When You're an Addams

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"When You're an Addams"
Song by Andrew Lippa
from the album The Addams Family
Genreshow tune
LabelDecca Broadway
Songwriter(s)Andrew Lippa

"When You're an Addams" is the opening number of The Addams Family musical. The music and lyrics are written by Andrew Lippa. The last lines are reprised in the curtain call.


When You're an Addams takes place immediately after the overture, as the curtain rises on a graveyard where the Addams family has gathered. Gomez explains that they are there to honor the cycle of life and death, and also to celebrate what it means when you're an Addams. The music has started at this point, and Gomez is eventually joined by his wife Morticia, and after a few more stanzas, the entire family is singing. They then call upon their ancestors to join them in this celebration, which involves line dancing, the bunny hop, the twist, and rigor mortis. The last lines, which are among the most well known from the musical, are as follows:[1]

It's family first, and family last,
And family by and by!
When you're an Addams,
The standard answers don't apply!
When you're an Addams,
You do what Addams do or die!


Overall, the song was better received than the original opening number, Clandango, with Patrick Healy of The New York Times saying that When You're an Addams "is more lighthearted and generic",[2] and Stephen Rader's review saying that it "presents all of the family members to us as we know and love them from the TV series and subsequent movies."[3] The song was nominated for a Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite New Broadway Song.


  1. ^ Decca Broadway. The Addams Family. Original Cast Recording, 2010.
  2. ^ Healy, Patrick. "Critics May Rant, but ‘Addams Family’ Rakes It In" New York Times, April 14, 2010
  3. ^ Are You There, Blog? It's Me, Stephen! "When You're an Addams". Stephen Rader.

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