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"I Dreamed a Dream"

Claude-Michel Schönberg


Herbert Kretzmer



Song Order

"At The End Of The Day"
"Lovely Ladies" (2012 film)


"Lovely Ladies"
"Fantine's Arrest" (2012 film)

"I Dreamed a Dream" takes part in the year 1823, Montreuil-sur-Mer. It is sung by Fantine after she's left alone, unemployed and destitute. Fantine had her hair cut and 2 teeth pulled out for money to take care of her daughter. During this song, Fantine thinks back to happier days and wonders about all that has gone wrong in her life.

The lyrics were written by Herbert Kretzmer.


There was a time when men were kind,
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting.
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting.
There was a time
Then it all went wrong.

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung
No wine untasted.

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame.
He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days
With endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came.

And still I dream he’ll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather.

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed.


  • The song is one of the most famous songs from the musical. It came to attention again after it was sung by Susan Boyle in Britain's Got Talent in 2009.
  • The song is known as "J'avais rêvé" (I Had Dreamed) in the 1991 Paris revival, "Soñé una vida" in the Spanish production (I Dreamed a Life), "Ich hab geträumt vor langer Zeit" in the German production and "Mijn Droom" in the Dutch production.
  • In the Polish version the song is titled "Wyśniłam sen"
  • In Original French version the song is known as "J'avais rêvé d'une autre vie" (I Had Dreamed of Another Life)
  • In 2012 movie and in the original French production this song appears after "Lovely Ladies", not before.
  • “Shame” was not originally the way it is sung today. It was originally a flat note while only the music goes up. (Like Eponine’s “But he never saw me there”). It was Patti LuPone who thought of going up with the orchestra