"Popular" is sung by Glinda to her not-so-popular roommate Elphaba. In the song, she tells how she will help Elphaba to become popular like her: she tells of the proper lingo and the proper outfits, and how she's appalled by those who are not the most fashionable people out there. This one of the show's most well-known numbers, for its comical lyrics and upbeat tempo. The song was composed by Stephen Schwartz.
(spoken) Elphie, now that we're friends, I've decided to make you my new project.
(spoken) You really don't have to do that.
(spoken) I know. That's what makes me so nice.
(sung) Whenever I see someone less fortunate than I,
And let's face it, who isn't, less fortunate than I?
My tender heart tends to start to bleed.
And when someone needs a makeover I simply have to take over
I know, I know, exactly what they need.
And even in your case,
Though it's the toughest case I've yet to face,
Don't worry, I'm determined to succeed,
Follow my lead,
And yes, indeed, you... will... be...
You're gonna be popular.
I'll teach you the proper ploys
When you talk to boys,
Little ways to flirt and flounce.
Ooh! I'll show you what shoes to wear,
How to fix your hair,
Everything that really counts to be
I'll help you be popular.
You'll hang with the right cohorts,
You'll be good at sports,
Know the slang you've got to know,
So let's start, 'cause you've got an awfully long way to go.
Don't be offended by my frank analysis,
Think of it as personality dialysis.
Now that I've chosen to become a pal, a sister and adviser,
There's nobody wiser,
Not when it comes to...
I know about popular,
And with an assist from me,
To be who you'll be,
Instead of dreary who-you-were. Well, are.
There's nothing that can stop you
From becoming popu-ler ... lar.
La la, la la.
We're gonna make you popular.
When I see depressing creatures
With unprepossessing features
I remind them on their own behalf to think of
Celebrated heads of state
Or 'specially great communicators
Did they have brains or knowledge?
Don't make me laugh!
They were popular. Please,
It's all about popular
It's not about aptitude,
It's the way you're viewed,
So it's very shrewd to be
Very, very popular, like me!
(spoken) Why, Miss Elphaba, look at you. You're beautiful.
(spoken) I - I have to go.
(spoken) You're welcome...
(sung) And though you protest
I know clandestinely
You're gonna grin and bear it,
Your new found popularity.
La la, la la, you'll be popular.
Just not quite as popular as me!