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~Javert~
Now bring me prisoner 24601
Your time is up
And your parole's begun
You know what that means

~Valjean~
Yes, it means I'm free

~Javert~
No
It means you get
Your yellow ticket-of-leave
You are a thief

~Valjean~
I stole a loaf of bread!

~Javert~
You robbed a house!

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

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

~Valjean~
I know the meaning of these 19 years
A slave of the law

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

~Valjean~
My name is Jean Valjean

~Javert~
And I am Javert
Do not forget my name
Do not forget me
24601

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

~Valjean~
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 lets see
What this new world
Will do for me!

[He finds work on a farm.]

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

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

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

~Valjean~
Now I know how freedom feels
The jail is always at your heels
It is the law
This piece of paper in my hand which bids me cast throughout the land
It is the law
Like a cur
I walk the streets
The dirt beneath their feet

~Bishop~
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

~Valjean~
Let me eat my fill
I have my lying share
The silver in his 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'd 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!!

[Taking the silver cup, he runs off, but is brought back
by two constables.]

~Constable 1~
Tell his reverence your story

~Constable 2~
Let us see if he's impressed

~Constable 1~
You were lodging there last night

~Constable 2~
You were the honest Bishop's guest.

~Constable 1~
And then, out of Christian goodness

~Constable 2~
When he learned about your plight

~Constable 1~
You maintain he made a present of this silver -

~Bishop~
That is right.
But my friend you left so early
Surely something slipped your mind

[The bishop gives Valjean two silver candlesticks.]

You forgot I gave these also
Would you leave the best behind?
So Messieurs you may release him
For this man has spoken true
I commend you for your duty
May God's blessing go with you.
But remember this, my brother
See in this some higher plan
You must use this precious silver
To become an honest man
By the witness of the martyrs
By the Passion and the Blood
God has raised you out of darkness
I have bought your soul for God!



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/l/les_miserables/on_parolethe_bishop.html

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  • U
    UnregisteredJun 11, 2014 at 1:06 am
    But basically the song is about a guy who has been in prison for about 20 years because he has stolen a loaf of bread for his nephew (there was a large gap between the few rich aristocrats of the time and basically everyone one else who we're living on the streets. Very few were able to make any money). He is then released but still has to sort of check in. The "badge of shame" makes him unable to find work with a fair pay. Eventually he finds a monastery which takes him in. The Bishop talks to him and offers him food, water, and shelter. Jean Valjean eventually decides to leave, but knowing he will not find work he decides to take the bishop's silver (plates, silver wear, etc). His conscience gets to him and he is unsure of what to do. He then decided that one good act will not make him a better man, and takes off with the silver. As he is trying to run away he is caught and brought back to the monastery by the police. He then comes face to face with the bishop who instead of confronting him about stealing, tells the police he gave Jean Valjean the silver and to top it off, the bishop told Jean Valjean he forgot the candlesticks. Jean Valjean then realizes how much good can come from one person and changes his ways.

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