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"Prologue: On Parole"

Claude-Michel Schönberg


Herbert Kretzmer


Jean Valjean

Song Order

"Work Song"


"Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven"

"Prologue: On Parole" is part of the Prologue. This takes part in the year 1815, Digne after Jean Valjean is released from the galleys of Toulon. Valjean finds work at a farm, whereafter he comes to an inn and he's thrown out of it.

The lyrics were written by Herbert Kretzmer.


Freedom is mine.
The Earth is still.
I feel the wind.
I breathe again.
And the sky clears.
The world is waking.

I drink from the pool,
How clean the taste.
Never forget the years,
The waste.
Nor forgive them
For what they've done.
They are the guilty,
Every one.

The day begins,
And now let's see
What this new world
Will do for me.

You'll have to go.
I'll pay you off for the day.
Collect your bits and pieces there
And be on your way.

You have given me half
What the other men get.
This handful of tin
Wouldn't buy my sweat!

You broke the law.
It's there for people to see.
Why should you get the same
As honest men like me?

Now every door is closed to me
Another jail. Another key. Another chain.
For when I come to any town,
They check my papers
And they find the mark of Cain.
In their eyes,
I see their fear
" We do not want you here "

Inn's Wife:
My rooms are full,
And I've no supper to spare.
I'd like to help a stranger,
All we want is to be fair.

I will pay in advance,
I can sleep in a barn.
You see how dark it is
I'm not some kind of dog.

You leave my house!
Or feel the weight of my rod.
We're law abiding people here.
Thanks be to God.

And now I know how freedom feels,
The jailer always at your heels.
It is the law!
This piece of paper in my hand,
That makes me cursed throughout the land.
It is the law!
Like a cur,
I walk the street
The dirt beneath their feet


  • Most of the lyrics are cut down in the 2012 movie version to the final lines.
  • Also, in most productions of the musical between the end of 2000 and 2006, the lines between "Another door is closed to me" and "We're law abiding people here/thanks be to God" are cut out. However, the the 2006 Broadway revival restored these lines.
  • In the Spanish production this song is entitled Libre Por Fin, which translates to "Free At Last."

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