Empty Chairs at Empty Tables Analysis

This Marius’ solo in Les Mis, and happens after the uprising.

There’s a grief that can’t be spoken
There’s a pain goes on and on
Empty chairs at empty tables
Now my friends are dead and gone

Here they talked of revolution
Here it was they lit the flame
Here they sang about tomorrow
And tomorrow never came

From the table in the corner
They could see a world reborn
And they rose with voices ringing
And I can hear them now

The very words that they had sung
Became their last communion
On this lonely barricade
At dawn

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone
There’s a grief that can’t be spoken
There’s a pain goes on and on

Phantom faces at the window
Phantom shadows on the floor
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more

Oh my friends, my friends
Don’t ask me what your sacrifice was for
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will sing no more

Joshua Grosso (Empty Chairs at Empty Tables)

This song is quite devastating in so many ways. Marius is the only survivor of the barricades- he had to lose all of his friends during the uprising. In the song, he is dealing with survivor’s guilt. All he has left in his life is Cosette, the love of his life. He doesn’t understand why he lives and why all of his friends are gone. So much trauma he had to face. In the song, you really did to see just how unsuccessful the uprising was- considering that only Marius lived. Marius, as a matter of fact, is my favorite survivor from Les Mis.

Hope in the Friends of the ABC

While Les Mis is tragic and heartbreaking, one of its biggest takeaways is hope. One of the strongest places where you notice this spiritual theme is found in the Friends of the ABC. They are an incredible group of characters.

Matt Shingledecker (Enjolras), Joshua Grosso (Marius), and the Students

The Friends of the ABC is literally a political group of college students led by Enjolras. They are planning an uprising due to a weak government. They have such a strong brotherly bond that they feel like family. Of everyone in the group, Enjolras is the most passionate. They have a strong passion and hope- you really feel it the strongest during “Do you Hear the People Sing”, their revolutionary number.

Even during the uprising, you still can see their passion even at their most vulnerable moments- as shown in “Drink with Me”- during that number, you can tell they know they are going to lose and most likely die, but you really can strongly feel their brotherly bond. Marius, at the moment, has already gone through one tragedy at the barricade- as in he has already lost Eponine (she meant something to him), and still devastated and worried about whether or not we will see Cosette again. Even when Enjolras gives them a chance to leave, they still put despite knowing they are going to die- they still have hope even at that moment.

Even the Darkest Night will End and the Sun will Rise

Finale, Les Mis

Bring Him Home Analysis

When I think of Veteran’s Day, I usually am thinking about the uprising in Les Mis. Enjolras, Marius, and the students have such a strong friendship that they feel like family. They have so much passion and hope.

God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there

He is young
He’s afraid
Let him rest
Heaven blessed
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home

He’s like the son I might have known
If God had granted me a son
The summers die
One by one
How soon they fly
On and on
And I am old
And will be gone

Bring him peace
Bring him joy
He is young
He is only a boy

You can take
You can give
Let him be
Let him live
If I die, let me die
Let him live
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home

Les Mis
Nick Cartell- Bring Him Home

Major Spoilers

The song, “Bring Him Home”, takes place during Act II at the barricades. It is sung by Valjean and is one of his strongest spiritual moments. He is praying to God to make sure Marius, the young man his adopted daughter loves, survives. Valjean loves Cosette so much that he is really to sacrifice his happiness for her own. The song really shows just how much Valjean loves God. It is such a heartbreaking, soulful, and spiritual song- in so many ways, it is pretty much a prayer. Even though Valjean barley knew Marius, he knew that Marius had to live for the sake of Cosette.

As a matter of fact, the song becomes heartbreaking after the first viewing. Once you know the outcome of the uprising, it changes the emotion of “Bring Him Home”. True, Marius does survive, but Valjean has to rescue him after he was seriously injured. Here is what was really sad about the uprising- Marius was the only one who lived (Eponine, Gavroche, and the rest of the students all died during the uprising). All of those who died on the barricade meant something to Marius, and he had to lose everyone: now all he has left is Cosette. That is what makes “Bring Him Home” such a heartbreaking song.

Finale (Les Mis) Analysis

The Finale of Les Mis is one of the strongest finales in musical theatre. In my opinion, it is actually one of my favorite finales found in musical theatre. If you want to PROCEED, SPOILERS. It is the final death scene in Les Mis- it is actually when Valjean dies. The Finale is full of both heartbreak and hope. This song is a reprise of “Do You Hear the People Sing”, and this time, I believe it represents heaven. Through lyrics like “Even the Darkest Night will End and the Sun will Rise” and Tomorrow Comes”, there is a lot of hope found in this song.

And remember
The truth that once was spoken
To love another person
Is to see the face of God.

Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light.

For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise.

They will live again in freedom
In the garden of the Lord.
We will walk behind the ploughshare;
We will put away the sword.
The chain will be broken
And all men will have their reward.

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!

Tomorrow comes!

The picture below is something I painted, but it does show the finale from Les Mis.

Even though Valjean does die, he is still happy at the moment. That is because he got to see Cosette one last time. It is actually on the night of Cosette’s wedding, and the same night Marius discovered that Valjean saved him from the barricade. So, Marius was able to thank Valjean for saving his life. Valjean’s redemption is so strong at this moment- Fantine’s spirit escorts Valjean to heaven and is welcomed by the Bishop, who played a huge part in Valjean’s journey.

To Love Another Person is to see the Face of God

The lyrics above are the most famous lyrics from Les Mis. Look how many people showed love in Les Mis who did die. Valjean’s love for God and Cosette; Fantine’s love for Cosette, Eponine’s love for Marius despite it being unrequited; and The Friends of the ABC’s love for each other and the country. Even though Marius and Cosette lived, they have love for each other despite losing everyone that meant something to them.

A Heart Full of Love Analysis

When it comes to love triangles in musicals, the ones that automatically come to mind are the ones in Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Mis. A Heart Full of Love serves as the romantic duo in Les Mis- it is between Marius and Cosette, who are the two lovers.

(Marius)
A heart full of love
A heart full of song
I’m doing everything all wrong
Oh God, for shame
I do not even know your name
Dead Mad’moiselle
Won’t you say?
Will you tell?

(Cosette)
A heart full of love
No fear, no regret

(Marius)
My name is Marius Pontmercy

(Cosette)
And mine’s Cosette

(Marius)
Cosette, I don’t know what to say

(Cosette)
Then make no sound

(Marius)
I am lost

(Cosette)
I am found!

(Marius)
A heart full of light

(Cosette)
A night bright as day

(Marius)
And you must never go away
Cosette, Cosette

(Cosette)
This is a chain we’ll never break

(Marius)
Do I dream?

(Cosette)
I’m awake!

(Marius)
A heart full of love

(Eponine) He was never mine to lose

(Cosette)
A heart full of you

(Eponine) Why regret what could not be?

(Marius)
A single look and then I knew.

(Eponine) These are words he’ll never say

(Cosette)
I knew it too.

(Eponine) Not to me…

(Marius)
From today…

(Eponine) Not to me…

(Cosette)
Every day

(Eponine) Not for me…

(Cosette & Marius)
For it isn’t a dream

(Eponine) His heart full of love

(Cosette and Marius)
Not a dream

{Eponine) He will never

(Cosette and Marius)
After all!

(Eponine) Feel this way…

A Heart Full of Love, Les Mis

Yes, my love for Marius and Cosette is an unpopular opinion.Their relationship is so adorable and they help bring hope into Les Mis. That is why Marius had to survive the barricades. A Heart Full of Love may be the romantic duo, but it is clever towards the end when it becomes a trio. You already are feeling joy for Marius and Cosette, but at the same time you start to feel heartbroken for Eponine- that is what happens when the duet is turns into a trio. In the love triangle, my favorite character is Eponine, but I still love Marius and Cosette.