Won't you say? Will you tell?
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Claude-Michel Schönberg


Herbert Kretzmer



Song Order

"Javert's Suicide"


"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables"

"Turning" is a song sung by the women of Paris after the death of all the men at the barricades.

The lyrics were written by Herbert Kretzmer.


Did you see them going off to fight?
Children of the barricade who didn't last the night.
Did you see them lying where they died?
Someone used to cradle them and kiss them when they cried.
Did you see them lying side by side?

Who will wake them?
No one ever will.
No one ever told them that a summer day can kill
They were schoolboys, never held a gun.
Fighting for a new world that would rise up like the sun.
Where's that new world now the fighting's done?

Nothing changes.
Nothing ever will.
Every year another brat, another mouth to fill.
Same old story, what's the use of tears?
What's the use of praying if there's nobody who hears?
Turning, turning, turning, turning, turning through the years.

Women (overlapping each other):
Turning, turning, turning through the years
(Turning, turning)
Minutes into hours, and the hours into years.
(Minutes into hours)
Nothing changes, nothing ever can.
(Nothing changes, nothing ever can)
Round about the roundabout.
(Round about the roundabout)
Round and round and back where you began!


  • In the 2012 film, only the first verse of the song was included.
  • In the new 25th Anniversary production, the song was shortened, to only feature three verses rather than four, and the lyrics were altered slightly.
  • In the Polish version the track is titled "Płynie, płynie" what means "Flows, flows"
  • The actresses who play young Éponine/Cosette often play the little girl who sings the line "Who will wake them?"