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"At the End of the Day"
Jean Valjean End of the Day

Claude-Michel Schönberg


Herbert Kretzmer


The Foreman
Jean Valjean

Song Order

"Prologue: What Have I Done?"


"Javert's Introduction"

"At the End of the Day" takes part in 1823, Montreuil-sur-Mer. It takes place inside and outside the factory owned by the Mayor, Monsieur Madelaine (Jean Valjean in disguise). During this song we first meet Fantine and find out she has an illegitimate child, who lives with an innkeeper man and his wife. In this song, she also gets sent away from the factory. It is sung by Fantine, The Poor, Foreman, Workers, Factory Girls and Jean Valjean.

The lyrics were written by Herbert Kretzmer.


The poor:
At the end of the day you're another day older
And that’s all you can say for the life of the poor
It's a struggle, it's a war
And there's nothing that anyone's giving
One more day standing about
What is it for?
One day less to be living!

At the end of the day you're another day colder
And the shirt on your back doesn't keep out the chill
And the righteous hurry past
They don't hear the little ones crying
And the winter is coming on fast
Ready to kill
One day nearer to dying!

At the end of the day there's another day dawning
And the sun in the morning is waiting to rise
Like the waves crash on the sand
Like a storm that'll break any second
There's a hunger in the land
There's a reckoning still to be reckoned and
There's gonna be hell to pay
At the end of the day!

At the end of the day you get nothing for nothing
Sitting flat on your butt doesn't buy any bread.

Worker 1:
There are children back at home

Worker 1 and 2:
And the children have got to be fed

Worker 2:
And you’re lucky to be in a job

And in a bed

And we’re counting our blessings!

Girl 2:
Have you seen how the foreman is fuming today
With his terrible breath and his wandering hands?

Girl 3:
It's because little Fantine won't give him his way

Girl 1:
Take a look at his trousers, you'll see where he stands!

Girl 4:
And the boss, he never knows
That the foreman is always in heat

Girl 3:
If Fantine doesn't look out
Watch how she goes
She’ll be out on the street!

At the end of the day it's another day over
With enough in your pocket to last for a week
Pay the landlord, pay the shop
Keep on grafting as long as you’re able
Keep on grafting 'til you drop
Or it's back to the crumbs off the table
You've got to pay your way
At the end of the day

And what have we here, little innocent sister?
Come on Fantine, let's have all the news.

'Ooh... "dear Fantine, you must send us more money... your child needs a doctor... There's no time to lose..." '

Give that letter to me
It is none of your business
With a husband at home
And a bit on the side!
Is there anyone here
Who can swear before God
She has nothing to fear?
She has nothing to hide?

What is this fighting all about?
Will someone tear these two apart
This is a factory, not a circus.
Now, come on ladies, settle down
I run a business of repute
I am the Mayor of this town

I look to you to sort this out
And be as patient as you can.

Now someone say how this began!

At the end of the day
She’s the one who began it!
There’s a kid that she’s hiding
In some little town.
There’s a man she has to pay
You can guess how she picks up the extra.
You can bet she’s earning her keep
Sleeping around
And the boss wouldn’t like it!

Yes, it's true there’s a child
And the child is my daughter
And her father abandoned us
Leaving us flat.
Now she lives with an innkeeper man
And his wife
And I pay for the child,
What's the matter with that?

Women Workers:
At the end of the day
She’ll be nothing but trouble
And there’s trouble for all
When there’s trouble for one!
While we’re earning our daily bread
She’s the one with her hands in the butter
You must send the slut away
Or we’re all gonna end in the gutter
And it’s us who’ll have to pay
At the end of the day!

I might have known the bitch could bite
I might have known the cat had claws
I might have guessed your little secret.
Ah yes, the virtuous Fantine
Who keeps herself so pure and clean
You’d be the cause, I had no doubt,
Of any trouble hereabout
You play a virgin in the light
But need no urgin’ in the night!

She's been laughing at you
While she's having her men.

She'll be nothing but trouble again and again.

You must sack her today.

All workers:
Sack the girl today.

Right, my girl. On your way!


  • The song is known as "Quand un Jour est Passé" (When a Day is Over) in the original French production, "Otro Día se Va" (Another Day Goes By) in the Spanish production, "Am Ende vom Tag" in the German production, "Kiedy kończy się dzień" (When the Day is Ending) in the Polish production, and "Aan het Eind van de Dag" in the Dutch production.
  • In the 2012 movie lyrics are little changed. Valjean sings: "I am the Mayor of this town/I run a business of repute." Onstage, he sings the lines the other way around.
  • In the 2012 movie, after the foreman says "Right my girl, on your way." Fantine calls out to Valjean while the Foreman tries to kick her out.