We, Les Misérables

I just watched a remarkable musical parody that has stirred me to the bone.  It is a parody of the musical number that closes the first act of Les Miserables and sends many of the audience out during intermission to look for a barricade to join.  I saw the show when it opened in Chicago and I remember feeling an urge during intermission to gather up a flintlock and others to stop traffic outside on Michigan Avenue.  But this version of “One Day More” — called “One More Term”  —  is a call to the ballot box, not the barricade. This parody have moved me even more than I was moved by the original when I heard it for the first time almost 25 years ago.

Please watch this video and pass it on to all your neighbors, friends, and family.


Until this morning, I was planning to sit this election out — or at least to not vote for a presidential candidate.  I have been so angry and disappointed with President Obama’s cowardice and his betrayal of the principles he preached — which helped him get elected in 2008 — I felt I could not in good conscience vote for him again.

But watching this video has deeply moved me and made me realize that the chapter of American history we are all writing now is not about any one man or any party. It’s about America’s Les Misérables — which are all of us, except for the Romneys, Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdochs, and other slithering oligarchs, who are determined to buy our government out from under us in order to steal everything else.

I know how millions of my fellow New York voters are stone deaf to the cries of Les Misérables who are being forced out of their jobs, their homes, good schools, and nursing homes. I don’t expect them to hear the message of this potent musical parody.  That’s why my vote is so important. As is yours.

I’m grateful to this great group of talented performers, directors, writers, and producers for breaking my spell of despair. They joined in song to remind me that my place is with them and with other Americans who on Nov. 6 will stand up against the hatred, viscous greed, violence, and evil of the New Republican Party.  

Win or lose, my place will be at America’s “barricade of freedom” — the ballot box, where I will join my fellow Misérables in singing, “My place is here. I vote with you! One Term More!”

At the end of Les Misérables, the entire cast and chorus join in the finale, “Do You Hear the People Sing?” It’s an echo of the number that ended the first act, “One Day More.” I don’t think the last words of any musical show has moved any where near as many people to tears of hope as these have:

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!

With utmost thanks to the remarkably talented team of creative professionals who broke the the spell of despair: Singers Christina Saffran Ashford, David Burnham, David Engel, Kim Huber, Damon Kirsche, Jennifer Shelton, Sean Smith, Emma Ashford, Matt Ashford, Takako Gregg, Mason Keanne, Paula Nichols Keane, William Martinez Ali B. Olmo, Johnny Pastor, Bubba Dean Rambo, Flora Rubenhold, Terri Yates; musical director and producer Ray Colcord; music arranger and orchestrator Doub Lenier; choral director Christina Saffran; and video editor and producer Mike Clark.

A sample of their lyrics:

One Term More!

A time to celebrate democracy,
Repeal Republican hypocrisy.
This man who would unseat Barack’s
A bleak choice at the ballot box.

One Term More!

A G.O.P. perdition-bound,
All sense of right & wrong eroded.

One Term More!

Will you take your place with me!
The time is NOW the vote is NEAR!

One Term More!

One more day to re-election,
And until the music stops,
We will fight to save the jobs of
Teachers, firemen & cops!

One Term More!

One more day to resolution,
We’ll defeat those fetid nuts,
We are fed up with pernicious
Talk of prostitutes & sluts!

One Term More!

My place is here, I vote with you!

One Term More!


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