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"The First Attack"
The First Attack
Information
Composer

Claude-Michel Schönberg

Lyricist

Herbert Kretzmer

Performers

Javert
Jean Valjean
Les Amis de l'ABC

Song Order
Previous

"Night of Anguish"

Next

"Drink With Me"

"The First Attack" begins largely as an instrumental number with only some short lines of singing; there also several lines shouted by revolutionaries during the attack. Depending on the definition of the song, it includes the scene in which Valjean sets Javert free.

The lyrics were written by Herbert Kretzmer.

LyricsEdit

Student 1:
Platoon of sappers advancing towards the barricade!
 
Student 2:
Troops behind them!
Fifty men or more!
 
Enjolras:
Fire!
 
[Gunfire is heard.]
 
Feuilly:
Sniper!
 
[Valjean shoots a snifter that is aiming at Enjolras.]
 
Lesgles:
See how they run away!
 
Grantaire:
By God, we've won the day!
 
Enjolras:
They will be back again.
Make an attack again.
For your presence of mind
For the deed you have done
I will thank you M'sieur
When our battle is won.
 
Valjean:
Give me no thanks, M'sieur
There's something you can do.
 
Enjolras:
If it is in my power.

Valjean:
Give me the spy, Javert
Let me take care of him!
 
Javert:
The law is inside out
The world is upside down.
 
Enjolras:
Do what you have to do
The man belongs to you.
 
The enemy may be regrouping.
Hold yourselves in readiness.
Come my friends, back to your positions;
the night is falling fast.
 
Valjean:
We meet again.
 
Javert:
You've hungered for this all your life;
Take your revenge!
How right you should kill with a knife!
 
[Valjean cuts off Javert's bonds.]
 
Valjean:
You talk too much
Your life is safe in my hands.
 
Javert:
Don't understand.
 
Valjean:
Get out of here.
 
Javert:
Valjean, take care! I'm warning you...
 
Valjean:
Clear out of here.
 
Javert:
Once a thief, forever a thief
What you want you always steal!
You would trade your life for mine
Yes, Valjean, you want a deal!
Shoot me now, for all I care!
If you let me go, beware,
You'll still answer to Javert!
 
Valjean:
You are wrong, and always have been wrong
I'm a man no worse than any man
You are free and there are no conditions
No bargains or petitions.
There's nothing that I blame you for
You've done your duty.
Nothing more.
If I come out of this alive you'll find me
At number fifty-five Rue Plumet
No doubt our paths will cross again.
Go.
 
[Javert leaves. Valjean fires his gun in the air.]
 
[Muted applause from the students who think Javert has been shot.]
 
Enjolras:
Courfeyrac, you take the watch
They won't attack until it's light
Everybody stay awake
We must be ready for the fight
For the final fight
Let no one sleep tonight!
 
Marius, rest!



TriviaEdit

  • During this scene in the 2012 film, Valjean shouts out "Enemy Marksmen on the roof." The part of the versus of this song is cut from the film, down to Enjloras staying "Thank you, M'sieur," within the film itself. Plus, Javert's part of "The law has turned upside down is cut."
  • In addition, Enjolras's lines at the end are "Courfeyrac, you take the watch/They may attack before it's light/Everybody, keep the faith/For certain as our banner flies/We are not alone/The people, too, must rise..." These lines are also sung at the beginning of "Drink With Me."

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