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Hong Kong Protesters Found Their Anthem In A Les Miserables Song

The protesters have been singing “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Miserables (File)

Amid the cacophony of the demonstrations being staged this week in Hong Kong, one may hear an unmistakable reverb from area: Broadway.

Sure, the music that rang out throughout the area, together with in a terminal of Hong Kong Worldwide Airport, was, of all issues, a present tune. In a video recorded throughout the airport protest on Friday, tons of of demonstrators may be seen collaborating in a sit-down and heard singing and clapping to an a cappella model of “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from the 1987 blockbuster Broadway musical, “Les Miserables.” The protest, which shut down airport operations for a second day on Tuesday, started as an illustration towards using police pressure in an earlier mass public protest. That was sparked by a proposal to allow extraditions from the previous British colony to mainland China.

The musical interlude appeared a notable peaceable second, even because the confrontation between demonstrators and riot police turned extra violent late Tuesday. And the meaningfulness was not as a result of the phrases of the music, by “Les Miz” composer Claude-Michel Shonberg and lyricist Herbert Kretzmer, handle to discover a resonance within the public outcry in China in 2019:

“Do you hear the folks sing? Singing the music of offended males,

“It’s the music of a individuals who is not going to be slaves once more.

“When the beating of your coronary heart echoes the beating of the drums,

“There’s a life about to start out when tomorrow comes.”

For these well-acquainted with the present, it additionally underlined the facility of the musical’s international attain, expanded by social media, three a long time of worldwide excursions and successful 2012 motion-picture model. The music is launched late within the first act by the Parisian college students who increase barricades within the streets in revolt towards French authorities. Within the musical – primarily based on Victor Hugo’s historic novel of the identical title – unhappy to say, the revolt ultimately is put down. Nonetheless, “Do You Hear the People Sing?” has been invoked in political demonstrations world wide in recent times. It is gone from applause-generator in playhouses to emotion-stoking anthem for grass-roots actions.

Within the well-sung rendition by the airport refrain, you get whiffs of defiance and altruism, values embodied by the quantity itself. After all the complete model foreshadows darker occasions: “The blood of the martyrs will water the meadows of France!” the music declares. Though the lyric that appears to echo most vibrantly stays that one in regards to the life about to start out, when tomorrow comes. For these protesters, it’s presumably not the tragic dimension of “Les Miz” that beckons them, it is the resilience of the underdog.

(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by Internetstaff and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)

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