Alone, I wait in the shadows.
I count the hours ‘till I can sleep.
I dreamed a dream Cosette stood by;
It made her weep to know I’d died.
~ Epilogue, Les Miserables
I made a music mix to keep in my truck. I was in a hurry when I did it, and just threw in a bunch of songs I had enjoyed over the years. It is amazing the journey a collection of music can inspire. As I quickly scanned through the playlist, at first I was shocked as to the despair contained within the lyrics.
Never been in such a place before
or ever felt such strange fear.
Never been just so alone before,
but You know I am here!
~ Shout My Name, On Eagle’s Wing
Then, I started letting the songs play all the way through. The minors changed to majors. The lyrics changed. The despair and depression ended. Instead, these songs ended powerful anthems. Shout My Name ends with a proclamation that “this land” would know his name and the vocalist places his trust in God that it will take place. (It is worth noting that the character’s descendent went on to work for the President of the United States.)
Les Miserables moves from one lonesome man sitting alone to being in the company of those he loved as the torch was passed from one generation to the next. The scene ends with the entire company marches forward singing of a day when they can “live and breathe in freedom in the garden of the Lord” and “walk behind the plough share and put away the sword.” I have decided, in music, as in life, don’t judge it until the finale.