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"The Confrontation"

Claude-Michel Schönberg


Herbert Kretzmer


Jean Valjean

Song Order

"Come to Me / Fantine's Death"


"Castle on a Cloud"

"The Confrontation" takes part in 1823, in the infirmary after Fantine dies. Javert enters the hospital to imprison Jean Valjean again. During the song, they fight, Javert with a sword and Valjean with a broken piece of wood. Near the end, Javert is knocked out and Valjean escapes.

The lyrics were written by Herbert Kretzmer.


Valjean, at last,
We see each other plain!
'M'sieur le Maire',
You'll wear a different chain!
Before you say another word, Javert
Before you chain me up like a slave again.
Listen to me. There is something I must do.
This woman leaves behind a suffering child.
There is none but me who can intercede.
In Mercy's name, three days are all I need.

Then I'll return. I pledge my word.
Then I'll return...

You must think me mad!
I've hunted you across the years.
Men like you can never change.
A man such as you.

Valjean: [In counterpoint]
Believe of me what you will
There is a duty that I'm sworn to do
You know nothing of my life
All I did was steal some bread

You know nothing of the world
You would sooner see me dead
But not before I see this justice done.

I am warning you, Javert
I'm a stronger man by far
There is power in me yet
My race is not yet run!

I am warning you, Javert
There is nothing I won't dare
If I have to kill you here
I'll do what must be done!
Javert: [In counterpoint]
Men like me can never change.
Men like you can never change.
No, 24601.

My duty's to the law
You have no rights
Come with me, 24601
Now the wheel has turned around
Jean Valjean is nothing now.

Dare you talk to me of crime
And the price you had to pay.
Every man is born in sin.
Every man must choose his way.

You know nothing of Javert.
I was born inside a jail.
I was born with scum like you.
I am from the gutter too.

[Valjean breaks a chair and threatens Javert with the broken piece. He turns to Fantine.]
This I swear to you tonight...
There is no place for you to hide.
Your child will live within my care.
Wherever you may hide away.
And I will raise her to the light.
Valjean and Javert:
I swear to you, I will be there!
[They fight. Javert is knocked out. Valjean escapes.]


  • In 2012 movie, the ending is shortened. Javert sings, "You know nothing [...] the gutter too!" without Valjean's counterpoint lines, "I am warning you [...] what must be done!". Javert disarms Valjean, who flees out the window, transitioning straight into the next piece, rather than include the ending portion. ("And this I swear [...] I will be there.")



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