Who Sang It Better…She Used to Be Mine from Waitress

She Used to Be Mine - images of the performers as Jenna

It is the show that everyone is talking about…although not always for the right reasons! One thing people do seem to agree on however is the beauty of the song, ‘She Used to Be Mine.’ In the musical the song is sung by Jenna, who is pregnant by her abusive husband. The song is about self refection, looking back on who she used to be.

First up is Sara Barellies who also wrote the song.

Sarah Barellies not only wrote this song but also took over the role of Jenna from Jessie Mueller on Broadway. I really like to tone to Sara’s voice, its very identifiable and unique. Just watching her perform it live really draws you, as the audience, in. Her emphasis at around 1:28 and the perfection of her facial expression on ‘messy’ sends shivers down my spine. You also literally hear the anguish in he voice on ‘mine’ at 3:26.

Shoshana Bean is currently appearing as Jenna on Broadway. I find that Shoshana has a very different sound to her voice to the other Jennas on here (and elsewhere). However this version of the song moves me the most, she really seems to feel it and her acting through song just oozes out of her, you can just see the pain in her eyes. The section from 3:16 – 3:30 really wows me as she sings about the fight she has gone through. At around 3:50 at the end of her phrasing of ‘mine’ she sounds like she is almost weeping, but with so much control.

Jessie Mueller originated the role of Jenna, taking it through from Workshop phase to Broadway in 2016. Jessie’s interpretation to be comes across as the most vulnerable Jenna, as if she is almost pleading with the audience for help. She doesn’t belt as much as the other Jenna’s which works well for Jessie in her interpretation, its much more tender.

Katherine McPhee took the role on Broadway and the also opened the show on the West End. I’ve been lucky enough to see Kat perform this number live in Waitress. I adore the tone of Katherine’s voice, but when you compare the emotion in the performance with any of the other Jenna’s on this, the anguish just doesn’t come across as much as it should. Katherine is a beautiful singer singing a moving song where as the likes of Shoshana is an actress who really understands the heart of the song.

Finally for something different here is a gender swapped version by Jeremy Jordan.

This is taken from Jeremy Jordan’s performance at MisCast gala where performers get to sing numbers they wouldn’t normally get to perform. This version gives me full body goose bumps. The combination of frustration, aggression and desperation is this interpretation is so moving. His key change at around 3:00 minutes in is also beautifully delivered, he really lets rip and then suddenly pulls matter to simple and delicate emotion.

Which is your favourite version of She Used to Be Mine? If I had to pick my favourite version it may actually be Jeremy. He has the perfect combination of stunning vocals and really understanding the emotion behind this song. Shoshana also gets the balance spot on and moves me sooo much as well.

If you like this you might also like the other articles in Who Sang It Better which look at Bring Him Home, Gethsemane, Burn and Memory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *