Castle on a Cloud

We went to see Les Misérables last night in Toronto. I really like that show; this was my fourth time seeing it, and Gail’s third. Most of it is not especially upbeat or happy (as Gail mentioned to Kerri last night, Mamma Mia this ain’t), but it’s a very powerful story, and is all about love – Fantine’s love for Cosette, Valjean’s for Cosette, Eponine’s for Marius, Cosette’s for Marius, Marius’ for Cosette, and eventually even Marius’ for Valjean. The actors playing Valjean and Javert were both excellent (I saw Michael Burgess playing Valjean a few years ago, and he was amazing – this guy was about as good). Cosette was more of a soprano than I’m used to (my parents used to play the soundtrack CD a lot when I lived at home, so I’m very familiar with the music), but I wasn’t that thrilled with Eponine. She was pretty good, but not at the same level as the rest of the cast.

The title of this post refers to a song sung by the young Cosette. It, along with Hold On by Sarah McLachlan, is one of the saddest songs ever:

There is a castle on a cloud
I like to go there in my sleep
Aren’t any floors for me to sweep
Not in my castle on a cloud

There is a room that’s full of toys
There are a hundred boys and girls
Nobody shouts or talks too loud
Not in my castle on a cloud

There is a lady all in white*
Holds me and sings me a lullaby
She’s nice to see and she’s soft to touch
She says “Cosette, I love you very much”

I know a place where no one’s lost
I know a place where no one cries
Crying at all is not allowed
Not in my castle on a cloud

Call me a wuss, but I get choked up whenever I hear that song. No child should ever have to feel that much depair.

* This song is sung shortly after Fantine (Cosette’s mother) dies – during her death scene, she wears a white gown, and has a bright white spotlight shone on her.


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