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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What Election Drama!

I was trawling the internet for a Youtube rendition of the Les Misérables song "Do you hear the people sing?"trying to see if I could review some more beloved footage from the movie. To my surprise, I discovered some bit of Singaporean drama HERE. Some Singaporeans have Singaporean-ized the British song about a French uprising, for the Punggol by-elections.

Maybe someone will decide to sing it in Singlish and make a funny Youtube video of it. Mr Brown?

Most people think that the uprising in Les Misérables refers to The FIRST French Revolution of 1789. There were actually THREE French Revolutions before La République Française with its mantra "Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité." became a reality. French history was NOTHING like British history. France has an extremely violent past.

The uprising in Les Misérables refers to the June Rebellion of 1832. One can tell this because someone called Lamarque dies at the start of the musical. French history records that General Jean Maximilien Lamarque died on 1 June, 1832 of the same cholera that decimated the populations in the poorest quarters of Paris. People suspected that the Royalists had poisoned the wells used by the poor. This outbreak of disease was the last straw for many poor people who had suffered decades of harvest failures, food shortages, rising costs.

The rebellion was unsuccessful at that time (1832) . It wasn't until 1848 that King Louis-Philippe was forced to abdicate... and he lived out the rest of his life in England. Quite poor thing really... this poor King. Early in his life, he lost his father to the guillotine. Then he lived his youth in exile. After that, he became King for a bit (1830-1848). Then, he was exiled AGAIN!

What an un-peaceful life! This said, France was very very very unpeaceful in those days.

1 comment:

Wen-ai said...

Oh, one of my favorite songs of Les Mis. Hmm, rather apt for the by-election! ;)