Claude-Michel Schönberg

Overture/ Work Song

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Prisoners
Look down, look down
Don't look 'em in the eye
Look down, look down,
You're here until you die

Convict one
The sun is strong
It's hot as hell below

Prisoner
Look down, look down,
There's twenty years to go

Convict two
I've done no wrong!
Sweet jesus, hear my prayer!

Prisoners
Look down look down,
Sweet jesus doesn't care

Convict three
I know she'll wait,
I know that she'll be true!

Prisoners
Look down, look down,
They've all forgotten you

Convict four
When i get free ya won't see me
Here for dust!

Prisoners
Look down, look down
Don't look 'em in the eye

Convict five
How long, oh lord
Before you let me die?

Prisoners
Look down, look down,
You'll always be a slave
Look down, look down,
You're standing in your grave

Javert
Now bring me prisoner 24601
Your time is up
And your parole's begun
You know what that means.

Valjean
Yes, it means i'm free.

Javert
No!
It means you get
Your yellow ticket-of-leave
You are a thief

Valjean
I stole a loaf of bread.

Javert
You robbed a house.

Valjean
I broke a window pane.
My sister's child was close to death
And we were starving.

Javert
You will starve again
Unless you learn the meaning of the law.

Valjean
I know the meaning of those 19 years
A slave of the law

Javert
Five years for what you did
The rest because you tried to run
Yes, 24601.

Valjean
My name is jean valjean

Javert
And i am javert
Do not forget my name!
Do not forget me,
24601.

Prisoners
Look down, look down
You'll always be a slave
Look down, look down
You're standing in your grave.

Valjean
Freedom is mine. the earth is still.
I feel the wind. i breathe again.
And the sky clears
The world is waking.
Drink from the pool. how clean the taste.
Never forget the years, the waste.
Nor forgive them
For what they've done.
They are the guilty - everyone.
The day begins...
And now lets see
What this new world
Will do for me!

Farmer
You'll have to go
I'll pay you off for the day
Collect your bits and pieces there
And be on your way.

Valjean
You have given me half
What the other men get!
This handful of tin
Wouldn't buy my sweat!

Laborer
You broke the law
It's there for people to see
Why should you get the same
As honest men like me?

Valjean
Now every door is closed to me
Another jail. another key. another chain
For when i come to any town
They check my papers
And they find the mark of cain
In their eyes i see their fear
`we do not want you here.'

[inkeeper's wife]
My rooms are full
And i've no supper to spare
I'd like to help a stranger
All we want is to be fair

Valjean
I will pay in advance
I can sleep in a barn
You see how dark it is
I'm not some kind of dog!

Innkeeper
You leave my house
Or feel the weight of my rod
We're law-abiding people here
Thanks be to god.

Valjean
And now i know how freedom feels
The jailer always at your heels
It is the law!
This piece of paper in my hand
That makes me cursed throughout the land
It is the law!
Like a cur
I walk the street,
The dirt beneath their feet.

Bishop
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.

Valjean
He let me eat my fill
I had the lion's share
The silver in my hand
Cost twice what i had earned
In all those nineteen years -
That lifetime of despair
And yet he trusted me.
The old fool trusted me -
He'd done his bit of good
I played the grateful serf
And thanked him like i should
But when the house was still,
I got up in the night.
Took the silver
Took my flight!