Songs from Les Misérables

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Les Misérables is one of the most famous and most performed musicals worldwide. It is based on the novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, which follows the struggles of a cast of characters as they seek redemption and revolution in 19th century France. French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg composed the Tony Award-winning score in 1980, with a libretto by Alain Boublil. It was staged in London's West End in 1985, with English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. On October 8, 2011, the West End production celebrated its 25th Anniversary and became the longest-running West End musical in history. [1] The show has since found further success on Broadway and in many other countries around the world.

There have been several recordings of this material, including ones by the original London cast and original Broadway cast. However, no recording contains the entire performance of songs, score and spoken parts as featured on stage; The Complete Symphonic Recording comes closest, but a pair of songs that were cut from the show following the initial London run, as well as one song only present in the Original French Concept Album, are not included.

The characters who sing solos or duets are:

  • Jean Valjean, a morally conflicted paroled convict, prisoner 24601, and the protagonist. Failing to find work with his yellow parole note and redeemed by the Bishop of Digne's mercy, he tears his passport up and conceals his identity (under the alias "Monsieur Madeleine" and later "Monsieur Fauvelevant) in order to live his life again as an honest man. However, Javert constantly pursues him;
  • Fantine, a struggling single mother who becomes a street prostitute in order to pay for her child's well-being;
  • Javert, a willful police inspector, originally a prison-guard, who becomes obsessed with hunting down Valjean to whom he refers as "Prisoner 24601";
  • Éponine, the young daughter of the sinister Thénardiers who was pampered and spoiled as a child but grows up to be ragged in Paris. She secretly loves Marius;
  • Cosette, Fantine's daughter, who is abused and mistreated by the Thénardiers but whom Valjean later adopts – she soon grows into a beautiful young woman;
  • Marius Pontmercy, a French student and revolutionary who falls in love with Cosette;
  • Monsieur and Madame Thénardier, a crooked couple who own an inn and exploit their customers. They later become a feared band of thieves in the streets of Paris;
  • Enjolras, leader of the student revolutionaries who seek to bring revolution and change to France;
  • Gavroche, a hotheaded young boy who is adored by the people and aligns himself with their revolution – he is a true symbol of the youth and boldness of the rebellion.
  • Grantaire, a revolutionary who reveres Enjolras and is often drunk.

Prologue[edit]

Overture / Work Song[edit]

The "Overture" is the opening song and a dramatic instrumental introduction that establishes the setting as Toulon, France, 1815. The "Work Song" flows from the "Overture", its lyrics opening with a choir of imprisoned men, but eventually becoming a dark duet between the prisoner Jean Valjean and the guard Javert.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear, nor did any of the Prologue.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Ouverture (Overture) and Le bagne : pitié, pitié (The Prison: Mercy, mercy).

On Parole[edit]

"On Parole" is the second song in the Prologue.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear, nor did any of the Prologue.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as En liberté conditionnelle (On Parole).

Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven[edit]

The song contains two parts, the first in which Valjean is invited in by the Bishop and steals the silver, the second, where Valjean is caught by two constables. The former is often cut out of recordings. When the both parts are played, the song is usually known as "The Bishop of Digne".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear, nor did any of the Prologue.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as L’évêque de Digne (The Bishop of Digne).

Valjean's Soliloquy – What Have I Done?[edit]

"What Have I Done?" is the fourth and final song in the Prologue, sung by the main character, Jean Valjean.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear, nor did any of the Prologue.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Pourquoi ai-je permis à cet homme? (Why Did I Allow That Man?).

Act I[edit]

At the End of the Day[edit]

The music of "At the End of the Day" is fast and intricate, with different melodies coinciding as sung by various groups of poor women and men, female workers, solos by certain workers, and repetitious instrumentation.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as La journée est finie (The Day is Finished), in which it features as the first song.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Quand un jour est passé (When a Day is Past).

I Dreamed a Dream[edit]

"I Dreamed a Dream" is a solo sung by Fantine during the first act and the play's most famous number. Most of the music is soft and melancholic, but towards the end becomes louder and taut with frustration and anguish as she cries aloud about the wretched state of her life and her unfair mistreatment.

Some notable musical connections with this song include:

  • "I Dreamed a Dream" starts in E Major, then E Minor, then F Major – "On My Own" starts in D Major, moving to B Major, and ending in F Major.
  • "I Dreamed a Dream,” outlines unfairness and woe in Fantine's life, the second half dedicated to her former male partner, who deserted her after the conception of Cosette. In "On My Own," Éponine outlines her desire to be with the character Marius, and (similarly to Fantine), dreams and imagines him by her side.
  • Near the one-minute mark (slightly after in "I Dreamed a Dream"), the final key signature change is made and the music and singing grows louder and more intense, as is done in "On My Own."
Other uses
French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as J'avais rêvé d'une autre vie (I Had Dreamed of Another Life).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as J'avais rêvé (I Had Dreamed).

Lovely Ladies[edit]

"Lovely Ladies" is a song from the first act. It is followed by "Fantine's Arrest" and sometimes the two are counted as one song. Fantine, now unemployed, wanders to the docks where she eventually turns to prostitution to survive.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear on the recording, but was a part of the stage show as a song known as La nuit (The Night), which features similar events as the scene where Fantine sells her hair in Les beaux cheveux que voilà (The Beautiful Hair That is There). A shortened version of this song was added at the end of J'avais rêvé d'une autre vie (I Had Dreamed of Another Life), which features the same melody as the final and slower section of Lovely Ladies.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Tu viens, chéri! (You Come, Darling!).

Fantine's Arrest[edit]

"Fantine's Arrest" is a song from the first act. It follows "Lovely Ladies" (the two are sometimes counted as one song). Valjean's appearance in the song is sometimes referred to as "Valjean's Intervention". This song is followed by "The Runaway Cart".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song was separated into two songs, which were called Dites-moi ce qui se passe (Tell Me What Happened) and Fantine et Monsieur Madeleine (Fantine and Monsieur Madeleine).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song was cut from the recording.

The Runaway Cart[edit]

"The Runaway Cart" is a song from the first act, divided into two parts. The chorus, Fauchelevent, and Valjean sing the first with instrumental parts. Valjean sings the second one and Javert on a medium-paced tune often picked up by Javert or other policemen (first sung in "Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven"). The song is cut heavily or left completely out in most recordings. It is known in the School Edition as "The Cart Crash".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear on the recording, but was a part of the stage show in slightly longer form.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song was cut from the recording.

Who Am I? – The Trial[edit]

"Who Am I?" is a song from the first act, a solo sung by the main character Jean Valjean. It is rather slow-paced, and shares a melody with Valjean's solo in "One Day More," as well as the ten-years-later sequence after the Prologue.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear on the recording, but was a part of the stage show as Comment faire? (What to Do?). It includes an additional stanza, in which Valjean shortly reveals his past, since the concept version did not contain the Prologue.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Le procès : comment faire? (The Trial – What to Do?).

Fantine's Death[edit]

"Fantine's Death", also known as "Come to Me", is a song from the first act. It is followed by "The Confrontation". It is slow-paced and the tune is very soft. It has the same melody as the more famous "On My Own".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as La mort de Fantine (Fantine's Death).

The Confrontation[edit]

The main opposing characters Jean Valjean and Javert sing "The Confrontation". It follows "Come to Me" and is followed by "Castle on a Cloud". The song is low and slow-paced. The instrumentation behind the vocals is the same as in the "Work Song", the melody partly also picks up that song. The song's highlight is Javert and Valjean singing in counterpoint, with the lead alternating.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear. In the stage show, a doctor shortly informed Valjean of Fantine's death and Valjean asked three days to fetch Cosette, which Javert refuses. The music was entirely different, but finished in the same instrumental climax that is still used.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as La confrontation (The Confrontation).

Castle On A Cloud[edit]

"Castle on a Cloud" is a solo for the part of young Cosette. She sings about a castle where she does not have to sweep floors and a lady all in white looks after her. It is followed by a tag that breaks away from the main melody, involving the first entrance of Mme Thénardier, which is cut from many recordings. Mme Thénardier verbally abuses Cosette, orders her to fetch some water from a well, praises her daughter young Éponine (a silent role), and again refers to Cosette (after Éponine points to her to show she did not leave), warning that she never asks twice.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – The main song is called Mon prince est en chemin (My Prince is On the Way) where it is preceded by a long instrumental section. The part where Cosette is caught by Mme Thénardier is called Mam'zelle Crapaud (Miss Toad) that is added onto the end of "Castle on a Cloud" in the English version.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Une poupée dans la vitrine (A Doll in a Window). This is a reference to the book; to a doll, Cosette has seen in a shop and which Valjean will later buy for her.

Master of the House[edit]

"Master of the House" is one of the better-known songs of the musical and one that provides comic relief. It introduces the Thénardiers and the crooked way that they operate their inn. The song is preceded by a lengthy introduction sung largely by regulars at the inn and Thénardier himself, which is cut from almost all recordings.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as La devise du cabaretier (The Innkeeper's Motto).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Maître Thénardier (Master Thénardier).

The Well Scene[edit]

"The Well Scene" is sung by Valjean and Young Cosette. Cosette is walking alone in the woods with a bucket of water. Valjean arrives and Cosette sees him. Valjean tells her to not be afraid. He asks for her name and Cosette tells him. He takes the bucket for her and walks her back to the inn. (only in the new video production in 2013)

The Bargain / The Waltz of Treachery[edit]

"The Bargain" and "The Waltz of Treachery" are two intertwined songs. Much of the number is often cut from recordings. The latter part of "The Waltz of Treachery" is largely instrumental. It flows directly into "Look Down".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as Valjean chez les Thénardier (Valjean at the Thénardiers') and La valse de la fourberie (The Waltz of Treachery).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as La transaction (The Dealing). It is only the second part.

Suddenly[edit]

"Suddenly" is a song created for the 2012 film. The song "beautifully explains what happens when Valjean takes Cosette from the inn and looks after her".[7] The song appears only on Les Misérables: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack.

Look Down[edit]

"Look Down", sometimes referred to as "Paris: 1832", or in the School Edition as "The Beggars", involves one of the best-known themes in the musical, imitating that which is first heard in the "Work Song". It is important for plot, introducing Gavroche, Enjolras, Marius, the adolescent Éponine, the adolescent Cosette, and the plight of the working poor; it flows directly into "The Robbery". The song comes after "Stars" in the Original London Recording.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as Donnez, donnez (Give, Give). The song is about twice as long. It has a second solo sung by Gavroche, where he makes fun about the king Louis-Philippe and the politicians. A part of what would later become The Robbery can be found at the end. This stanza asks for some historical knowledge; otherwise, the joke cannot be understood.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Bonjour, Paris (Hello, Paris).

The Robbery / Javert's Intervention[edit]

"The Robbery" is a lesser-known song from the musical. Thénardier attempts to rob Jean Valjean, whereupon realizing Valjean is the one "who borrowed Cosette," a brawl breaks out. Éponine cries out as Javert arrives on the scene, (a segment of the song commonly known as "Javert's Intervention") but, because Javert does not immediately recognise Valjean, the latter escapes; Thénardier then convinces Javert to let him go and pursue Valjean instead.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song appeared at the end of Donnez, donnez (Give, Give) on the recording, but also existed in the stage show.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song was cut from the recording.

Stars[edit]

"Stars" is one of the two chief songs performed as a solo by Javert. It is among the better-known songs from the musical. It comes before "Look Down" in the Original London Version and the 2012 film.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Sous les étoiles (Under the Stars).

Éponine's Errand[edit]

"Éponine's Errand" is an important scene in the show in which Marius asks Éponine to discover where Cosette lives and then take him to her. It is clear that Éponine is reluctant to encourage the brewing romance between Marius and Cosette, but because of her love for Marius, she cooperates. The first part follows the same melody as L'un vers l'autre (Towards One Another), a solo for Éponine that appeared on the original concept album but did not make it to the current version. This tune appears throughout the show.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song was cut from the recording.

The ABC Café – Red and Black[edit]

"The ABC Café – Red and Black", on most recordings referred to as simply "Red and Black", introduces the group of young student revolutionaries, who have formed an organization called the Friends of the ABC. The song name is a mixture from the Café Musain, which was their favourite meeting place in the book and their name, "La Société des Amis de l'ABC" (literally in English, the Society of Friends of the ABC). The name is a pun, as in French "ABC" when pronounced one letter at a time is "abaissé", which is also the word for "lower" (therefore, "Friends of the Lower Class or the Poor"). The song consists of many different changing parts. The song involves a tag, in which Gavroche enters and announces to the students that General Lamarque is dead; Enjolras then sings a solo about how this is a sign for the beginning of the revolution, transitioning directly into "Do You Hear the People Sing?"

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version These songs are known as Rouge et noir (Red and Black), sung by Marius about his meeting with Cosette, followed by Les amis de l'ABC (The Friends of the ABC).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – These songs are known as Le café des amis de l'ABC (The Café of the Friends of the ABC) and Rouge la flamme de la colère (Red, the Flame of Anger). The song order is reversed to match the English versions.

Do You Hear the People Sing?[edit]

"Do You Hear the People Sing?" is one of the principal and most recognizable songs from the musical, sometimes (especially in various translated versions of the play) called "The People's Song". A stirring anthem, it is sung twice: once at the end of the first act, and once at the end of the musical's Finale. Instrumentally, the theme is also prominent in the battle scenes. In the 2012 movie, it is performed after "One Day More".

At the special Les Misérables 10th Anniversary Concert in 1995, "Do You Hear the People Sing?" was sung as an encore by seventeen different actors who had played Jean Valjean around the world. Each actor sang a line of the song in his own language (except for Jerzy Jeszke, who being Polish himself sung a line in German as he'd performed the role of Valjean in Germany), and the languages sung including French, German, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Polish, Dutch, Norwegian, Czech, Danish, Icelandic and English.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as À la volonté du peuple (To the Will of the People).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as À la volonté du peuple (To the Will of the People).

Rue Plumet – In My Life[edit]

"Rue Plumet – In My Life", referred to on most recordings as simply "In My Life", is among the better-known songs from the musical. It largely involves a duet between Cosette and Valjean, though Marius and Éponine also sing near the end. In the Original London recording alone, it plays alongside a Cosette solo, "I Saw Him Once", (Te souviens-tu du premier jour ? in the original 1980 French production) cut out of all other recordings.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as Cosette: Dans la vie (Cosette: In Life) and Marius: Dans la vie (Marius: In Life).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Rue Plumet – Dans ma vie (Rue Plumet – In My Life).

A Heart Full of Love[edit]

"A Heart Full of Love" is sung by Cosette, Marius, and Éponine, immediately following "In My Life".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as Le cœur au bonheur (The Heart at Happiness).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Le cœur au bonheur (The Heart at Happiness).

The Attack on Rue Plumet[edit]

"The Attack on Rue Plumet" is a three-part song, the first part of which plays in only two recordings: a long version in the 1980 Original French recording and a much-shortened version only on the Complete Symphonic Recording and added into the beginning of "The Attack on Rue Plumet". The second is best known and is played in all recordings while the third is again more important for plot than music. On the London Original Cast recording, it is called the "Plumet Attack". Éponine, bringing Marius to Valjean's house to see Cosette, stumbles upon her father Thénardier and his gang Patron-Minette preparing to rob the house; Éponine screams, dispersing the robbers, while Valjean is led to believe that Javert or his minions have discovered his whereabouts at last, and so prepares to leave at once with Cosette.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – The first part of the song figures as Voilà le soir qui tombe (Behold, The Night Falls), which lasts over a minute and a half and actually occurs between "In My Life" and "A Heart Full of Love". It is sung solo by Éponine and warns Marius about the planned break-in. The second part did not figure on the recording, but was used as a purely instrumental piece in the stage show.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Le casse de la rue Plumet (The Break-In of Rue Plumet).

One Day More[edit]

"One Day More" is a choral piece with many solos: all of the main characters (except for Fantine and The Bishop - both of whom have died by this point) sing in it in a counterpoint style known as dramatic quodlibet, as well as parts by the ensemble. It is the finale to Act 1. The song borrows themes from several songs from the first act.

Each character sings his/her part to a different melody at the same time (counterpoint), before joining for the final chorus:

  • Valjean picks up the melody of "Who Am I?" without any changes (A major)
  • Marius, Cosette and Éponine sing to the melody of "I Dreamed a Dream" with Éponine's taking the bridge ("But the tigers come at night", sung by Éponine as "One more day all on my own") (A major, modulating to F# minor)
  • Enjolras repeats the bridge melody of "I Dreamed a Dream" but in a major key. (E♭ major)
  • Javert sings to the already often-used theme from "Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven", "Fantine's Arrest" and "The Robbery/Javert's Intervention", only slower and in a major key. (A major)
  • The Thénardiers sing to a slightly changed melody from "Master of the House" (A Major)
  • The revolutionaries repeat the bridge melody of "I Dreamed a Dream" in a major key with a counter melody that is only instrumental in Fantine's solo. (A major)
  • At the end of the song, everyone sings the melody of "Who Am I?" (C major)
Other uses

The song was used by Bill Clinton in his successful 1992 campaign for the presidency of the United States.[8] Another version was used by Barack Obama supporters during his successful 2008 election campaign. It was also used as a finale to the 25th Anniversary concert of Les Miserables at The O2, sung by the OLC with Ramin Karimloo singing the part of Enjolras.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as Demain (Tomorrow). It is slightly longer, finishing with a short solo from Valjean.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Le grand jour (The Big Day).

Act II[edit]

Upon These Stones – Building the Barricade[edit]

"Building the Barricade" is the entr'acte of the musical and features a new music theme, which transitions into Éponine's appearance at the barricade, and her sung dialogue with Marius and later with Valjean as she passes to him a letter from Marius intended for Cosette. It is often cut out of recordings in part or completely. On the Complete Symphonic Recording, this song is mislabelled "At the Barricade".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear on the recording, but was present in the stage show.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as La première barricade (The First Barricade). The section where Éponine delivers the letter to Valjean is cut.

On My Own[edit]

"On My Own" is a solo part for Éponine. The refrain of the song is the same tune as that of "Fantine's Death (Come to Me)", although it adds a bridge and the tune of the verses are different. Beginning in the key of D, modulating to B♭ (even though the song does not actually change key), then ending in F, this is her most important song. In the film adaptation, the song comes after A Heart Full of Love and before One Day More.

Other uses

"On My Own" has appeared in many famous events outside of Les Misérables, for example:

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not figure, although the music was adapted from L'air de la misère (The Air of Misery), which was sung by Fantine about her misery and suffering. Éponine's solo was known as L'un vers l'autre (The One Toward the Other), bearing no resemblance.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Mon histoire (My Story).

Upon These Stones – At the Barricade[edit]

"At the Barricade", also called "Back at the Barricade", begins with an instrumental reprise of the "Red and Black" and a sung reprise of the "Upon These Stones" musical themes. It is also the first of the two times that a National Guardsmen sings a warning to the revolutionaries. On the Complete Symphonic Recording, this song is mislabelled "Building the Barricade".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Sur la barricade (On the Barricade).

Javert's Arrival[edit]

"Javert's Arrival" or "Javert's Return" involves Javert's return to the barricade to report on the enemy's plans; however, he is interrupted by Gavroche's exposing him as a spy in "Little People".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear on the recording, but was a part of the stage show in similar form.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Je sais ce qui se trame (I Know What is Happening).

Little People[edit]

"Little People" begins as Gavroche proudly and merrily uncovers Javert's identity as an undercover police inspector.

Versions

The Original London Recording included a much longer version sung by Gavroche, sung in the first act, between "Look Down" and "Red and Black." For later versions of the musical, the song was halved to its current length. Gavroche's gleeful uncovering of Javert is sung to an entirely different melody, already used in the Original French Version and is much shorter, before leading to the musical bit that was left in.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as La faute à Voltaire (Voltaire's Fault) and is very long, accompanied by a background choir. The song that Victor Hugo put in the book is used as the refrain.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as C'est la faute à... (It Is the Fault of...).

A Little Fall of Rain[edit]

"A Little Fall of Rain" is the song of Éponine's death. It features Marius and Éponine, the eldest daughter of the Thénardiers, as she tells him that she loves him and dies in his arms. Marius's reaction to her death in the musical is quite different from that in the novel; in the book, Marius does not really care much about Éponine, whereas in the show they are portrayed as good friends, and he and his fellow students mourn her death, "fighting in her name", Marius being quite devastated by her death, even crying while holding her in his arms, and refusing to let go when his fellow students try to take her body away. The title lyric is often misinterpreted; she thinks she is wet because of rain, Marius sees it's blood from her wound(s) that's "everywhere".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as Ce n'est rien (It is Nothing).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Un peu de sang qui pleure (A Little Blood that Weeps).

Night of Anguish[edit]

"Night of Anguish" is a musical interlude scene. The exact definition of this song and the following are hazy; sometimes the few lines following Éponine's death are named "Night of Anguish", sometimes it is the scene directly after the first attack that includes the dialogue between Valjean and Javert, that receives this name.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as La nuit de l'angoisse (The Night of Anguish), which contains much of the same musical material, appears much earlier on the concept recording, and is about the revolutionaries' lamentation of their predicament. It also includes material that would later be used in "Drink with Me".
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song was cut from the recording.

The First Attack[edit]

"The First Attack" begins as a largely instrumental number with only some short lines of singing; there also several lines shouted by revolutionaries during the attack. Depending on the definition of the song, it includes the scene in which Valjean sets Javert free. This scene, even though musically relatively uninteresting, is very important for the plot.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as L'aube du 6 juin (Dawn of June 6) on the recording, but was revised for the stage show into musical sections still present in the English version.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as La première attaque (The First Attack).

Drink with Me[edit]

"Drink with Me" is the revolutionaries' mellow song as night falls and they await their enemy's retaliation.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – One stanza of it can be found in the song La nuit de l'angoisse (The Night of Anguish).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Souviens-toi des jours passés (Remember the Past Days).

Bring Him Home[edit]

Valjean begs God to save Marius and return Marius to Cosette. In a documentary on the Blu-ray of the film adaptation, Claude-Michel Schönberg revealed that the song was written specifically for Colm Wilkinson.[10]

French Versions
  • 1979 Original French Version – This song did not appear.
  • 1986 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Comme un homme (Like a Man).

Dawn of Anguish[edit]

"Dawn of Anguish" is another minor interlude in which Enjolras and the revolutionaries come to the realisation that the people of Paris are not joining their revolution. Without the masses rising up to support them, they accept that the uprising's failure is inevitable and so Enjolras tells all the women and fathers of children to return to their homes, since they will only die if they remain at the barricades.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song was cut from the recording.

The Second Attack[edit]

"The Second Attack" or "Death of Gavroche" is important to the plot. Gavroche runs into the enemy line of fire to retrieve ammunition for the revolutionaries, but is killed during a reprise of his "Little People" solo.

James Fenton had written another song for Gavroche's death, called "Ten Little Bullets", using the melody of Gavroche's solo in "Look Down".[11] The song did not make it past recordings, probably not even there. Only the Broadway Revival version restarted using it in 2006.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as La mort de Gavroche (The Death of Gavroche).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song was cut from the recording.

The Final Battle[edit]

"The Final Battle" is a mostly instrumental number, often omitted from recordings. It repeats the first bar of the theme from "Do You Hear the People Sing?" with some variations and key changes, before erupting into a final reprise of the "Red and Black" theme, ending on a discordant chord instead of the major chord of that theme.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song was cut from the recording.

The Sewers / Dog Eats Dog[edit]

"The Sewers" is mostly a lengthy completely instrumental reprise of "Bring Him Home", though it also incorporates "Dog Eats Dog", a solo performed by Thénardier. In it, Thénardier describes his robbing the dead bodies from the battle at the barricades and justifies his actions by saying that somebody has to "clean them up...as a service to the town". He also declares that God is dead and that the only thing looking down from the heavens is the harvest moon. It is one of the darkest songs of the musical.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Fureurs cannibales (Cannibal Frenzy).

Javert's Suicide[edit]

"Javert's Suicide" is the second and last chief song performed solely by Javert. It is preceded by a repeat of the beginning of "The Confrontation" theme (which is sometimes cut from recordings or incorporated into "The Sewers"), in which Valjean asks Javert for one hour to bring Marius to a hospital, a request to which Javert, this time, agrees. After Valjean leaves, Javert contemplates the paradox of hunting the man who has spared him his life; he proceeds to jump to his death in the river. The song is instrumentally an exact reprise of Valjean's Soliloquy, though sung by Javert with changed lyrics. Part of an instrumental from Stars is heard at the end of song as he is falling.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as Noir ou blanc (Black or White).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Le suicide de Javert (Javert's Suicide).

Turning[edit]

"Turning" features the women of Paris mourning the loss of the students and their own hopeless cycles of childbirth and misery. It is set to the melody of "Lovely Ladies." It is also the only song in the musical not sung by a major character.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Tourne, tourne (Turn, Turn).

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables[edit]

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" is a solo sung by the character Marius, who is mourning the death of all of his friends who were killed at the barricade. Part of it is to the tune of "The Bishop of Digne".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Seul devant ces tables vides (Alone in Front of These Empty Tables).

Every Day[edit]

"Every Day" or "Marius and Cosette" is a two-part song sung by Cosette, Marius and Valjean. The second part is often known as "A Heart Full of Love (Reprise)". Gillenormand sings part of the song in the 2012 film.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear, but identical music sections were present in a former exchange between Marius and the Gillenormands in the stage show.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song was cut from the recording.

Valjean's Confession[edit]

"Valjean's Confession" is sung by Valjean and Marius. Though important for the plot, the music is more important as an introduction to "Who Am I?".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as L'aveu de Jean Valjean (Jean Valjean's Confession) and was much longer. It explains Valjean's motives more clearly. When Marius asks why Valjean confesses to him, Valjean explains that his conscience will not let him rest until he has done so. Valjean asks Marius if it would be better if he (Valjean) did not see Cosette again and Marius says that he thinks so. This fits much better with the description in the book.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song was cut from the recording.

The Wedding[edit]

"The Wedding" is a very brief song, also known as the "Wedding Chorale", and is sung by the guests on Cosette and Marius's wedding. The second part is a dialogue-heavy song that is often abridged or cut, sung by Marius and the Thénardiers. This part is sometimes called "The Waltz of Treachery (Reprise)" as it is sung to a similar melody.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – The first part of this song is known as Le mariage: soyez heureux (The Marriage: Be Happy). It was longer than all other versions, featuring an additional refrain. The second part is known as Marchandage et révélation (Bargaining and Revelation), where it is more than only slightly longer. It included another subplot from the book. Here, Thénardier first tries to shock Marius with the revelation that Valjean is an ex-convict, which Marius already knows. When Thénardier says that Valjean is also a murderer, Marius claims to know that as well. He believes Valjean to have killed both Javert (on the barricade) and a certain M. Madeleine, a rich factory owner. Thénardier proves to him (with the help of newspaper clippings), that Javert committed suicide and that Madeleine and Valjean are the same person – Marius's false source of information is unknown – and then tells him about the sewers.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Sonnez, sonnez (Ring, Ring).

Beggars at the Feast[edit]

"Beggars at the Feast" is the second big musical number sung by the Thénardiers, in which they proclaim how through their treacherous ways they always manage to come out on top before waving the audience goodbye with the mocking line "When we're rich as Croesus, Jesus, won't we see you all in hell". It is a reprise of the "Master of the House" theme.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Mendiants à la fête (Beggars at the Party).

Epilogue[edit]

Valjean's Death[edit]

"Valjean's Death" is the penultimate (or last, depending on the song organization) musical number in Les Misérables. This and the "Finale", into which it flows without pause, are sometimes counted as one song. The combination is often known as "The Epilogue" (as the musical also has a Prologue). Fantine and Éponine come to welcome him into salvation. "Valjean's Death" borrows the tune from "Fantine's Death", and towards the end, "Bring Him Home".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song is known as Épilogue: la lumière (Epilogue: The Light).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Final: c'est pour demain (Finale: It is For Tomorrow).

Finale[edit]

"The Finale", also known as "Do You Hear the People Sing? (Reprise)", is the last song in the musical; it is often incorporated with "Valjean's Death" into a single track on recordings, simply entitled "Epilogue".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version – This song did not appear, instead ending with Valjean's Death.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version – This song is known as Final: c'est pour demain (Finale: It is For Tomorrow).

Song appearances in recordings[edit]

Key
  • Yes – All or almost all of song included
  • Partially – Part of song included
  • No – Song excluded
Song Original London Recording Original Broadway Recording 10th Anniversary Recording Complete Symphonic Recording Original French Concept Album Paris Revival Recording School Edition[a] Motion picture (2012)
Overture / Work Song Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially Yes
On Parole No No Partially Yes No No Partially Partially
Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven Partially Partially Yes Yes No Partially Partially Partially
Valjean's Soliloquy (What Have I Done?) Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially Yes
At the End of the Day Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partially
I Dreamed a Dream Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lovely Ladies Yes Yes Partially Yes Partially Yes Partially Yes
Fantine's Arrest No No Yes Yes Yes No Partially Partially
The Runaway Cart No No Partially Yes No No Partially Partially
Who Am I? Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially Yes
Come to Me (Fantine's Death) Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
The Confrontation Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially Yes
Castle on a Cloud Partially Partially Partially Yes Yes Partially Partially Yes
Master of the House Partially Partially Partially Yes Partially Partially Partially Yes
Suddenly No No No No No No No Yes
The Bargain No No Partially Yes Yes No Partially Yes
The Waltz of Treachery Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Look Down Partially Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partially Yes
The Robbery No No No Yes Partially No Partially Yes
Javert's Intervention No No No Yes No No Yes Yes
Stars Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially Yes
Little People (original) Yes No Partially No Yes No Partially Partially
Éponine's Errand No No No Yes No No Yes Yes
The ABC Café / Red and Black Partially Partially Yes Yes Partially Partially Partially Partially
Do You Hear the People Sing? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
I Saw Him Once Yes No No No No No No No
In My Life Partially Yes Partially Yes Partially Yes Partially Yes
A Heart Full of Love Partially Yes Yes Yes Partially Yes Yes Yes
The Attack on Rue Plumet Partially Partially Partially Yes Partially Partially Partially Partially
One Day More Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
At the Barricade (Upon These Stones) No Partially No Yes No Partially Partially Partially
On My Own Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Building the Barricade Partially Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially Partially
Javert's Arrival No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially Yes
Little People No Partially Yes Yes No Partially Partially Partially
A Little Fall of Rain Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partially Partially
Night of Anguish No No Yes Yes Yes No Partially Yes
The First Attack No Partially Yes Yes Partially Partially Partially Yes
Drink with Me Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partially
Bring Him Home Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Dawn of Anguish No No No Yes No No Partially Yes
The Second Attack (Death of Gavroche) No No No Yes Yes No Partially[b] Partially
The Final Battle No No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
The Sewers No No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Dog Eats Dog Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially No
Javert's Suicide Partially Partially Yes Yes Partially Yes Yes Yes
Turning Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially Partially
Empty Chairs at Empty Tables Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Every Day No No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Valjean's Confession No No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Suddenly (Reprise) No No No No No No No Yes
The Wedding Chorale Partially Partially Partially Yes Yes Partially No[c] Partially
Beggars at the Feast Yes Yes Partially Yes No Yes Partially Partially
Valjean's Death Partially Partially Yes Yes Partially Partially Partially Yes
Finale Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Notes
  • a While the cuts in the Student Edition appear significant, most are small edits that don't remove more than a verse or a few measures.
  • b While "The Death of Gavroche" is included in the student production, it was cut from the 25th Anniversary.
  • c While "The Wedding Chorale" was cut in the Student Edition, it appeared in the 25th Anniversary Concert.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC". BBC News. 2006-10-08. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  2. ^ "I Dreamed a Dream". discogs.com. Retrieved 18 April 2009. 
  3. ^ "Aretha Franklin – I Dreamed A Dream – Clinton Inauguration". YouTube. 30 June 2007. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  4. ^ "Scottish singer 'gobsmacked' by overnight stardom". CNN. 17 April 2009. 
  5. ^ "Week Ending April 25th 2009 – Chart Watch UK". New.uk.music.yahoo.com. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  6. ^ "Patti LuPone – I Dreamed A Dream". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  7. ^ "One Song More! Les Miz Film Will Have New Song and Live Singing; Cameron Mackintosh Reveals All". Playbill. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2013-01-28. 
  8. ^ "Moral Philosophy: The Musical passes an unexpected milestone". The Guardian. October 6, 2006. 
  9. ^ "Pilot: Featured Music". Fox. Archived from the original on 2010-01-26. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Schönberg, Claude-Michel. The West End Connection (Blu-ray Disc). Universal Studios. 
  11. ^ By Edward Behr (1993). The Complete Book of Les Miserables. Arcade Publishing. ISBN 978-1-55970-156-3. 

External links[edit]