When I first saw Jim would be running the Song Lyric Sunday theme of Anguish/Misery/Torment, one song came to my mind. I checked the lyrics, but it had none of those words in it. So I sent a little message over to Jim to ask him if he would mind me choosing a song that I felt fitted the theme despite not having one of the key words.
Well, although it does not contain one of the words Jim listed, this is a song all about anguish. It shows the character Fantine from the hit musical Les Miserables in abject misery. All her youthful hopes devastated, Fantine’s life has deteriorated into a pit of despair at this point, from which she expresses her torment in one of the most moving and beautiful songs to grace the West End.
I grew up with Ruthie Henshall singing this song and at one stage I thought she was the only one who could sing it – but of course such a stunning and deeply emotional song has been covered numerous times. I thought the sliver screen version of the musical did a remarkable job at portraying Fantine – it was so real I sat in tears in the cinema and I don’t think I recovered throughout the rest of the film.
I am sure you have heard it before – but is there another song that captures today’s theme as poignantly?
Credits: Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer
There was a time when men were kind When their voices were soft And their words inviting There was a time when love was blind And the world was a song And the song was exciting There was a time Then it all went wrong 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 As they turn your dream to shame He slept a summer by my side He filled my days with endless wonder He took my childhood in his stride But he was gone when autumn came And still I dream he'll come to me That we will live the years together But there are dreams that cannot be And there are storms we cannot weather I had a dream my life would be So different from this hell I'm living So different now from what it seemed Now life has killed The dream I dreamed