I am the only person on Earth who hasn’t seen the recent film version of Les Misérables, but that only means that the Hollywood-ized version hasn’t interested me. After the Golden Globes my curiosity was piqued but only just. Who am I kidding? I never get to go to the movies. By the time I get a chance, it won’t be in theaters anymore, and besides, I still haven’t seen The Hobbit.
I will admit that I have never seen the stage version of the play, either. Once upon a time I had an audio cassette compilation of songs from popular musicals, and “On My Own” was on it, and that is how I know the song. I listened to it often in the mid-90′s, when everything was drama and heartbreak, and the song entered my heart and stayed forever.
I like this YouTube clip much better than the one from the movie. Perhaps you will too. The eponymous section begins at 1:41.
I think I’ve known at least the last line of this song my entire life. Of course we sang it in college on many occasions, but most memorably after every football game. Whether or not the team wins, the players and team staff gather at the base of the student section of the stadium. Everyone – team, fans, and students – locks arms, swaying side to side as the Marching Band plays the tune and everyone else sings.
Notre Dame, our Mother
Tender, strong and true
Proudly in the heavens,
Gleams the gold and blue.
Glory’s mantle cloaks thee
Golden is thy fame
And our hearts forever
Praise thee, Notre Dame.
And our hearts forever,
Love thee, Notre Dame.
Except most people don’t really know the lyrics to the whole song, which is why “love thee, Notre Dame” is the loudest and best part of all. (See here at :32)
At Lisa’s funeral, my fellow alumnae and I locked arms beside her grave and sang. We were awful – half crying, hoarse, sort of laughing, and very much out of tune. That was perfect though, because that’s how she always sang it.