Songs from Les Misérables


Songs from Les Misérables

Les Misérables, colloquially known as Les Mis, 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 nineteenth 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, 2006, the show celebrated its twenty-first 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 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") in order to live his life again as an honest man. However, Javert constantly pursues him;
  • Fantine, a single mother who is forced into prostitution in order to pay for her child's well-being;
  • Javert, a police inspector, originally a prison-guard, who becomes obsessed with hunting down Valjean to whom he refers as "Prisoner 24601";
  • Éponine, the young, caring daughter of the sinister Thénardiers who 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 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 free the oppressed lower class of 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, Grantaire is a revolutionary who worships Enjolras and often gets drunk. He tragically dies at the barricades.
Act I
  • Overture – Orchestra
  • Prologue: Work Song – Chain Gang, Javert, and Valjean
  • Prologue: On Parole – Valjean, Farmer, Labourer, Innkeeper’s Wife, and Innkeeper
  • Prologue: Valjean Arrested / Valjean Forgiven – Constables and Bishop
  • Prologue: What Have I Done? – Valjean
  • At the End of the Day – Fantine, The Poor, Foreman, Workers, Factory Girls, and Valjean
  • I Dreamed a Dream – Fantine
  • Lovely Ladies – Fantine, Sailors, Whores, Old Woman, Crone, and Pimp
  • Fantine’s Arrest – Fantine, Bamatabois, Javert, and Valjean
  • The Runaway Cart – Onlookers, Valjean, Fauchelevent, and Javert
  • Who Am I? – Valjean
  • Fantine’s Death – Fantine and Valjean
  • The Confrontation – Javert and Valjean
  • Castle on a Cloud – Young Cosette and Madame Thénardier
  • Master of the House – Thénardier, Madame Thénardier, and Chorus
  • The Bargain / The Thénardier Waltz of Treachery – Thénardier, Valjean, Madame Thénardier, and Young Cosette
  • Look Down – Beggars, Gavroche, Old Woman, Prostitute, Pimp, Enjolras, and Marius
  • The Robbery / Javert’s Intervention – Thénardier, Madame Thénardier, Éponine, Marius, Valjean, and Javert
  • Stars – Javert and Gavroche
  • Éponine’s Errand – Marius and Éponine
  • The ABC Café / Red and Black – Students, Enjolras, Marius, Grantaire, and Gavroche
  • Do You Hear the People Sing? – Enjolras, Grantaire, Students, and Beggars
  • I Saw Him Once – Cosette
  • In My Life – Cosette, Valjean, Marius, and Éponine
  • A Heart Full of Love – Marius, Cosette, and Éponine
  • The Attack on Rue Plumet – Thénardier, Thieves, Éponine, Marius, Valjean, and Cosette
  • One Day More – Valjean, Marius, Cosette, Éponine, Enjolras, Javert, Thénardier, Madame Thénardier, and Company
Act II
  • At the Barricade (Upon These Stones) – Enjolras, Javert, Marius, Éponine, and Valjean
  • On My Own – Éponine
  • Building the Barricade (Upon These Stones) – Enjolras, Students, and Army Officer
  • Javert’s Arrival – Javert and Enjolras
  • Little People – Gavroche, Students, Enjolras, and Javert
  • A Little Fall of Rain – Éponine and Marius
  • Night of Anguish – Enjolras, Valjean, and Students
  • The First Attack – Enjolras, Grantaire, Students, Valjean, and Javert
  • Drink with Me – Grantaire, Students, Women, and Marius
  • Bring Him Home – Valjean
  • Dawn of Anguish – Enjolras and Students
  • The Second Attack (Death of Gavroche) – Enjolras, Marius, Valjean, Grantaire, Gavroche, and Students
  • The Final Battle – Army Officer, Grantaire, Enjolras, and Students
  • The Sewers – Orchestra
  • Dog Eats Dog (The Sewers) – Thénardier
  • Javert’s Suicide – Valjean and Javert
  • Turning – Women of Paris
  • Empty Chairs at Empty Tables – Marius
  • Every Day (Marius and Cosette) – Cosette and Marius
  • A Heart Full of Love (Reprise) – Cosette, Marius, and Valjean
  • Valjean’s Confession – Valjean and Marius
  • Wedding Chorale – Guests, Thénardier, Marius, and Madame Thénardier
  • Beggars at the Feast – Thénardier and Madame Thénardier
  • Valjean’s Death – Valjean, Fantine, Cosette, Marius, and Éponine
  • Finale – Full Company

Contents

Prologue

Overture / Work Song

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 protagonist Jean Valjean (as a prisoner) and the prison-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: Pity, Pity).

On Parole

On Parole is the second song in the first act. It comes after the Overture or "Work Song" and is followed by "Valjean Arrested & Forgiven".

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

Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven, also known as is the third song in the first act. The song contains two parts, the first part, where Valjean is invited in by the Bishop and steals the silver, the second, where Valjean is caught by two constables. The latter is better known, while 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).

What Have I Done? (Valjean's Soliloquy)

What Have I Done?, also known as Valjean's Soliloquy is the fourth song in the first act, 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

At the End of the Day

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

"I Dreamed a Dream" is a solo sung by Fantine during the first act. Most of the music is soft and melancholy, 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 relations 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."
  • When Éponine sings her solo, it is the same tune as "Come to Me" also sung by Fantine.
  • Similarly, the duet between Cosette and Marius in "One Day More" is the same tune as Fantine's "I Dreamed a Dream", though higher/lower in pitch and accented differently: their words are of happiness, a great contrast to Éponine and Fantine.
Other uses
  • Glee's character Rachel Berry and Shelby Corcoran (portrayed by Lea Michele and Idina Menzel, respectively]] made a covered version of this song
  • Many singers have covered this song, including Neil Diamond (from his 1987 live album Hot August Night 2) and Aretha Franklin (from her 1991 album What You See Is What You Sweat).[2] Franklin also performed this song for U.S. President Bill Clinton on the evening of the day that he was inaugurated.[3]
  • A rendition of this song was performed in 2009 by Scottish church volunteer Susan Boyle for her audition on the third season of the ITV programme Britain's Got Talent. This performance was reported worldwide and videos of her singing were viewed more than 85 million times in various formats within a week of broadcast. Boyle was reportedly shocked and amazed by the strength of this reaction.[4] The song's renewed popularity caused Patti LuPone's 1985 recording to enter the UK Singles Chart, peaking at forty-five with 4,987 digital download sales. "I Dreamed a Dream" is the musical's only chart hit.[5][6]
French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version — This song is known as J'avais rêvé d'une autre vie (I Dreamed of Another Life).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version — This song is known as J'avais rêvé (I Dreamed).

Lovely Ladies

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.

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 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

Fantine's Arrest is a song from the first act. It follows "Lovely Ladies" (the two are sometimes counted as one song) and 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

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 & Forgiven"). The song is cut heavily or left completely out in most recordings.

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

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".

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version — This song did not appear on the recording, but was a part of the stage show. 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 (Come to Me)

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

The main 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

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.

lyrics

There is a castle on a cloud

I like to go there in my sleep

Aren't any floors for me to sweep

Not in my castle on a cloud

There is a room that's full of toys

There are a hundred boys and girls

No body shouts or talks to loud

Not in my castle on a cloud

There is a lady all in white

Holds me and sings a lullaby

She's nice to see and she's soft to touch

She says 'Cosette, I love you very much'

I know a place where no one's lost

I know a place where no one cries

Crying at all is not allowed

Not in my castle on a cloud

---

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

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.

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 Bargain / The Waltz of Treachery

The Bargain and The Waltz of Treachery are two intertwined songs. The first part is often cut from recordings; the second is therefore much better known.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version — This song is known as Valjean chez les Thénardier (Valjean at the Thénardier's) 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.

Look Down

Look Down, sometimes referred to as "The Beggars" or "Paris: 1832", is one of the best-known songs from the musical as its theme is repeated throughout. 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. Enjolras's part is sung instead by a beggar, and 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

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. Eponine cries out as Javert arrives on the scene, but with Javert not recognizing Valjean, the latter escapes. Thénardier 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

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

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

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 hesitant 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, 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

The ABC Café introduces the group of young student revolutionaries, who have formed an organization called 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" is pronounced as "abaissé", "lower" (therefore, "Friends of the Lower Class or the Poor"). The song consists of many different changing parts and is often referred to in its entirety as Red and Black.

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 ABC Friends Café) 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?

Do You Hear the People Sing? is one of the principal and most recognizable songs from the musical[citation needed], 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.

Other uses

The song was played during television coverage of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. The video made using the song was made by Tom Hansen, an editor at KPRC-TV located in Houston, Texas.[7]

Do You Hear The People Sing is the theme song of the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union club.

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, and the languages sung included French, German, Japanese, Hungarian, Swedish, Polish, Dutch, Norwegian, Czech, Danish, Icelandic, and English.

During the 2011 Protests in Wisconsin against Governor Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill, "Do You Hear the People Sing" was performed as part of a pro-union movement in the Capitol Rotunda.[8]

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

In My Life is among the better-known songs from the musical. In the Original London recording, 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

A Heart Full of Love is a well-known song, 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 of Happiness).
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version — This song is known as Le cœur au bonheur (The Heart of Happiness).

The Attack on Rue Plumet

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.

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".
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version — This song is known as French: Le casse de la rue Plumet (The Break-In of Rue Plumet).

One Day More

One Day More is a choral piece: almost all of the main characters sing in it in a counterpoint style, 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. (Eb major)
  • Javert sings to the already often-used theme from "Valjean Arrested/Valjean Forgiven" or "Fantine's Arrest", 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)
Other uses

The song was used by Bill Clinton in his successful 1992 campaign for the presidency of the United States.[9] 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

At the Barricade (Upon These Stones)

At the Barricade, also called Upon These Stones is the entr'acte of the musical and features a medley of select songs from the first act. It is often cut out of recordings.

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

On My Own is a solo for the part of Éponine. The chorus of the song is the same tune as that of "Come to Me", although it adds a bridge and the tune of the verses are different. Beginning in the key of D, modulating to Bb (even though the song does not actually change key), then ending in F, this is her most important song.

Other uses

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

  • Michelle Kwan skated to it during the 1997 Skate America competition as well as the 1998 Tokyo Golden Gala.
  • The character of Joey Potter in Dawson's Creek, played by Katie Holmes, sings this song at a talent show phase of a beauty pageant in Episode #1–11 "Pretty Woman," also known as "Beauty Contest."
  • The character of Rachel Berry in Glee, played by Lea Michele (who played Eponine at the Hollywood Bowl production of Les Mis), sang this song as an audition to join the Glee Club in the pilot episode.[10] Michele's version has been released as a digital download single.
  • In 1987, Yolandita Monge created a Spanish version called Yo Solo.
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 Towards the Other), bearing no resemblance.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version — This song is known as Mon histoire (My Story).

Building the Barricade (Upon These Stones)

Building the Barricade, also called Upon These Stones (Reprise), and Back at 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

Javert's Arrival is less a song than a scene.

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

Little People begins as Gavroche proudly and merrily uncovers Javert's identity.

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.

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

A Little Fall of Rain is the number of Éponine's death. It features Marius and Éponine, the eldest daughter of the Thénardiers, as she tells him that she loves him. He stays there with her as she dies in his arms.

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 Cries).

Night of Anguish

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 (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

The First Attack begins as an instrumental number with no extended singing, only a few lines, many of them spoken. 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

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).

Both French versions use poetry from the book, where it is said to be written by Jean Prouvaire.

Bring Him Home

Bring Him Home is probably Valjean's best known solo. He is begging for God to send Marius home to him and Cosette.

French Versions
  • 1980 Original French Version — This song did not appear.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version — This song is known as Comme un homme (Like a Man).

Dawn of Anguish

Dawn of Anguish is another minor interlude.

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 (Death of Gavroche)

The Second Attack is one of plot importance, but otherwise rather unknown. James Fenton had written another song for Gavroche's death, called "Ten Little Bullets", on 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). It remains unknown, where Gavroche was shot. It begins with Gavroche making fun about Javert (whose suicide somehow is the song just before this). The students are aghast that the troops really shot a child. Gavroche, in his joking way, tells them what happened, to the tune of his solo in "Look Down". To the melody of the "Work Song", he leaves his cap to his friends, the only thing he owns and does not need anymore. He starts singing "C'est la faute à..." again, but dies before finishing the first refrain.
  • 1991 Parisian Revival Version — This song was cut from the recording.

The Final Battle

The Final Battle is a mostly instrumental number, often left out of recordings, as the important bit about the number is the action on the stage.

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

The Sewers is a lengthy completely instrumental song followed by Dog Eats Dog, a song performed by Thénardier. It is about Thénardier robbing the dead bodies from the battle at the barricades.

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

Javert's Suicide is the second and last chief song performed by Javert (for obvious reasons), sung between "Dog Eats Dog" and "Turning". It is preceded by a repeat of the beginning of "The Confrontation", in which Valjean asks Javert for one hour to bring Marius to a hospital, a request to which Javert, this time, agrees.

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

Turning features the women of Paris mourning the loss of the students and their own hopeless cycles of childbirth and misery. Although it is a relatively unknown number, it is featured in all recordings and is to the tune of "Lovely Ladies." It is also the only song in the entire musical not sung by any 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

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables is a solo sung by the character Marius near the end of the show. 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

Every Day is a two-part song sung by Cosette, Marius and Valjean. The second part is often known as A Heart Full of Love (Reprise).

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

Valjean's Confession is a scarcely known musical number sung by Valjean and Marius. It is only important for the plot, the music is just a "Who Am I?" – warm-up.

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.

Wedding Chorale

The Wedding is also known as Wedding Chorale and is sung by the guests on Cosette's and Marius' wedding. The second part is a dialogue-heavy song, 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

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 Creosus, Jesus, won't we see you all in hell". It can be considered as a reprise of "Master of the House".

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

Valjean's Death

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.

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

The Finale, also known as Do You Hear the People Sing? (Reprise), is the last song in the musical.

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

Song Original London Recording Original Broadway Recording Tenth Anniversary Recording Complete Symphonic Recording Original French Concept Album Paris Revival Recording School Edition
Overture / Work Song Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially
On Parole No No Partially Yes No No Partially
Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven Partially Partially Yes Yes No Partially Partially
Valjean's Soliloquy (What Have I Done?) Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially
At the End of the Day Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
I Dreamed a Dream Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lovely Ladies Yes Yes Partially Yes Partially Yes Partially
Fantine's Arrest No No Yes Yes Yes No Partially
The Runaway Cart No No Partially Yes No No Partially
Who Am I? – The Trial Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Come to Me (Fantine's Death) Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
The Confrontation Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially
Castle on a Cloud Partially Partially Partially Yes Yes Partially Partially
Master of the House Partially Partially Partially Yes Partially Partially Partially
The Bargain No No Partially Yes Yes No Partially
The Waltz of Treachery Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Look Down Partially Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partially
The Robbery No No No Yes Partially No Partially
Javert's Intervention No No No Yes No No Yes
Stars Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially
Little People (Original, Former) Yes No Partially No Yes No Partially
Eponine's Errand No No No Yes No No Yes
The ABC Café / Red and Black Partially Partially Yes Yes Partially Partially Partially
Do You Hear the People Sing? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
I Saw Him Once Yes No No No No No No
In My Life Partially Yes Partially Yes Partially Yes Partially
A Heart Full of Love Partially Yes Yes Yes Partially Yes Yes
The Attack on Rue Plumet Partially Partially Partially Yes Partially Partially Partially
One Day More Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
At the Barricade (Upon These Stones) No Partially No Yes No Partially Partially
On My Own Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Building the Barricade Partially Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially
Javert's Arrival No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially
Little People No Partially Yes Yes No Partially Partially
A Little Fall of Rain Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partially
Night of Anguish No No Yes Yes Yes No Partially
The First Attack No Partially Yes Yes Partially Partially Partially
Drink With Me Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bring Him Home Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Dawn of Anguish No No No Yes No No Partially
The Second Attack (Death of Gavroche) No No No Yes Yes No Yes
The Final Battle No No Yes Yes No No Yes
The Sewers No No Yes Yes No No Yes
Dog Eats Dog Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially
Javert's Suicide Partially Partially Yes Yes Partially Yes Yes
Turning Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Partially
Empty Chairs at Empty Tables Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Marius et Monsieur Gillenormand ("Marius and Mister Gillenormand") No No No No Yes No No
Every Day (Marius and Cosette) No No Yes Yes No No Yes
Valjean's Confession No No No Yes Yes No Yes
The Wedding Chorale Partially Partially Partially Yes Yes Partially No
Beggars at the Feast Yes Yes Partially Yes No Yes Partially
Valjean's Death Partially Partially Yes Yes Partially Partially Partially
Finale Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Yes = All or Almost All of Song Included

Partially = Part of Song Included

No = Song Excluded

References

  1. ^ "BBC". BBC News. 2006-10-08. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5414068.stm. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  2. ^ "I Dreamed a Dream". discogs.com. http://www.discogs.com/search?ev=hs&q=%22i+dreamed+a+dream%22&btn=Search. Retrieved 18 April 2009. 
  3. ^ "Aretha Franklin – I Dreamed A Dream – Clinton Inauguration". YouTube. 30 June 2007. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl5ZM02s7yA. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  4. ^ "Scottish singer 'gobsmacked' by overnight stardom". CNN. 17 April 2009. http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/TV/04/17/susan.boyle/?iref=mpstoryview. 
  5. ^ "Week Ending April 25th 2009 – Chart Watch UK". New.uk.music.yahoo.com. 2009-04-20. http://new.uk.music.yahoo.com/blogs/chartwatch/3149/week-ending-april-25th-2009/. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  6. ^ "Patti LuPone – I Dreamed A Dream". Chart Stats. http://www.chartstats.com/songinfo.php?id=34325. Retrieved 2010-03-22. 
  7. ^ Tiananmen Square les mis do you hear the people tribute on YouTube
  8. ^ Madison WI Capitol Rally 2-27-11 Do You Hear the People Sing on YouTube
  9. ^ "Moral Philosophy: The Musical passes an unexpected milestone". The Guardian. October 6, 2006. http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1888965,00.html. 
  10. ^ "Pilot: Featured Music". Fox. Archived from the original on 2010-01-26. http://www.fox.com/glee/music/season-1/episode-1.htm. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  11. ^ By Edward Behr (1993). The Complete Book of Les Miserables. Arcade Publishing. ISBN 9781559701563. http://books.google.com/?id=qiCO4XZ2K6IC&printsec=frontcover&q=. 

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