Thursday, May 04, 2006


I love Broadway musicals. I'm just gonna post a lyric line or two from my favorite one. Maybe later, I'll post a few more from some of my other favoites. Anyone who wishes to join in, feel free. Else, there'll just end up being a handful of "rich" comments, and what fun is that?

Here's my starter:

Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance?
Some will fall and some will live
Will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs
Will water the meadows of France!

-- Do You Hear the People Sing, from Les Miserables

I've mentioned it before here, but I just love Les Miserables. The barricade scenes are my favorite in the musical. When I was a kid, I loved the story of the Alamo. The handful against the unbeatable enemy -- the knowing that you'll be a martyr but fighting for a cause -- just really strikes a chord with me. Helm's Deep, in LOTR, gives me much the same feeling, although in that, our heroes miraculously triumphed. Still, it's the knowing you're going to die and still fighting for a cause greater than yourself that stokes my fires. The barricade scenes in Les Miserables give that same feeling. (Of course, they're written very well in Victor Hugo's masterpiece as well.)

Be that as it may, what are some lines from songs in your favorite musicals? And other Les Miserables songs are welcome.


DugALug said...

No more talk of darkness
Forget these wide-eyed fears
I'm here, nothing can harm you
My words will warm and calm you

Let me be your freedom
Let daylight dry your tears
I'm here, with you, beside you
To guard you and to guide you

All I Ask Of You - Phantom Of The Opera

I don't know why this appeals to me like it does. But the dynamic between Roaul and Christine juxtapose to the looming presense of the Phantomm, who's lines makes this song even more compelling and disturbing at the same time. Erik (The Phantom) knows what is right yet he cannot come to grips with the fact that his personally wants outweigh the tragic reality.

At this point, you feel as if Roaul is making promises that he can't possibly keep.

I feel more like Erik than anyone else and that, in itself, has always scared me. My flesh wants what it can't have, and tries to use its other 'virtues' to manipulate those who stand in the way. It is sickenning when I examine my flesh's true intentions. I try to hide my wickedness behind a mask, but appart from God, I would be overcome by it.

Through Christ, and His Spirit, God gives us the hope to overcome these plans of our flesh. Fortunately, it is also God that helps to win this battle.

I didn't intend for this to be a sermonette, but it just kind of ran out... Sorry Rich.


Rich said...

Don't apologize, Doug. that's the kind of stuff I want to hear.

Why the lines mean something to you. Why they stir your passions.

That was cool to hear.

codepoke said...

Hear, hear to both of you!

PotO is very, very cool. I was shocked at how much I liked it. The music was awesome, and the story was just a ball.

Like Rich, I am drawn to Les Miserables, and for the same reasons. My personal favorite is Empty Chairs and Empty Tables. When I started with my little house church in 1989, we were going to overthrow all religion. It was going to take longer than our little lives, but we were going to start the flame that would eventually consume the world.

When I left in 1998, of the original 8 of us ...,
1 we never heard from again
1 left for a sister group (and started the cascade below)
1 fled
2 left the faith
1 committed suicide
1 was more committed than ever

... and I had found freedom in escape. If one of my brothers from that time wrote the same list, he would list me as,

1 grew bitter and went back to the world.

There isn't a word of the song that I don't feel every time I hear it, but here's the start and end.

There's a grief that can't be spoken
There's a pain goes on and on
Empty chairs at empty tables
Now my friends are dead and gone


Oh my friends, my friends, don't ask me
What your sacrifice was for
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will sing no more...

It was the leader of that group who introduced me to this beautiful musical. The irony has never escaped me.

codepoke said...

Oh, and Cirque de Soleil. I watched it once with the sound turned off. I usually am very moved by their peformances, but with the sound off, it was like children tumbling in the grass. Without the awesome melodies, there was just no impact.

B said...

Thanks to my parents, I grew up watching musicals. There are many that I love, but few that personally touch me. Les Miserables is one of those. The whole musical is a reminder of God's mercy and love.

Two songs in particular are especially moving—Look Down and I Dreamed a Dream. From Look Down, I chose the part where the Bishop offers Valjean a place to eat and sleep. Valjean feels like he has no hope, but here is a refuge and a starting point offered to him freely:

Come in, Sir, for you are weary,
And the night is cold out there.
Though our lives are very humble
What we have, we have to share.
There is wine here to revive you.
There is bread to make you strong,
There's a bed to rest till morning,
Rest from pain, and rest from wrong.

I Dreamed a Dream is from another person without hope. She thought she found someone to love her, but he only used her. The life she was left with is heartbreaking, and it is echoed in these lyrics. It’s all past tense—she dreamed that she would have an undying love and a forgiving God, but she never found it and gave up on that dream. Part of why I love this song is because we know that she does eventually find these dreams at the end of her life when Valjean plays the role that the Bishop once played for him.

I dreamed a dream in time gone by,
When hope was high and life, worth living.
I dreamed that love would never die,
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
Then I was young and unafraid,
And dreams were made and used and wasted.
There was no ransom to be paid,
No song unsung, no wine, untasted.

But the tigers come at night,
With their voices soft as thunder,
As they tear your hope apart,
And they turn your dream to shame

Sorry, but I couldn’t choose just one!

Rich said...

That's sad, codepoke, and like you said, more than a little ironic.

b - It's perfectly fine to have more than one. In fact, list more if you want!

And you're right. The Bishop of Digne was like the hand of God on Earth for Jean Valjean and a picture of His grace. Fantine's life was a misery, but what Valjean did for her in the end -- and for the rest of his life -- illustrated the perseverance both we should have with our lives and the steadfastness that God, in His love, has for us.

Maeghan said...

I am not exposed to musicals - we did not theatres until recently and even that it will take time to catch on, if ever.

I went to Singapore to watch Les Miserables but that was more than 10 years ago and I have just watched Phantom of the Opera on DVD a month ago (the latest one). But I am very very very familiar with Sound of Music!! (but what genre is that?) I know ALL the Sound of Music songs BY HARD except for the yodelling song though! haha ...

Doug, I sang those lines when I first took vocal classes some years back. I love that song, though I would not know the heart of the song like you :)

WandaV said...

Gee. I feel all shallow, now. My favorite musicals make me laugh. The Music Man, Singin' in the Rain, and My Fair Lady are my top three. I saw Fiddler on the Roof and loved it, too. It's not so funny, but some of the songs are soo heart-rending. In fact, I've got the itch to see it again.

The only 'musical' I've ever seen live was a local (Huntsville) production of The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I liked it, too; the sight of Pharoah singing liked Elvis cracked me up. The melody of Never Alone still haunts me.

the shallow

DugALug said...


For the record, Les Mis is by far my favorite musical, but Phantom was pretty awesome too.

Maeghan reminded me of a thought:

Les Miserables, The Sound Of Music, The King And I, The Phantom Of The Opera. All went from musicals to the silver screen. Which of these did you like?

Les Miserables - I loved the adaption. It was better than the musical because Victor Hugo's dialog was highlighted. Geofry Rush and Liam Neilson were simply brilliant.

The Sound Of Music - I never saw the actual musical, but the movie is still a favorite in our house.

The King and I - The original, Yule Brenner as the king, adaption was pretty offensive. It is amazing how ignorant Americans can be. Anna and the King, however, was stellar. One of our favorite movies in the past 10 years. If you watch the DVD, watch the deleted scenes, they really cut some wonderful stuff to keep it under 2 hours.

The Phantom Of the Opera - sigh, there are at least 5 adaption of it and they are all wanting. This one should have stayed a musical. I didn't think too much of any of the movies.


codepoke said...

Go b with I Dreamed a Dream!


No, I feel deprived hearing your list! I was raised with not a single musical in my life. I thought I hated them. I was told I hated them, and I believed it. Even after I was force-fed Les Miserables, I still thought I hated musicals. It was only after I found out I liked Moulin Rouge, and everyone else I knew liked it, "Except for the music - I hated the music," that it began to dawn on my that I must like musicals.

I have soooo much catching up to do! Fiddler on the Roof is near the top of my list. I just have to find a time when I'm in the mood, and my son is not home. (2 nights a year.)


Anna and the King, however, was stellar.

Hear, hear!

WandaV said...

Just finished "Thoroughly Modern Millie". It was funny in an old fashioned kind of way. Didn't realize that the song "Baby Face" came from it.