Two Songs From Les Miz That I Love But People Rarely Seem to Mention

******There will be some spoilers in this blog post******

Les Misérables is one of the most well-known musicals of all time. It has a story that carries through the generations and leaves everyone with something to take away from it. All in all, I’d say that most of the songs are pretty well-known, especially songs like “I Dreamed a Dream”, “On My Own”, “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”, and “Do You Hear the People Sing?”. But there are two songs that I absolutely LOVE that I very rarely (except when talking to other die-hard Les Miz fans) hear brought up. And those two songs are “Drink With Me” and “Turning”.

Drink With Me

Drink with me to days gone by
Can it be you fear to die?
Will the world remember you when you fall?
Could it be your death means nothing at all?
Is your life just one more lie?

-Grantaire’s part in “Drink With Me”

“Drink With Me” is sung after the initial attack on the barricade when Éponine takes a bullet for Marius. Quite notably amongst fans, Grantaire’s part was cut from the movie version.

There’s something about the lyrics–the feeling of unity and the feeling of sadness–and the tune that just makes me love this song so much. It’s a song that really hits the heartstrings whenever I listen to it. I think that there is so much to be found in reference to the characters of the Barricade Boys in this song alone especially because we don’t get as much time with them in the musical as we do in the book.

Turning

Did you see them
Going off to fight?
Children of the barricade
Who didn’t last the night?
Did you see them
Lying where they died?
Someone used to cradle them
And kiss them when they cried.
Did you see them
Lying side by side?

Who will wake them?
No one ever will.
No one ever told them
That a summer day can kill.
They were schoolboys
Never held a gun
Fighting for a new world
That would rise up like the sun
Where’s that new world
Now the fighting’s done?

Nothing changes, nothing ever will
Every year another brat, another mouth to fill.
Same old story, what’s the use of tears?
What’s the use of praying if there’s nobody who hears?
Turning, turning, turning, turning, turning
Through the years.

Turning, turning, turning through the years
Minutes into hours and the hours into years.
Nothing changes, nothing ever can
Round and round the roundabout and back where you began!
Round and round and back where you began!

-“Turning” from Les Misérables

“Turning” is sung right before “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” and right after Javert’s suicide. It is sung by women in the streets, mourning the dead.

When I went to see Les Misérables earlier this year on Broadway, “Turning” quickly became a new favorite of mine. Maybe it had something to do with the staging? I was absolutely blown away. If you’ve seen the new set, you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t, I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you should you want to see it. It’s absolutely amazing. Just trust me on that. “Turning” is, to me, one of the most heartrending songs of Les Miz, and that’s saying something.

***

What are some songs from Les Miz (and other musicals) that you wish got more attention?

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13 thoughts on “Two Songs From Les Miz That I Love But People Rarely Seem to Mention

      1. You really learn the friendship and love they had for each other in this song. I think when you listen to this song for the first time, you may not realize the song is in fact sad because you don’t know the tragic end of this uprising yet

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      2. I agree. The first time I watched Les Miz (which was when I watched the movie), I didn’t really think of the song as sad. But when I bought the CD a little while later and gave it a listen, I realized that it was quite the tearjerker.

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      3. I first watched Les Mis through the movie too. Once Fantine died, I realized Les Mis is a tragedy and I saw the rest of the movie in shock and couldn’t really pay attention to the movie. But once the movie ended, I did not know if I liked it or not and only remembers three songs. But yet I still went straight to researching the musical and requesting the songs through Pandora.

        When I saw the movie a second time, I was able to calm down and thats when I realized there was something special about Les Mis

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      4. I agree. I think that the movie kind of just went over my head because it wasn’t what I was expecting. I guess I was expecting a bittersweet sort of movie and when the barricade boys were introduced, I was almost certain that they would win. I was wrong, of course. Nonetheless, though, I did feel a certain pull to Les Miz that compelled me to give it a second chance and that’s when I really fell in love with it, I think.

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      5. Yeah, I definitely agree. Even though I was overall kind of just shocked by the ending, I felt the need to go back to it and give it another chance because I felt like I didn’t get everything that I should have and/or could have from it. And I am so glad that I did give it another chance.

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      6. Thats the uniqueness about Les Mis. I feel like there are some emotions in Les Mis that don’t even have names. I know why I love Les Mis the way I do, but even I can’t explain. There is just something about it and that is why it is the sensation that it is

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