Les Misérables (French because that “the miserable ones” or “the wretched poor”) that first premiered in London in October that 1985 and also in brand-new York in in march of 1987. The musical is based on Victor Hugo’s significant ( and long — 1,200 pages in English, close to 2,000 pages in the initial French!) novel that the very same name published in 1862. The song was created by Herbert Kretzmer (based ~ above the French original written by Alain Boubil) with music by Claude-Michel Schonberg and John Cameron.

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Due to its soaring melody, lush orchestration, poetic lyrics, and also moving (seemingly uplifting) performances by several of the music industry’s most acclaimed divas, the track is regularly misunderstood as a celebration of dreams; however, that is quite the opposite — it is complete of pathos, anguish and also expresses the singer’s heartbreaking disillusionment of her dreams. The song mirrors the novel’s overarching theme: the journey from falsehood come truth, or more precisely in the case of Fantine, indigenous joyful dream come harsh reality.

The soulful tune is sung through Fantine that is a an extremely naive, destitute working-class girl who is seduced by a well-off student, Felix Tholomyes. Tholomytes it s okay Fantine pregnant and abandons Fantine and their illegitimate daughter, Cosette. In order to support Cosette, Fantine asks the Thenardiers, corrupt owner of The Sergeant at Waterloo Inn, to care for her while she functions at a factory, own by Jean Valjean, to knife money to assistance her daughter. The Thenardiers then start to extort money indigenous Fantine, claiming the Cosette is ill and also requires costly care. As soon as the manufacturing facility manager discovers the Fantine is an unwed mother, she is fired from her job. Subsequently, she turns to prostitution to support Cosette and also soon, due to the fact that she is living in the streets, Fantine becomes very ill.

It is in ~ this nadir in her life, the Fantine sings this emotional — yet paradoxically beautiful — passionate song of regret, the reticulum of dreams, despair and also the roadway not taken.

The very first stanza concentrates on the aspects of naive first love and the seduction that leads come a troubled future. The second stanza defines how Fantine has deluded herself through empty dreams, and also she hoped that God would certainly not organize her account for her foolish, carefree behavior. The tigers in the third stanza represent preying older men who seduce and impregnate young women, and also then abandon them. The fourth stanza illustrates unrequited love — a woman who is hopelessly in love v a guy who is merely using her together a plaything, walking away from her when he gets bored. The last stanza is Fantine’s present of her naiveté and the crushing disappointment of dreams never realized. The coda expresses her last lament — complete of poignancy and also anguish. 

There was a time when males were kindWhen their voices were softAnd your words invitingThere to be a time when love was blindAnd the world was a songAnd the tune was excitingThere to be a timeThen it every went wrong

I dreamy a dream in times gone byWhen hope to be highAnd life worth livingI dreamed that love would never ever dieI dreamed the God would certainly be forgivingThen i was young and also unafraidAnd desires were made and also used and also wastedThere was no ransom to it is in paidNo song unsung, no alcohol untasted

But the many tigers come in ~ nightWith their voices soft together thunderAs lock tear her hope apartAnd they rotate your dream come shame

He slept a summer by mine sideHe filled my days with endless wonderHe take it my childhood in his strideBut he was gone when fall came

And still ns dream he’ll pertained to meThat fine live the year togetherBut over there are desires that can not beAnd there space storms us cannot weatherI had actually a dream mine life would certainly beSo different from this hell ns livingSo different now from what that seemedNow life has actually killed the dream ns dreamed.

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Les Misérables: From stage to Screen

Les Miserables DVD (2012)
Les Miserables (Penguin classic – Hardback)
Les Miserables (Canterbury classic – Gift Edition)

For additional reading: Les Miserables by Victor HugoLes Miserables: From phase to Screen through Benedict Nightengale, Applause (2013).The Novel of the Century: The extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables by David BellosBrilliant graphic architecture for nonprofits, foundations, and schools:Visit Alexander Atkins architecture at www.alexatkinsdesign.com