I Dreamed a Dream

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"I Dreamed a Dream"
Song by Rose Laurens as Fantine from Les Misérables
Published 1980
Recorded
  • 1980 (French Cast recording)
  • 1985 (London Cast recording)
  • 1987 (Broadway Cast recording)
Genre Musical, theatrical, pop
Language French, English
Writer
Composer from the musical Les Misérables
Cover versions

"I Dreamed a Dream" is a song from the musical Les Misérables.[1] It is a solo that is sung by the character Fantine during the first act. The music is by Claude-Michel Schönberg, with orchestrations by John Cameron. The English lyrics are by Herbert Kretzmer, based on the original French libretto by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel from the original French production.

The song is a lament, sung by the anguished, dying Fantine, who has just been fired from her job at the factory and thrown onto the streets. She thinks back to happier days and wonders at all that has gone wrong in her life. Typically played in the key of E flat major,[2] it has also become a jazz standard.

In the 1985 musical, the song occurs after Fantine has been fired, and before "Lovely Ladies". In the original French production and the 2012 film adaptation, these two musical numbers are swapped around, to place dramatic emphasis on Fantine's depressing descent into prostitution.

History[edit]

The song, as it appeared in the original Paris production from 1980, was entitled J'avais rêvé d'une autre vie ("I had dreamed of another life"), and was originally sung by Rose Laurens. The first English-language production of Les Misérables opened on the West End in London in October 1985, with the role of Fantine portrayed by Patti LuPone.[3] She would later feature the song on her 1993 album Patti LuPone Live![4]

When the musical made its Broadway début in New York City in March 1987, Fantine was played by Randy Graff.[1] Laurie Beechman would perform the role in the original U.S. touring production in 1988 and then on Broadway in 1990. That year she included the song on her album Listen to My Heart.[5] Debra Byrne sang the song on the Complete Symphonic Recording. Ruthie Henshall sang it on the Tenth Anniversary Concert Recording (1995). A Broadway revival in 2006 featured Daphne Rubin-Vega (2006–07), Lea Salonga (2007), Judy Kuhn (2007–08).

The show – and the song – has been translated into twenty-one languages, including Japanese, Hebrew, Icelandic, Norwegian, Czech, Polish, Spanish, and Estonian, and there have been 31 cast recordings featuring the song.[6] The London cast version is Triple Platinum in the UK, for sales of more than 900,000, and Platinum in the U.S., for sales of more than one million. The Broadway cast version is Quadruple Platinum in the U.S. (more than four million sold), where four other versions have also gone Gold.[7]

Cover versions[edit]

Numerous popular singers have recorded cover versions of "I Dreamed a Dream". Neil Diamond recorded the song for his 1987 live album Hot August Night 2 and released the song as a single. It peaked at no. 13 on the U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in November 1987[8] and at no. 90 on the UK Singles Chart.[9] Diamond's version features a lyrical alteration at the end of the song; instead of "Now life has killed the dream I dreamed" Diamond sings, "But life can't kill the dream I dreamed".[10]

Other male singers who have recorded the song include rock singer David Essex on his 1987 album Centre Stage,[11] Phantom of the Opera star Michael Crawford on his 1987 album The Phantom Unmasked and on his 1992 release "With Love",[12] LuPone's Evita co-star Mandy Patinkin on his 1994 album Experiment and British theater star Michael Ball (Marius in the Original London production of Les Mis) on his 1996 album The Musicals.

In 1991, Aretha Franklin included a version of the song on her album What You See is What You Sweat.[13] Although not released as a single, Franklin has performed the song at various venues, including the 1993 inaugural celebration for U.S. President Bill Clinton.[14]

In the 1991 film The Commitments, one of the girls auditioning for the titular band sings I Dreamed a Dream as her audition song.

Other female singers who have recorded versions of the song include English singer and stage actress Elaine Paige, from a 1993 performance at Birmingham Symphony Hall which was included on her 1995 album, Encore,[15] original Annie title cast member Andrea McArdle in the 1996 recording On Broadway,[16] New Zealander singer Hayley Westenra and British pop star Petula Clark, each in 2001, Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Crowe in 2005, and Broadway actress Susan Egan in 2008. In 2008 Italian rock noir band Belladonna covered the song in their London show. In 2010 popera singer Rose Jang covered the song for her "Songs of Hope" digital album by Mnet Media

The song was covered on the Glee episode "Dream On" by Shelby Corcoran and Rachel Berry, portrayed by Idina Menzel and Lea Michele respectively. This song took the place of a meeting between Shelby and Rachel, who found out during that episode that Shelby was her birth mother. At the end of that episode, Rachel met Shelby for the first time in real life (the sequence where Shelby and Rachel sung "I Dreamed a Dream" was, in fact, something akin to a dream sequence).

Josh Groban and Michael Ball sung a duet at the end of Never Mind the Buzzcocks (Broadcast 21 December 2010).

Joe McElderry recorded the song for his second album Classic.

Katherine Jenkins released a French cover of the song in her 8th studio album Daydream.

Kika Edgar recorded a Spanish cover titled "Un sueño que alguna vez soñé" for her album Broadway.

In 2011, Celtic Woman performed "I Dreamed a Dream" as part of their 2011 "Believe" tour, recorded by PBS at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. The song was one of two songs sung as "A Tribute to Broadway", the other song being "Circle of Life" from the Disney movie The Lion King. The song, which was only released on DVD and as part of the TV special, was sung by Lisa Kelly and Chloë Agnew.

In December 2012 Pop Classical Crossover artist Romina Arena released an Italian version of the song. "Un Sogno Che Sognai" was released 4 December 2012 on Perseverance Records as a single.[17]

As part of a compilation, and the title track to the Australian album, Lucy Maunder sang the song for ABC Classics I Dreamed a Dream: The Hit Songs of Broadway[18]

Susan Boyle version[edit]

"I Dreamed a Dream"
Single by Susan Boyle
from the album I Dreamed a Dream
Released 15 April 2010
Format Music Download
Recorded 2009
Genre Operatic pop
Length 3:11
Label Syco, Columbia
Certification bronze
Susan Boyle singles chronology
"Wild Horses"
(2009)
"I Dreamed a Dream"
(2009)
"Perfect Day"
(2010)

The song had a resurgence in popularity in 2009 when Scottish singer Susan Boyle performed it as her audition for the third series of the British reality television programme, Britain's Got Talent. Boyle's performance elicited a unanimous vote for passage into the next round of competition by judges Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell, with Morgan giving Boyle "the biggest yes [he had] ever given" in his three years of judging the show. Elaine Paige, Boyle's role model, later expressed interest in singing a duet with her.[19] The programme received high ratings and Boyle's performance was quickly added to sites such as YouTube, where millions of people viewed it in the first month alone.[20][21] Boyle sang the song again during the finals of Britain's Got Talent on 30 May 2009, where she placed second in the competition behind British dance troupe Diversity.[22] Today, it is known as the song that catapulted her to super-stardom, and it helped sales of her album I Dreamed a Dream. Currently, the album has been declared as the fastest selling debut album of all time in the UK, and sold 701,000 copies in its first week in just the US, breaking the record for highest debut ever for a solo female artist.

Shortly after Boyle's audition aired on ITV in April, the Original London Cast Recording of LuPone singing "I Dreamed a Dream" was downloaded to such a degree that the song entered music charts in the U.S. and UK. The U.S. Billboard magazine's Hot Digital Songs and Hot Singles Recurrents charts for the week of 2 May 2009 had LuPone's 1985 recording at no. 61 and no. 20, respectively.[23] LuPone's version also reached no. 45 on the UK Singles Chart on the week of 25 April 2009.[24] Susan Boyle's later 2009 recording rivalled pre-order sales records on Amazon.com in November 2009.

Chart performance[edit]

"I Dreamed a Dream" entered the Irish Singles Chart on 26 November 2009 at number 20. It also entered the UK Singles Chart on 29 November 2009 at no. 37.[citation needed]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[25] 66
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[26] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[27] 27
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[28] 65
France (SNEP) Download Chart[29] 37
Ireland (IRMA)[30] 20
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[31] 49
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[32] 37
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[33] 37
US Billboard Hot 100[34] 62
Scotland (The Official Charts Company) 27

2012 film version[edit]

"I Dreamed a Dream"
Song by Anne Hathaway from the album Les Misérables: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
Published 1980
Released 21 December 2012
Recorded 2012
Genre Musical, theatrical, pop
Language English
Length 4:38
Label Universal Republic Records
Writer Claude-Michel Schönberg
Herbert Kretzmer

"I Dreamed a Dream" was covered again for the 2012 film adaption. The movie was produced by Working Title Films and directed by Tom Hooper from a script by William Nicholson, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg with Herbert Kretzmer. The role of Fantine was played by Anne Hathaway for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. The film changed the ordering of some songs, and this song was swapped around with "Lovely Ladies", to place dramatic emphasis on Fantine's depression, after she has become a prostitute. As with the rest of the film, the vocals for the song were recorded by Hathaway, live on the set, and later edited together with the music.

Her performance of the song was released as part of the Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack on 21 December 2012 and was confirmed to be featured in the upcoming deluxe edition of the album. It was well received by music critics and it was very commercially successful, entering the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and reaching the top thirty of the UK Singles Chart, along with entering various other singles charts around the world.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

On her review of Les Misérables: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack, Rolling Stone's Jody Rosen mentions Hathaway's rendition of the classic as one of the two decent tracks on the compilation, stating that "There are a couple of redeeming moments on this chart-topping soundtrack; Sacha Baron Cohen has fun with the jaunty "Master of the House," and Anne Hathaway gives the schmaltzy "I Dreamed a Dream" her all."[35]

Commercial reception[edit]

On the week-ending of 19 January 2013 the song entered the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at no. 69.[36] The next week, it dropped to number seventy-four and then to ninety-three before finally exiting the chart after three weeks spent in the top 100. The song was also a hit on the UK Singles Chart where it debuted at number twenty-two (higher than Susan Boyle's rendition) after the film's release in that country. It has since fallen to thirty-one, forty-five and its current position at sixty-four, having spent two weeks inside the top forty and so far four weeks within the top 75.[37] It was also present for a week on the Canadian Hot 100 at number seventy-three.[38] Among others, the song has also peaked in the Irish Singles Chart, Dutch Top 100 and the Spanish Singles Chart at numbers twenty-six, fifty-eight and twenty-one respectively.[39][40] The song is also atop the iTunes Top Soundtrack Songs in Romania since January, 2013, where the song sold over 6,000 digital copies.[41]

Tomomi Kahara version[edit]

"Yume Yaburete (I Dreamed a Dream)"
Single by Tomomi Kahara
from the album Dream: Self Cover Best
Released 17 April 2013
Format CD single, music download
Genre Pop
Length 3:52
Label Universal J
Writer(s) Claude-Michel Schönberg
Tokiko Iwatani (Japanese lyrics)
Producer(s) Satoshi Takebe
Tomomi Kahara singles chronology
"Ano Sayonara ni Sayonara o"
(2006)
"Yume Yaburete (I Dreamed a Dream)"
(2013)

"Yume Yaburete (I Dreamed a Dream)" (夢やぶれて -I DREAMED A DREAM-?, lit. "Broken Dreams") is Tomomi Kahara's twenty-seventh single and first in over seven years. "Yume Yaburete" is the Japanese version of "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical Les Misérables. The Japanese lyrics were written by lyricist and translator Tokiko Iwatani. Despite being famously sung by Hiromi Iwasaki, the Japanese rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" was never released as a single until Kahara's cover. The song was suggested for Kahara's comeback by executives at Universal J, Kahara's record label and the one behind the Japanese release of the soundtrack for the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables. Coincidentally, the song happened to be a favorite of Kahara's that she often sang at auditions.[42]

The song was recorded with a backing orchestra of 41 musicians.[42] The cover art for the single pays homage to the musical and the character of Fantine by depicting Kahara as a broken but hopeful woman. The single also includes a piano version of "Yume Yaburete" as well as a self-cover of Kahara's 1996 hit song "I'm Proud". First pressing of the single includes a DVD featuring the music video for "Yume Yaburete".

Commercial performance[edit]

"Yume Yaburete (I Dreamed a Dream)" entered the Oricon weekly singles chart at number 13, marking Kahara's first top 20 single since "Anata ga Ireba" (2004).[43]

Track listing[edit]

CD
No. Title Length
1. "Yume Yaburete (I Dreamed a Dream)" (夢やぶれて "Broken Dreams") 3:52
2. "I'm Proud" (2013 Orchestra Version) 4:44
3. "Yume Yaburete (I Dreamed a Dream)" (Piano Version) 4:02
4. "Yume Yaburete (I Dreamed a Dream)" (Instrumental) 3:52
5. "I'm Proud" (2013 Orchestra Version – Instrumental) 4:42
Total length:
21:14

Charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
position
Japan Billboard Hot 100[44] 6
Japan Hot Top Airplay (Billboard)[45] 5
Japan Hot Singles Sales (Billboard)[46] 9
Japan Daily Singles (Oricon)[47] 11
Japan Weekly Singles (Oricon)[43] 13
Japan Weekly Singles (Recochoku)[48] 34

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Les Misérables at IBDB.com". Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  2. ^ Biamonte, Nicole (28 October 2010). Pop-Culture Pedagogy in the Music Classroom: Teaching Tools from American Idol to YouTube. Scarecrow Press. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-4616-7056-8. 
  3. ^ "Patti LuPone: Biography". Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  4. ^ "Patti LuPone Live! Billboard.com". Retrieved 6 May 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Laurie Beechman Billboard.com". Retrieved 6 May 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Translations and Cast Recordings. LesMis.com". Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  7. ^ "Gold and Platinum RIAA.com". Retrieved 19 November 2009. 
  8. ^ "Diamond 1987 version (U.S.) Billboard.com". Retrieved 26 April 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Diamond 1987 version (UK) Chartstats.com". Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  10. ^ "Neil Diamond lyrics OldieLyrics.com". Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  11. ^ "David Essex Billboard.com". Retrieved 6 May 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Michael Crawford Billboard.com". Retrieved 6 May 2009. [dead link]
  13. ^ "What You See Is What You Sweat track listing Discogs.com". Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  14. ^ ""Aretha Franklin: Biography" RollingStone.com". Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  15. ^ "Encore by Elaine Paige DiscountMusic.com". Retrieved 1 May 2009. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Andrea McArdle Billboard". Retrieved 6 May 2009. [dead link]
  17. ^ Romina Arena "I Dreamed A Dream" in Italian Amazon.com
  18. ^ "I Dreamed A Dream – Hit Songs of Broadway". ABC. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  19. ^ Caroline Davies; Paul Kelbie (19 April 2009). "Reality TV star Susan Boyle set for duet with idol Elaine Paige". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 19 April 2009. 
  20. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (14 April 2009). ""TV ratings: Britain's Got Talent hits high note" Guardian.co.uk". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  21. ^ ""Susan Boyle breaks past 100 million online views" Reuters.com". 20 April 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  22. ^ "Dancers beat Boyle in talent show" BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  23. ^ "LuPone 1985 version (US) Billboard.com". Retrieved 26 April 2009. [dead link]
  24. ^ "LuPone 1985 version (UK) Chartstats.com". Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  25. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Susan Boyle – I Dreamed a Dream". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – Susan Boyle – I Dreamed a Dream" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – Susan Boyle – I Dreamed a Dream" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  28. ^ "Susan Boyle Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Susan Boyle.
  29. ^ "lescharts.com – Les charts français" (in French). Les classement de telechargement single.
  30. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
  31. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Susan Boyle – I Dreamed a Dream" Canciones Top 50.
  32. ^ "Susan Boyle – I Dreamed a Dream – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  33. ^ "December 2009/ Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  34. ^ "Susan Boyle Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Susan Boyle. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  35. ^ Rosen, Jody. "Various Artists - Les Misérables: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  36. ^ Peak chart positions for charted songs in the United States:
  37. ^ "26th January 2013". 2013 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  38. ^ "Anne Hathaway's chart history". 
  39. ^ "TOP 100 SINGLES, WEEK ENDING 17 January 2013". 
  40. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Anne Hathaway – I Dreamed a Dream". 
  41. ^ "Romanian Top 100". 
  42. ^ a b "7年ぶりの新曲「夢やぶれて」をリリースした華原朋美さん". Yomiuri Shimbun. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  43. ^ a b "【オリコン】華原朋美、復帰曲が8年7ヶ月ぶりTOP20". Oricon. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  44. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  45. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Top Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  46. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Singles Sales". Billboard. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  47. ^ "2013年04月18日のCDシングルデイリーランキング". Oricon. Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  48. ^ "シングルランキング 週間 4/17~4/23". Recochoku. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 

External links[edit]