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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

30 Songs {#18}


Of all the songs in Les Miserables, this one tugs at my heartstrings the most.  Maybe it's because, after his long, arduous and almost miraculous (at times) journey, Valjean dies.  Maybe it's because Fantine, Eponine, Enjolras and all the other barricade boys come back for one final song.  Maybe it's because there are so many reprises, both melodic and vocal (Bring Him Home, Do You Hear The People Sing?, Fantine's Death/On My Own).  Whatever it is, it's the one song that really pulls at me and doesn't let go.  The entire beauty of Les Miserables is there for all to see with the reprise of Do You Hear The People Sing?

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that we bring when tomorrow comes.
Tomorrow comes!

I'm getting chills just typing out those lyrics.  No kidding.  Now, I have this little theory about the movie's version of the finale.  As you all probably know, Eponine wasn't with Fantine during the little duet near the end ("Take my hand...") and most of the fans (me included) were pretty upset with Tom Hooper's decision to cut her out.  But I think that, in a way, it was right.  It was right to just have Fantine and bring the bishop back.  In the brick, when Valjean is asked if he wants a priest as he's dying, Victor Hugo says something to the effect of "Who could not doubt that the bishop was there during his final moments?" (disclaimer: I do not agree with Hugo/Les Miserables' view of theology.  This is just something I found interesting :) ) and Valjean finally tells Cosette her mother's name so it was like Fantine was 'there' as well. 

What do you think of my theory?  Where does the Epilogue rank in your list of favorite songs?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hopefully tomorrow I will have a post with the Eilogue on it!!! This is one of my favorite songs in the entire movie! I think my first Let The Music Move You post did it some justice ;)
~Hannah S.

Miss Jane Bennet said...

*Sniffle* The Epilogue always makes me break down. Everyone's so happy and it's so hopeful...and everybody's dead. I think it does make way more sense to have the Bishop there than Eponine, although like you said, the theology is totally off. I love this song and it definitely ranks high in my list of favorite Les Mis songs.

Miss Jane Bennet said...

I'm commenting again...but why, why, WHY did I feel the need to watch that video another time? My keyboard is wet!
...Anyway. Love this song! :')

Maribeth B said...

This song gives me chills even if I'm just listening to it on my iPod! It was also the point where I burst into a sobbing mess in the theater...very rare for me to do...my brother and sisters were shocked. I think your theory is a good one. Eponine was never mentioned in that scene in the book, and though I love Lea Salonga's performance in the TAC in that scene, I thought the movie's take on it was more Brick-accurate.

Also: just wanted to let you know that I awarded/nominated/tagged you over at my blog!

Eva said...

Thanks, Maribeth! I love tags so this should make a fun blog post. Although I'm not sure when I'll get the time for it - I'm swamped right now :P

Katelyn said...

This is definitely in my high ranks for Les Miserables songs (with One Day More, On My Own, Stars, etc. around the same area...)! In addition, one great movie addition was when Marius acknowledged through lifting his head that he could "hear" the people singing their victory song in heaven. Did anyone else like this? Lastly, some of my all-time favorite Les Mis quote is beautifully woven into the lyrics.

"Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light.

For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end
and the sun will rise."

Thank you, Eva for your 30 Songs series! I really enjoy these posts... and it seems that you and I have the same taste of music! :)

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