Monday, 24 December 2012


Les Miserables is my favourite musical of all time.  The most concise storyline I am able to find online is here

From the first "Look down, look down, don't look 'em in the eye"... I am hooked.  During days when I look at a sunny sky when at my laptop in the office cubicle, I am thankful I am doing work I enjoy.

"What have I done?" Jean Valjean's yellow ribbon moment with the Bishop.  Am reminded on how society views ex convicts.

"At the End of the Day" I am another day older and reflect on what I have done for the day.

"I dreamed a dream" He has never let me down in the things that matter, however there ARE days when I feel an affinity for Fantine when I am appalled at the Husband.

"Who am I?" Valjean's signature tune.  Reclaiming his humanity from his 19 years in forced labour, that he is not just 24601.

"Confrontation" between Valjean and Inspector Javert.  The lyrics tell of the circumstances that made both Valjean and Javert who they are, what are their motivations.  The music makes the moment vibrate in the counterpoint between the 2 men, both with a sense of purpose... Valjean to rescue Fantine's child Cosette, and Javert to apprehend Valjean.  My musical technical mind appreciates how the tune and lyrics come together.  I love this track!

"Castle on the Cloud" for all the children who are unloved.

"Master of the House" for all the liars and crooks in the world.

"Stars" I understand too well Javert's need for order in the world.  Just like the stars in their multitude... providing order and light.

The stirring revolution tune in "Do you hear the People Sing?"

The flush of first love between Cosette and Marius. "In My Life/A Heart full of Love"

Bringing all the characters together in "One day more".  Valjean disliking Marius because Marius is courting his daughter Cosette yet wanting to preserve Marius' life for Cosette, preparing for the revolution.  A touch of comic relief from all the heavy themes when the treacherous Thenardiers sing of how they will raid the corpses for valuables.

Eponine's "On my own" to Marius for those of us who experience the pang of unrequited love.  Appealed to the 18 year old me who watched the show for the first time.

Then the attack, and Eponine's death in Marius' arms "A little fall of rain".  One hears the hush when Marius sings the last note by himself.

"Drink with me" Marius drinks to his fallen comrades of the revolution.

"Bring him home" Valjean's protectiveness of Marius.... parents may relate to 'keep him safe... he is young... he is only a boy..... let him live, let me die... bring him peace'

Javert's suicide as Valjean lets him go from being a prisoner of the revolutionaries.

"Turning" with the passage of time.

The Husband watched the musical with me in London Jun 2011.  After the show, he was contemplative and summarised the show thus 'really miserable, nearly everyone dies'.  Ah but the thread of hope runs through with Marius and Cosette's wedding.  That despite misery, life really does go on....

Merry Christmas!

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