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One Day More

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One Day More

"One Day More"
Song by Les Misérables Cast
Published 1980
Recorded 1980 (French Cast recording)
1985 (London Cast recording)
1987 (Broadway Cast recording)
Genre Musical, theatrical, show tune
Language French, English
Writer Claude-Michel Schönberg (music)
Alain Boublil (French lyrics)
Herbert Kretzmer (English lyrics)
Composer from the musical Les Misérables

"One Day More" is a song from Les Misérables, the sung-through musical based on the novel of the same name by French poet and playwright Victor Hugo, which has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, original French lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, with an English-language libretto by Herbert Kretzmer.[1] It is one of the most famous and iconic songs of the musical.

Recalling the Tonight Quintet from West Side Story,[2] it is a choral piece featuring many solos showcasing vocal performances by all of the main characters in the show (except for Fantine and the Bishop of Digne, having both of them died already at this point of the story). The music is by Claude-Michel Schönberg, with orchestrations by John Cameron.

In 2012, a parody of the song featuring broadway stars was created to promote the election of Barack Obama. [3]


Les Misérables was originally released as a French-language concept album, as French songwriter Alain Boublil had had the idea to adapt Victor Hugo's novel into a musical while at a performance of the musical Oliver! in London. [4] Having pitched the idea to French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg, the two developed a rough synopsis and worked up an analysis of each character's mental and emotional state, as well as that of an audience. Schönberg then began to write the music, while Alain Boublil began work on the text. According to Alain Boublil, "...I could begin work on the words. This I did—after myself deciding on the subject and title of every song—in collaboration with my friend, poet Jean-Marc Natel." A concept album with the title "Les Misérables : L'integrale" was developed, and the authors asked famous French singers to sing their roles on it. The song "One Day More" was featured in this concept album as "Demain" ("Tomorrow"), and was sung by a main cast which consisted on Maurice Barrier as Jean Valjean, Richard Dewitte as Marius, Fabienne Guyon as Cosette, Marie-France Dufour as Éponine, Michel Sardou as Enjolras, Jacques Mercier as Javert, Yvan Dautin as Thénardier, and Marie-France Roussel as Madame Thénardier.

The song, as it appeared in the original Paris production from 1980, was entitled Demain ("Tomorrow"), and was originally sung by a main cast which consisted on Maurice Barrier as Jean Valjean, Gilles Buhlmann as Marius, Fabienne Guyon as Cosette, Marianne Mille as Éponine, Christian Ratellin as Enjolras, Yvan Dautin as Thénardier, Marie-France Roussel as Madame Thénardier, and Jean Vallée as Javert. The first English-language production of Les Misérables opened on the West End in London in October 1985, with Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean, Michael Ball as Marius, Rebecca Caine as Cosette, Frances Ruffelle as Éponine, David Burt as Enjolras, Roger Allam as Javert, Susan Jane Tanner as Madame Thénardier, Alun Armstrong as Thénardier, with Ian Tucker, Oliver Spencer and Liza Hayden sharing the role of Gavroche.

The show — and the song — has been translated into twenty-one languages, including Japanese, Hebrew, Icelandic, Norwegian, Czech, Polish, Spanish, and Estonian, and there have been 31 cast recordings featuring the song.[5] The London cast version is Triple Platinum in the UK, for sales of more than 900,000, and Platinum in the U.S., for sales of more than one million. The Broadway cast version is Quadruple Platinum in the U.S. (more than four million sold), where four other versions have also gone Gold.[6]


In the original musical show, the song occurs after "The Attack on Rue Plumet", in which Valjean, who is led to believe that Javert has finally discovered his whereabouts, decides to leave at once with Cosette, acting as a show-stopper finale to Act 1. In the 2012 film adaptation, the order of several songs is changed from the stage musical, and "One Day More" occurs just after Éponine's lamenting solo "On My Own" and before the students stirring anthem "Do You Hear the People Sing?".

In "One Day More", the main cast of the musical play, except Fantine and the Bishop of Digne (both of whom have died at this point of the story), to say Jean Valjean, Marius, Cosette, Éponine, Enjolras, Javert, and the Thénardiers, as well as a choral ensemble made up of Les Amis de l'ABC, sing as the June Rebellion dawns in Paris.

During the song, on the eve of the 1832 Paris Uprising, Valjean prepares to go into exile; Cosette and Marius sadly part in despair; Éponine mourns the loss of Marius; Enjolras encourages all of Paris to join the revolution as he and the other students prepare for the upcoming conflict; hearing Marius ponder whether to follow where Cosette is going or join the other students, Éponine takes Marius to where the other students are, and when the two reach them he tells Enjolras he will fight with them, while she secretly joins them as well; Javert briefs the soldiers under his command while he reveals his plans to spy on the students; and the Thénardiers hide underground and look forward to robbing the corpses of those who will be killed during the battle. Everyone ponders what this "tomorrow" will bring.


The song "One Day More", from the sung-through musical Les Misérables, based on Victor Hugo's novel of the same name, was written by Claude-Michel Schönberg, with original French lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, and an English-language adaptation by Herbert Kretzmer.

It is composed in the key of A major and is set to the tempo of Moderato at 86 bpm. One Day More is a choral piece featuring many solos from the main characters of the stage show, all of whom sing in a counterpoint style known as dramatic quodlibet, featuring parts by the ensemble. The song borrows motifs and themes from several songs from the first act.

Each character sings his/her part to a different melody at the same time (counterpoint), before joining for the final chorus:

  • Valjean picks up the melody of "Who Am I?" without any changes (A major)
  • Marius, Cosette and Éponine sing to the melody of "I Dreamed a Dream" with Éponine's taking the bridge ("But the tigers come at night", sung by Éponine as "One more day all on my own") (A major, modulating to F# minor)
  • Enjolras repeats the bridge melody of "I Dreamed a Dream" but in a major key. (E♭ major)
  • Javert sings to the already often-used theme from "Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven" or "Fantine's Arrest", only slower and in a major key. (A major)
  • The Thénardiers sing to a slightly changed melody from "Master of the House" (A Major)
  • The revolutionaries repeat the bridge melody of "I Dreamed a Dream" in a major key with a counter melody that is only instrumental in Fantine's solo. (A major)
  • At the end of the song, everyone sings the melody of "Who Am I?" (C major)


External links

  • official website

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