Claude-Michel Schönberg:Work Song Lyrics

Redirected from Les Miserables:Prologue - Work Song

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Claude-Michel Schönberg
This song is performed by various artists and appears on the musical Les Misérables.

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

The sun is strong
It's hot as Hell below.

Look down, look down
There's twenty years to go.

I've done no wrong
Sweet Jesus hear my prayer.

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

I know she'll wait
I know that she'll be true.

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

When I get free you won't see me
Here for dust.

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

How long oh Lord
Before you let me die?

Look down, look down
You'll always be a slave
Look down, look down
You're standing in your grave.

Now bring me Prisoner 24601
Your time is up
And your parole's begun
You know what that means.

Yes, it means I'm free.

It means you get
Your yellow ticket-of-leave
You are a thief.

I stole a loaf of bread.

You robbed a house.

I broke a window pane
My sister's child was close to death
And we were starving.

And you will starve again
Unless you learn the meaning of the law.

I know the meaning of these nineteen years
A slave of the law.

Five years for what you did
The rest because you tried to run
Yes 24601.

My name is Jean Valjean.

And I am Javert
Do not forget my name
Do not forget me

Look down, look down
You will always be a slave
Look down, look down
You're standing in your grave.

Freedom is mine, the earth is still
I feel the wind, I breathe again
And the sky clears, the world is waiting
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, everyone
The day begins
And now let's see
What this new world
Will do for me.

You'll have to go
I'll pay you off for the day
Collect your bits and pieces there
And be on your way.

You've given me half
What the other men get
This handful of tin
Wouldn't buy my sweat.

You broke the law
It's there for people to see
Why should you get the same
As honest men like me?

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.

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.

I will pay in advance
I can sleep in a barn
You see how dark it is
I'm not some kind of dog.

You leave my house
Or feel the weight of my rod
We're law abiding people here
Thanks be to God.

And now I know how freedom feels
The jailer always at your heels
It is the law
This piece of paper in my hand
That makes me cursed throughout the land
It is the law
Like a cur
I walk the street
The dirt beneath my feet.

Come in, sir, for you are weary
And the night is cold out there
Though our lives are very 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 till morning
Rest from pain, and rest from wrong.

He let me eat my fill
I had the lion's share
The silver in my hand
Cost 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's done his bit of good
I played the grateful 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.

Music by:

Claude-Michel Schönberg

Lyrics by:

Herbert Kretzmer


In some recordings listed as "Prologue", "Ouverture", or "Look Down"

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