school.

At college, Tebelak developed the play's concept, which connected Bible parables with actors behaving like clowns (or comic movie characters) in order to bring a joyful and spontaneous feeling to the material. Tebelak managed to convert a reluctant group of ten cast members to his outlandish notion. For a 1970 production of what was then called "The Godspell" in a tiny theatre on the Carnegie campus, the actors helped develop the playful performance style. The first score, written by a friend of the director, attached rock music to a set of lyrics from hymns and psalms. Godspell History - the first production at CMU - includes photos.

Stephen Schwartz saw the version that was staged in the winter of 1971 off-off-Broadway. During their first meeting, Tebelak handed Schwartz a mimeographed script that included psalms, hymns, and parables. New song placement and tunes were now up for grabs, though the show's basic structure would remain intact. Schwartz recalls about the status of the show, "It just had to be musicalized in a way that was more accessible or emotional, and had more variety."

With guidance from Schwartz and Tebalak, the cast for the new version of Godspell brought their own character ideas and antics into the mix. Schwartz kept "By My Side" from the off-off-Broadway Godspell, wrote new music for lyrics already in place, and added his own original music and lyrics for "All For the Best," and "Learn Your Lessons Well."

Godspell opened in May 17, 1971 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. It quickly became unstoppable, and the creative work seemed, (as suggested by the song title), "all for the best."

 The definitive source for Godspell history is this book Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked.

Notes on Biblical passages on which Godspell was based:

Genesis 11:1-9 (The Tower of Babel - prologue)
Matthew 3: 1-17; 4: 1-10; 5: 13; 24: 1-8 and 36-51; 25: 31-36; 26 and 27
Luke 10: 25-37; 16: 19-31; 15: 11-32


Godspell was revived on Broadway from November 2011 to June 24, 2012. See our Godspell on Broadway page for details. The production was helmed by Danny Goldstein and included new orchestrations by Michael Holland.

TORONTO Godspell 1972: GODSPELL in Toronto 1972 "Prepared the Way" For Many Stars

The Songs of Godspell

Read stories behind Godspell Songs from Stephen Schwartz

  • "Learn Your Lessons Well,"
  • "All For the Best,"
  • "We Beseech Thee,"
  • "Turn Back O Man,"
  • "Alas for You,"

We have special pages about and

  • "All Good Gifts" page with lyrics
  • Bless the Lord - Special feature close up on this song and what music inspired it.
  • "Beautiful City" - the song Stephen Schwartz originally wrote for the movie version. This page includes alternative lyrics, the story behind the song, and recordings information.
  • Peggy Gordon and "By My Side" Peggy Gordon, original cast member and composer of "By My Side" talks about the song and the early productions.

Do you know where the lyrics came from? We have a list: Original sources from psalms, hymns, etc. for the lyrics of Godspell lyric sources

Godspell Original Cast and Movie Cast

Many people who have heard the original cast recording or watched the Godspell movie wonder where those cast members are now. We've made some notes on our Godspell Original Cast and Movie Cast page.

Godspell Articles, Blog Posts, and more Godspell information

Check out the Godspell.com site for blog posts on Godspell, FAQs, licensing information, and more.

Be sure to visit MTI Showspace online community to chat about Godspell and other shows. www.mtishowspace.com/

Art and inspiration - Tony's Godpell Poster Page
Tony's Godspell Poster Page

Godspell at Theatre III, West Action, MA
Great Godspell photos

Godspell Musical - International or obscure and used recordings

"Godspell" - Europe - Miscellanous recordings at Amazon.co.uk

LOGO AND SHOW DESCRIPTION NOTE:(From Music Theatre International's description. Logo and description used with permission. Copyright by Music Theatre International. All rights reserved. http://www.mtishows.com)