They Tear Your Dream Apart

They Tear Your Dream Apart

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


7 thoughts on “They Tear Your Dream Apart

  1. This was the last musical play that I saw on Broadway and I liked it so much I bought the soundtrack. Fantine was fired from her job at the factory and thrown onto the streets and she is thinking back to happier days, and wonders how everything has gone wrong in her life. Now that is misery!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was my exact line of thought Jim – this song is so very beautiful, however, it is also about abject misery and anguish. There are not many songs that capture such despair. Yet it stands out as a magnificent song.

      Liked by 1 person

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