Prologue Lyrics

by Les Miserables

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

1ST CONVICT
The sun is strong
It's hot as hell below

CHORUS
Look down, look down
there's twenty years to go.

2ND CONVICT
I've done no wrong
Sweet Jesus, hear my prayer

CHORUS
Look down, look down
Sweet Jesus doesn't care

3RD CONVICT
I know she'll wait
I know that she'll be true

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

4TH CONVICT
When I get free
You won't see me
Here for dust

CHORUS
Look down, look down
Don't look 'em in the eye.

5TH CONVICT
How long, O Lord
Before you let me die?

CHORUS
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'm Javert!
Do not forget my name
Do not forget me
24601

CHORUS
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 skies clear.
The earth 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- every one.
The day begins...
And now let's 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!

LABOURER
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."

INNKEEPERS 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 will 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!
Ths piece of paper in my hand
It makes me cursed throughout the land
It is the law!
Like a curse
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 vey 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 'til morning.
Rest from pain, and rest from wrong.

VALJEAN
He let me eat my fill.
I had the lion's share.
This silver in my hand
Costs 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 greatful 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!

CONSTABLE 1
Tell his reverence your story.

CONSTABLE 2
Let us see if he's impressed.

CONSTABLE 1
You were lodging here last night.

CONSTABLE 2
You were the honest Bishop's guest.
And than out of Christian goodness.
When he learned about your plight

CONSTABLE 1
You mantain he made a present of this
sliver

BISHOP
That is right.
But my friend you left so early,
Surely something slipped your mind.
You forgot I gave these also.
Would you leave the best behind?
So, Messieurs, you may release him
For this man has spoken true.
I commend you for your duty
And God's blessing go with you.

(to VALJEAN) But remember this, my brother
See in this some higher plan.
You must use this precious silver
To become an honest man.
By the witness of the martyrs
By the Passion and the Blood
God has raised you out of darkness
I have bought your soul for God!