“Who Am I?” from Les Miserables

Everyone faces, at some point in their lives, whom they really are.  Call it judgement day, moment of truth or destiny.  It is when one comes face-to-face with oneself and makes that call that says everything about their character.  It is, in my humble opinion, human drama/ struggle at its best.

From the musical Les Miserables when the main character Jean Valjean faced such point where a wrongly accused was mistaken for him.  Valjean made that call:

 [Valjean]

He thinks that man is me
He knew him at a glance!
That stranger he has found
This man could be my chance!

Why should I save his hide?
Why should I right this wrong
When I have come so far
And struggled for so long?

If I speak, I am condemned.
If I stay silent, I am damned!

I am the master of hundreds of workers.
They all look to me.
How can I abandon them?
How would they live
If I am not free?

If I speak, I am condemned.
If I stay silent, I am damned!

Who am I?
Can I condemn this man to slavery
Pretend I do not feel his agony
This innocent who bears my face
Who goes to judgement in my place
Who am I?
Can I conceal myself for evermore?
Pretend I’m not the man I was before?
And must my name until I die
Be no more than an alibi?
Must I lie?
How can I ever face my fellow men?
How can I ever face myself again?
My soul belongs to God, I know
I made that bargain long ago
He gave me hope when hope was gone
He gave me strength to journey on

[He appears in front of the court]

Who am I? Who am I?
I am Jean Valjean!

[He unbuttons his shirt to reveal the number tattooed to his chest]

And so Javert, you see it’s true
That man bears no more guilt than you!
Who am I?
24601! [Valjean’s prisoner number]

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This entry was posted in inspiration, life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “Who Am I?” from Les Miserables

  1. WalkToRio says:

    I love that song.

    Like

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