FRAZIER: Do you hear the people sing?
Published 4:00 am Saturday, March 12, 2022
More than ever, this week, I have thought about where I live — not just Vicksburg, but in the United States.
Watching the news every day has reminded me of just how blessed I am. I have never had to leave my home, dodge bullets or bombs or fear that the life I know could be taken from me.
Those in Ukraine are not so lucky. They are under attack and every day is unsure.
All of this is happening while I continue to dine at the table, sleep in my warm bed and adjust the thermostat in my house.
It just doesn’t seem fair. Here I am living in a land of milk and honey, while those across an ocean are fighting for their lives.
While in the midst of the horror we have all been witnessing on our TV screens, there is something else that is happening in Ukraine.
Have you seen it?
My favorite Broadway musical is “Les Misérables.” It is an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel of the same name.
The story takes place in early 19th century France during the 1832 June Rebellion and tells the story of a man named Jean Valjean. While there are many moving songs performed in the musical, one of the most powerful songs is “Do You Hear the People Sing.”
The words in the song are described as telling the universal story of rebellion — rebellion against an authoritative doctrine.
For me, as I watch what is going on in Ukraine and I see how President Zelenskyy is rallying his people, the lyrics of the song seem to be coming to life in an antithetical yet analogous way.
“Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes.”
The musical score, in my opinion, is just as powerful as its lyrics, especially as it crescendos with the first two verses. And while recalling the song in my mind, I see it, clearly, a heroic Zelenskyy calling his countrymen to stand against the foe — and they are.
I wonder if we could do the same?