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Knowing that my livejournal entries to go twitter, I try to think up the most anti-clickbait titles for them ever because I hate clickbait with such a passion. So that explains the title of this one. not "my least favorite broadway song" or even "my least favorite Les Mis song"... nope, the whole entry in one line. And if you read the rest of the entry it's because you like me or my writing or just want to know more, not because you were manipulated into it. The whole internet should be like that. I live to be an example.

When I was in high school I sang in choirs. I especially loved Broadway songs, always have, always will. I was listening to the Sirius XM Broadway channel this weekend and "On My Own" from Les Misérables came on and it brought back a memory of being asked to sing this song as part of a medley type thing we were doing. I hadn't seen Les Mis at the time.

I immediately picked up on the fact that this song was a girl singing about a guy who, as we would say today, was "JUST NOT THAT INTO HER". I actually started laughing in rehearsal once and had to stop the music and ask, "Who sings this, seriously! Who is this woman who needs to get the hell over herself? There are other fish in the sea, kid! WOW!"

I was like 14 and hadn't even had a boyfriend when I was saying this... already starting into my feminist journey because I'd seen way too many girls at my school making WAAAY too big a deal over who had a boyfriend. I was like I don't know if I can sing this. The choir director assured me that in the musical, in context, this song was loaded with substance and so sad and all about unrequited love and if I'd see it I'd really feel for the character.

Okay.

Years later I watched the musical. If you haven't seen it, Les Mis is about some huge, sad, dramatic topics... in fact I can't even watch it anymore because as a mother, I hurt so much for Fantine. A woman being told she has to give everything for her daughter, and she TRIES, because that's what we do! I feel the same way about Miss Saigon - it just hits too close to home. How can we even watch this for enjoyment?

Another broadway fan told me, "I'll watch those shows again when somebody writes a musical about a father dying for his kids."

amen, sistah.

So there's Fantine dying for her daughter, Jean Valjean trying so hard to escape his past, Cosette trapped in abuse, Javert basically wasting his life on bureaucracy, Marius launching a revolution, and then in the second act, here comes...

Eponine singing about her boy trouble!

Ever watch a movie where it's obvious that two central good-looking characters are falling in love? And then you realize everyone else is just sort of a prop written in just to die? I think that's Eponine. So why give her a song? And in the middle of the effing paris uprising of 1832! Good night lady... is there anything more important you could be focused on right now?

Call me unsympathetic, okay. And maybe if I read Victor Hugo's book I'd feel something, maybe one of you can fill me in. But if I was remaking this musical, there would be no Eponine. And definitely no Eponine singing about her love interests. Be strong and walk away, dear. Just walk away.

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Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
sandokai
Sep. 26th, 2015 06:31 pm (UTC)
So you've never fallen for someone and lusted after them for way too long? Hmmm. ;)
spacefem
Sep. 27th, 2015 01:19 am (UTC)
I'm gonna say NO.

I mean yes I have tried to get a guy's attention for way too long. But if he had a girlfriend or ignored my advances I got really good at shrugging off my feelings with a "his loss!"
sandokai
Sep. 27th, 2015 06:16 pm (UTC)
See I think if you'd had some sort of major crush thing that lasted for years then you'd understand where those songs come from...

THough obviously from a feminist perspective I hope my children don't have those sorts of life experiences! But I know what it's like to have them.
fansee
Sep. 27th, 2015 03:28 am (UTC)
as a mother, I hurt so much for Fantine. A woman being told she has to give everything for her daughter, and she TRIES, because that's what we do! I feel the same way about Miss Saigon - it just hits too close to home. How can we even watch this for enjoyment?

Omigod, YES! I so agree with you. I've seen both shows...never again. FanSee
lavenderspark
Sep. 27th, 2015 03:39 am (UTC)
I've never seen the play or the movie, but I read the book in HS. I don't remember this character AT ALL. So either she didn't exist or she made zero impression on me. Now it was many years ago and I did skip around a bit (I did NOT need to know the ENTIRE history of the French sewer system, thank you), so take that for what it's worth.
timprov
Sep. 27th, 2015 03:44 am (UTC)
From a purely musical perspective, that song is one of the best ever written for a baritone. ("A Little Fall of Rain," too.) I figure they just screwed up the genders in the play.
browngirl
Sep. 27th, 2015 05:24 am (UTC)
That's definitely an aspect of Les Mis that was visited by the Suck Fairy in intervening years. At twelve, I thought Eponine was tragic and romantic (also, having been told I was unloveable, I sadly expected one day to fall for someone who would never want me back). Now much older and more confident and loved, when I saw the movie, I rolled my eyes at poor Eponine and the stupid storyline she was wedged into. I'm tempted to write a fanfic where instead of all of that she says to both her family and Marius, "SCREW ALL OF YOU," and runs off to the countryside and marries a farmer and enjoys her fresh happy provincial life.
gilda_elise
Sep. 27th, 2015 11:03 am (UTC)
I loved the book, and at least one movie version of it. The musical, not so much.
gobbolina
Sep. 27th, 2015 02:52 pm (UTC)
When I was 18 or 19 I was friend with a producer. I've known him for a couple of years by then and he wanted me to sing "On my own". I loved this song so much (though I liked "A little fall of rain" so much better for the extra drama). And I did. I didn't know the movies or the book, but I knew every line of that musical. He was amazed when I told him Eponine's story.
When I recorded this song I was pretty lovesick. I was in love with a friend of mine, who didn't feel the same for me, but instead fell in love with other girls. O cried so much over him. I had a really rough time.
That's my story about this song.
BTW, one year later I got over this boy. And then he fell for me. >.< He was my first boyfriend and, from nowaday's point, was the worst partner I've ever had. It took me years to get over all the shit he did to me.
And the lesson? Not everything you desperately yearn for is good for you. ;)
luzclarita
Sep. 28th, 2015 01:17 am (UTC)
I'm a musical junkie, and I totally agree.
lantairvlea
Sep. 28th, 2015 01:53 am (UTC)
I could be wrong, but I think Eponine was the daughter of the sleezeball who "saved" Marius' father while picking pockets after Waterloo. Her father was quite the scoundrel. I think her crush on Marius was probably the one good thing in her life, even if it was an unrequited love. It's been a while since I read the book and it is a beast of a thing. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with Mr. Hugo's writing.
sailorgarnet
Sep. 29th, 2015 03:19 pm (UTC)
This has led me to start an essay on the subject of Eponine (based on the musical, as I haven't read the book yet). It's probably end up with the series on the Disney Princesses in the writing projects I've never finished pile, but thanks for the inspiration. :) (Even if I completely disagree with you about her, thus the essay haha)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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