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A Song of Social Significance

Les Miserables’ Act 1, Scene 17 which includes the song Do You Hear the People Sing? , with actors Drew Sarich and Adam Jacobs portraying the roles of Enjolras and Maruis, respectively, delved on the struggles of these characters in their effort to effect societal changes in 19th century France. It is apparent that this song exhibits a challenge to the society to take heed of their call for change, as it also advocates hope to the people that social change can indeed be attained if they were to be united in their fight for freedom and liberty.

This is especially true in the lines “Do you hear the people sing, singing a song of every man? It is the music of the people who will not be slaves again! ” (lines 1-4), wherein it is strongly suggested that the French citizenry during the aforementioned era were indeed adamant that the prevailing social order cease to continue on existing, and that there is a common sentiment among the people to start a revolution for their freedom. This sentiment is furthered in the lines, “Will you join in our crusade?

Who will be strong and stand with me? Beyond the barricade, is there a world you long to see? ” (lines 9-12), which clearly calls on the people to actively participate in the social revolt. Based on the wordings of the abovementioned lines and of the entirety of the piece, it is safe to surmise that the song in discussion teems with themes that are centered on love for freedom; on freeing a society form the clutches of slavery and totalitarianism and be able to take pleasure in one’s inherent human rights.

Perhaps no other song in this musical has been able to clearly define to its audience the real intention of the story than what this song has been able to successfully convey. After all, just as what is true in the entirety of Les Miserables, Do You Hear the People Sing? is an artistic interpretation of the basic human nature of changing what he perceives as tangible violations to his human dignity.

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