AFI's 100 Years 100 Songs

Title card for AFI show

Broadcast June 22, 2004 (CBS)

John Travolta hosted this three-hour special, which counted down the American Film Institute's picks for the 100 best movie songs. It featured many actors and performers commenting on the top songs, including Streisand's friends Marilyn and Alan Bergman and Marvin Hamlisch.

#46—“Don't Rain on My Parade” [Funny Girl]

Number 46

Streisand: “The first day of shooting was in the train station in New Jersey. So it was this number. It was so well-conceived that it was a pleasure to perform. Even though I had to lip-synch!”

Gladys Knight: “Barbra Streisand was so sassy in that movie. She, again, brought that music so alive through that character. The confidence that she had—Don't mess with me! was what she was saying. Don't rain on my parade. I loved it. I said, you go girl!”

Streisand speaking about movie songs

# 42 Luck Be A Lady [Guys and Dolls]

Streisand: “When I was 13 I was told about this actor named Marlon Brando. And I went to see Guys and Dolls at the Loew's Kings in Brooklyn. I mean, watching this guy who was the most gorgeous thing I'd ever seen, plus singing in this very sexy voice ... I was just knocked out.”

# 16 Evergreen [A Star is Born]

Number 16

Streisand: “Songs in movies are not normally shot live. They're lip-synched. And I'm a very bad lip-syncher, so I wanted to do it live. I wanted to design a shot that was all in one take. And as the camera moves in a semi-circle, you'll see everything you need to see. You'll see Kris, who's also there with me. He was feeling self-conscious, so on take two he started to pull away and I'm pulling him back. I started to laugh at one point, I gave him a kiss at one point. You can't get performances that are really real if you're lip-synching. Or else there's no spontaneity in the moment.”

Bette Midler: “She wrote Evergreen and that's incredible. I'm always surprised that she didn't write more because it's such a beautiful song.”

# 13 People [Funny Girl]

Number 13

Celine Dion: “I'm in love with Barbra Streisand. As a woman, as a director, as an actress, as a singer. She's so in charge—in a good way. So knows so much what she needs, what she wants. It scares people.”

Streisand: “When I first heard the song, People, I said to Bob Merrill and Jule Styne, Shouldn't it be ‘People who don't need people are the luckiest people in the world?’ But if you can be vulnerable enough to need people, you're open to more love in your life.”

# 8 The Way We Were [The Way We Were]

Number 8

Marvin Hamlisch talks on camera

Marvin Hamlisch: “Something that's going to be heard and hopefully recorded by Barbra Streisand, you want it to be perfect. You start thinking of the incredible Streisand voice with the long notes.”

Streisand: “I just started to hum, and then hummed at the end—I hum a lot! I think I hum a lot on my songs. But sometimes we think we're gonna cut it out and then people like the humming so it stays.”

Alan Bergman: “The job of the lyric writer, when writing for the movies... the images are so strong, you have to fly at some different altitude.”

Marilyn Bergman: “It behooves the writer to try and add to them rather than repeat them.”

Alan Bergman: “She never fails to make it much better than we hear in our heads.”

Carol Bayer-Sager: “She can reach in and grab your soul when she's singing because her soul is in her voice.”

Streisand talks about Over the Rainbow

# 1 Over the Rainbow [The Wizard of Oz]

Streisand: “It's about longing. Everybody longs for something—more love, more happiness. And it just tugs at your heart because it's so true. It's just a piece of magic.”


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