Hoping for a satisfying conclusion

In this puzzle, the melodies of 16 songs are given in musical form. You first must identify the 16 songs from the melodies. Then, arrange the songs into four groups of four, with each group of songs related by a common theme based on the song titles. Finally, the four themes can be used to determine the final answer, which will explain the title of this puzzle.

These songs cover a variety of genres and decades, and some songs are from musicals or movies.

In your answer, please list the lyrics corresponding to the melody snippet for each song, to help others follow along.

Songs 1-8 Songs 9-16

For those of you without access to a piano, here are the songs in ABC notation. If you copy and paste each song (starting with "X:#") to a site which can play ABC music, such as this site which I used to create the music, you can hear the songs.

L: 1/8
K: Gmin
| z4 Bc B2 | b3 a-a2 fe- | e2 z2 BcBg- | g3 f-f2 Bc- | c2 z6 |

L: 1/8
K: D
| z2 z c z c BA | Fz dz cz AA-| AAAA F z z A | AABA cA z2 |

L: 1/8
K: C
| z C CC EG Ac | c2 Az GA cA | c2 Az GA cA | c2 AG GE G2 |

L: 1/8
K: Gmin
| D2 D2 EE E2 | D D2 C-CDCB, |

L: 1/8
K: F
| AF z F/2D/2 FF z F/2D/2 | FF z F2 A3 |

L: 1/8
K: D
| z2 AA-A2 e2 | d6 F2 | A6 D2 | F3 E E4 |

L: 1/8
K: E
| F2 GE- E2 G2 | F2 EC- C4 | A2 A2 A2 A2 | AG- GF2 E3 |

L: 1/8
K: E
| F2 G2 B2 G2 | FG F/2EG/2-G4 | z F FG/2A/2- AGFE | G2 C2 E3 z|

L: 1/8
K: G
| z4 E2 G2 | _B3 A- A2 G2- | G4 E2 G2 | G2 EG- GE A2- | A2 =B2 z4 |

L: 1/8
K: C
| z3 c- c ccc | B2 cd- d2 z2 | z2  ee- eeee | g2 f2 c2 d2 | z3 c- c c2 c| B2 c2 d2 B2 | c2 z6

L: 1/8
K: C
| z3 C B,A,B,C | A,8 | z3 C B,A,B,C | D8 | z3 F EDEF | D8 | z3 F EDEF | G6 z D | E4 z4 | F6 z C | D4 z4 | E6 z B, | A,8 |

L: 1/8
K: D
| z4 gfdd- | d4 gfde- | e2 ed f3/2f/2- fd- | d2 dB d3/2e/2- ed- | d2 z6|

L: 1/8
K: G
| BAAE GA A2- | A2 z2 z A AB- | B A2 A2 E2 G- | GAGG z4|

L: 1/8
K: C
| G8- | G6 A2 | G2 CC CC A2 | G2 CC CC G2 | G2 FF _EE DE- | _E6 |

L: 1/8
K: C
| z6 cd | eeed eeee | dddc ddcA- | A2 z6  | z4 a2 e2 | d2 z6 | z4 e2 c2 | A2 z6 |

L: 1/8
K: F
| z2 c2 B2 A2 | c4 C2 D2- | D8- | D2 C2 D2 E2 | F2 G2 A2 B2 | A4 A,2 =B,2- |=B,8|


Songs 11, 13, and 14 are all from the 1980's. Song 11 is from a musical.
These hints should help identify the singers of these songs:

Hint music

In ABC notation:

T:By the same singer as 11
| z4 (3G2 A2 B2 | d2 c2 B3 E | d2 e2 B3 z |

T:By the same singer as 13
| E2 EE- E2 EE- | E2 DD- D2 z2 | F2 FF- F F2 F-| F E2 E- E2 z2 |
| D D2 D- D2 E2 D- | D C2 C- C2 z2| C C2 C- C2 D2 | E D2 E- E4|

T:By the same singer as 14
| z2 z F AB- | B c4 z A | _GGGA- A4 | FE F4 E2 |
| FFED- DFAB- | B c4 z A A_G-|_G A3 z4| z2 z A _cB A2 | AAA_c B A3|
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I will be super impressed if anyone can solve this by themselves... I just played out all 16 on a guitar and didn't recognise a single one (am sure I will kick myself for many of them later). Wish I had a piano to hand! The lack of any tempo information and having to infer the syncopation of the lyrics purely from the sheet music is going to make this one incredibly tricky... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv Added ABC notation, which you can use to play the songs at the site listed. I actually thought this would be easy, but you really need access to a piano or equivalent. $\endgroup$
    – JS1
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


Like @Stiv commented, I don’t know if anyone can get them all alone, so I began by making my contribution and adding to it. Contributors to this answer include myself, Braegh, Stiv, GrumpyLlama59, and Darrel Hoffman.


Rewrite the Stars, from The Greatest Showman

What if we rewrite the stars, Say you were made to be mine


Electric Avenue, by Eddy Grant

We gonna rock down to Electric Avenue, And then we'll take it higher


Stronger, by Kelly Clarkson

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, Stand a little taller, Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone


8675309/Jenny, by Tommy Tutone



All-Star, by Smash Mouth

Hey now, you're an all-star, get your game on, go play


Defying Gravity, from Wicked

Just you and I, defying gravity


99 Red Balloons, by Nena

99 red balloons floating in the summer sky


Counting Stars, by OneRepublic

Lately I been, I been losing sleep, Dreaming 'bout the things that we could be


Workin' 9 to 5, by Dolly Parton

Workin' 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin'


Summer of '69, by Bryan Adams

And if I had the choice, Yeah, I'd always wanna be there, Those were the best days of my life


The Movie in My Mind, from Miss Saigon

The movie in my mind, The dream they leave behind, A scene I can't erase, And in a strong GI's embrace, Flee this life, flee this place


Pictures of You, by The Last Goodnight

Pictures of you, Pictures of me, All upon your wall for the world to see


Lucky Star, by Madonna

You must be my lucky star, 'Cause you shine on me wherever you are


I Get Weak, by Belinda Carlisle

I get weak when I look at you, Weak when we touch, I can't speak when I look in your eyes


Girls on Film, by Duran Duran

And I sense a rhythm humming in a frenzy, All the way down her spine, Girls on film, Girls on film


Hooray for Hollywood, from Hollywood Hotel

Hooray for Hollywood, That screwy, ballyhooey Hollywood

The four groups are:

1) Stars (All-Star, Counting Stars, Rewrite the Stars, and Lucky Star)
2) The number 9 (8675309/Jenny, Summer of '69, 99 Red Balloons, and Workin' 9 to 5)
3) Movies (Hooray for Hollywood, Girls on Film, Pictures of You, and The Movie in My Mind)
4) Forces (Defying Gravity, Stronger, Electric Avenue, and I Get Weak)

This implies that the hope for a satisfying conclusion is:

the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.

This movie will be the ninth film in the series of episodic films and the final of the “sequel trilogy.” The Force is a prominent element of the Star Wars universe.

The hope is that this film will provide a satisfying conclusion to the sequel trilogy, as well as some characters’ story arcs. It’s not exactly a new hope, but it is sorely needed for many fans who have already been disappointed by episodes 7 and 8.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ 10 is rot13(Fhzzre bs 69) and 9 is rot13(Jbexva' 9 gb 5, jung n jnl gb znxr n yviva') $\endgroup$
    – Braegh
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 15:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I was probably getting some weird looks trying to (quietly) sing/whistle some of these to myself on the train. :-) $\endgroup$
    – CGreen
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 15:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Okay, I can add two more at present - not enough for my own partial really - so feel free to add these in: rot13(6 vf 'Qrslvat Tenivgl' sebz gur zhfvpny Jvpxrq, naq 15 vf 'Tveyf ba Svyz' ol Qhena Qhena.) I'll keep thinking. There is another potential connecting group at the moment: rot13(ahzoref va gur gvgyr). $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 16:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Also, rot13(1 vf 'Erjevgr gur Fgnef' sebz Gur Terngrfg Fubjzna) - this would fit with the group you already found. $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 16:22
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ By process of elimination, the last group might be rot13(Sbepr - Tenivgl, Fgebatre, Ryrpgevp, naq gur erznvavat haxabja bar) And I just realized that the ultimate answer is likely rot13(Fgne Jnef - n pbapyhfvba bs juvpu vf pbzvat fbba naq jvyy ubcrshyyl or fngvfslvat, naq rnpu bs gur ahzoref pbagnvaf n avar) $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 20:54

After various conversations in comments, just recording this as a partial, since I managed to identify 6 of the 9 songs that @CGreen was missing in their original answer. See (and upvote) their answer for the complete summary of all users' solutions and the final completed wall solve. A great team effort, this one - the power of group-solve!

1 is:

'Rewrite the Stars' from The Greatest Showman. This would fit with the STAR group.

6 is:

'Defying Gravity' from the musical Wicked. This would fit with the FORCE group.

11 is:

'The Movie in My Mind' from the musical Miss Saigon. This would fit with the CINEMA group.

13 is:

'Lucky Star' by Madonna. (Another for the STAR group.)

14 is:

'I Get Weak' by Belinda Carlisle. (Another for the FORCE group.)

15 is:

'Girls on Film' by Duran Duran. (Another for the CINEMA group.)

  • $\begingroup$ Good ear. :) Or deduction. Either way, nice. $\endgroup$
    – CGreen
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ @stiv About #14, was the last note the one you thought was off or the whole melody? I made an edit to correct the last note in the ABC part, because although the music looked fine, the player didn't play the last note as an E flat unless I explicitly marked it as a flat again. You'd have to repaste the notes from my edit to hear the last note correctly. $\endgroup$
    – JS1
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 17:48
  • $\begingroup$ @JS1 Actually with the video I found it felt like the whole thing was out by a semitone or something... Might be a video quality thing (or even my ears)... Would have to relisten! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv Interesting, you must have some degree of perfect pitch to be bothered by that. I think you are right: the original song was in B minor and I used a transposed version that was set in C major. Originally I was going to list the notes in text form so I wanted to reduce the number of sharps and flats. But later I discovered that ABC website and decided to use the original keys as much as possible since I would just paste an image. But I didn't fix #14. $\endgroup$
    – JS1
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 18:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.