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Wedding Chorale / Beggars at the Feast

This song is by Barry James and Gay Soper and Ensemble and appears on the musical soundtrack Les Misérables - The Complete Symphonic Recording (1988).

Marius and Cosette lead a wedding procession.
Ring out the bells upon this day of days!
May all the angels of the Lord above
In jubilation sing their songs of praise!
And crown this blessed time with peace and love.

Major Domo
The Baron and Baroness de Thenard wish to pay their
Respects to the groom!

Thenardier
I forget where we met
Was it not at the Chateau Lafarge
Where the duke did that puke
Down the Duchess's de-coll-etage?

Marius
No, 'Baron de Thenard'
The circles I move in are humbler by far.
Go away, Thenardier!
Do you think I don't know who you are?

Mme. Thenardier
He's not fooled, told you so.
Show M'sieur what you've come here to show.
Tell the boy what you know!

Marius
When I look at you, I remember Eponine
She was more than you deserved, who gave her birth
But now she is with God and happier, I hope
Than here on earth!

Thenardier
So it goes, heaven knows
Life has dealt me some terrible blows.

Mme. Thenardier
You've got cash and a heart
You could give us a bit of a start
We can prove, plain as ink
Your bride's father is not what you think.

Thenardier
There's a tale I could tell

Mme. Thenardier
Information we're willing to sell.

Thenardier
There's a man that he slew
I saw the corpse clear as I'm seeing you!
What I tell you is true!

Mme. Thenardier
Pity to disturb you at a feast like this
But five hundred francs surely wouldn't come amiss.

Marius
In God's name say what you have to say.

Thenardier
But first you pay!

What I saw, clear as light
Jean Valjean in the sewers that night
Had this corpse on his back
Hanging there like a bloody great sack.
I was there, never fear
Even found me this fine souvenir!

Marius
I know this! This was mine!
Surely this is some heavenly sign!

Thenardier
One more thing, mark this well
It was the night the barricades fell.

Marius
Then it's true, then I'm right
Jean Valjean was my savior that night!

As for you, take this too!
God forgive the things that we do.

Come my love, come Cosette
This day's blessings are not over yet!

(Marius and Cosette leave.)

Thenardier
Ain't it a laugh?
Ain't it a treat?
Hob-nobbin' here
Among the elite?
Here comes a prince
There goes a Jew.
This one's a queer
But what can you do?
Paris at my feet
Paris in the dust
And here I'm breaking bread
With the upper crust!
Beggar at the feast!
Master of the dance!
Life is easy pickings
If you grab your chance.
Everywhere you go
Law-abiding folk
Doing what is decent
But they're mostly broke!
Singing to the Lord on Sundays
Praying for the gifts He'll send.

M. and Mme. Thenardier
But we're the ones who take it
We're the ones who make it in the end!
Watch the buggers dance
Watch 'em till they drop
Keep your wits about you
And you stand on top!
Masters of the land
Always get our share
Clear away the barricades
And we're still there!
We know where the wind is blowing
Money is the stuff we smell
And when we're rich as Croesus
Jesus! Won't we see you all in hell!

Music by:

Claude-Michel Schönberg

Lyrics by:

Herbert Kretzmer Wikipedia16 (English adaptation)

Partial Recording of:

The Wedding Chorale