One Day More

"One Day More" is a song from the musical Les Misérables. The music was written by Claude-Michel Schönberg, original French lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, with an English-language libretto by Herbert Kretzmer.[1] It is the final song of Act I and is one of the most famous and iconic songs of the musical.

"One Day More"
Song by Les Misérables Cast
LanguageFrench, English
Recorded1980 (French Cast recording)
1985 (London Cast recording)
1987 (Broadway Cast recording)
2012 (Film cast recording)
GenreMusical, theatrical, show tune
Songwriter(s)Claude-Michel Schönberg (music)
Alain Boublil (French lyrics)
Herbert Kretzmer (English lyrics)
Composer(s)from the musical Les Misérables

It is a choral piece featuring many solos showcasing vocal performances by all of the main characters in the show (except for Fantine who had died already at this point of the story). The music is by Claude-Michel Schönberg, with orchestrations by John Cameron.


Les Misérables was originally released as a French-language concept album, as French songwriter Alain Boublil had had the idea to adapt Victor Hugo's novel into a musical while at a performance of the musical Oliver! in London.[2] Having pitched the idea to French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg, the two developed a rough synopsis and worked up an analysis of each character's mental and emotional state, as well as that of an audience. Schönberg then began to write the music, while Alain Boublil began work on the text. According to Alain Boublil, "...I could begin work on the words. This I did—after myself deciding on the subject and title of every song—in collaboration with my friend, poet Jean-Marc Natel." A concept album with the title "Les Misérables: L'integrale" was developed, and the authors asked famous French singers to sing their roles on it.

The song, then titled "Demain" ("Tomorrow"), was sung by Maurice Barrier as Jean Valjean, Richard Dewitte as Marius, Fabienne Guyon as Cosette, Marie-France Dufour as Éponine, Michel Sardou as Enjolras, Jacques Mercier as Javert, Yvan Dautin as Thénardier, and Marie-France Roussel as Madame Thénardier. In the original Paris production from 1980, Demain was sung by Maurice Barrier as Jean Valjean, Gilles Buhlmann as Marius, Fabienne Guyon as Cosette, Marianne Mille as Éponine, Christian Ratellin as Enjolras, Yvan Dautin as Thénardier, Marie-France Roussel as Madame Thénardier, and Jean Vallée as Javert. The first English-language production of Les Misérables opened on the West End in London in October 1985, with Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean, Michael Ball as Marius, Rebecca Caine as Cosette, Frances Ruffelle as Éponine, David Burt as Enjolras, Roger Allam as Javert, Alun Armstrong as Thénardier and Susan Jane Tanner as Madame Thénardier.

The show — and the song — has been translated into twenty-one languages, including Japanese, Hebrew, Icelandic, Norwegian, Czech, Polish, Spanish, and Estonian, and there have been 31 cast recordings featuring the song.[3] The London cast version is Triple Platinum in the UK, for sales of more than 900,000, and Platinum in the U.S., for sales of more than one million. The Broadway cast version is Quadruple Platinum in the U.S. (more than four million sold), where four other versions have also gone Gold.[4]


In the original musical show, the song occurs after "The Attack on Rue Plumet", in which Valjean, who is led to believe that Javert has finally discovered his whereabouts, decides to leave at once with Cosette, acting as a show-stopper finale to Act 1. In the 2012 film adaptation, the order of several songs is changed from the stage musical, and "One Day More" occurs just between Éponine's lamenting solo "On My Own" and the students' stirring anthem "Do You Hear the People Sing?".

In "One Day More", the main cast of the musical play, (except Fantine): Jean Valjean, Marius, Cosette, Éponine, Enjolras, Javert, and the Thénardiers, as well as a choral ensemble made up of Les Amis de l'ABC, sing as the June Rebellion dawns in Paris.

During the song, on the eve of the 1832 Paris Uprising, Valjean prepares to go into exile; Cosette and Marius sadly part in despair; Éponine mourns the loss of Marius; Enjolras encourages all of Paris to join the revolution as he and the other students prepare for the upcoming conflict; hearing Marius ponder whether to follow where Cosette is going or join the other students, Éponine takes Marius to where the other students are, and when the two reach them he tells Enjolras he will fight with them, while she secretly joins them as well; Javert briefs the soldiers under his command while he reveals his plans to spy on the students; and the Thénardiers hide underground and look forward to robbing the corpses of those who will be killed during the battle. Everyone ponders what "God in heaven has in store" for the new day.


The song is composed in the key of A major and is set to the tempo of Moderato at 86 bpm. One Day More is a choral piece featuring many solos from the main characters of the stage show, all of whom sing in a counterpoint style known as dramatic quodlibet, featuring parts by the ensemble. The song borrows motifs and themes from several songs from the first act.

Each character sings his/her part to a different melody at the same time (known as counterpoint), before joining for the final chorus:

  • Valjean picks up the melody of "Who Am I?" without any changes (A major, Bb major for high toned TVs)
  • Marius, Cosette and Éponine sing to the melody of "I Dreamed a Dream" with Éponine's taking the bridge ("But the tigers come at night", sung by Éponine as "One more day all on my own") (A major, B major for high toned TVs, modulating to F minor, G minor for high toned TVs)
  • Enjolras repeats the bridge melody of "I Dreamed a Dream" with Marius singing a countermelody. (E major, E major for high toned TVs)
  • Javert sings to the already often-used theme from "Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven" or "Fantine's Arrest", only slower and in a major key. (A major, Bb major for high toned TVs)
  • The Thénardiers sing to a slightly changed melody from "Master of the House" (A major, B major for high toned TVs)
  • The revolutionaries repeat the bridge melody of "I Dreamed a Dream" with a countermelody that is only instrumental in Fantine's solo. (A major, B major for high toned TVs)
  • At the end of the song, everyone sings the melody of "Who Am I?" (C major, D major for high toned TVs)

In 1999, the song "La Resistance" from South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut parodies the song as it encapsulates the songs themes of resistance and personal vendetta, along with depicting a combination of previous themes up to that point.[5][6]

In 2008, a parody of the song featuring Broadway stars was created to promote the election of Barack Obama.[7]

The song was also sung by Brian Nash, where he sang all 17 parts.

The song was also parodied in The Simpsons episode, "What to Expect When Bart's Expecting", from Season 25, as "Let Them Play!", and was sung by Homer Simpson (Dan Castellaneta), Bart Simpson (Nancy Cartwright), Fat Tony (Joe Mantegna) and Louie (Dan Castellaneta).

Key & Peele also parodied the song as "One at a Time".[8]

Nostalgia Critic along with others at Channel Awesome parodied this number as "One Big Song" during their 2013 review of the Les Misérables movie.[9]

Former Fox News Channel contributor and comedian Steven Crowder parodied the song with guests including Ben Shapiro, Dean Cain, and Milo Yiannopoulos as a recurring gag on Crowder's weekly Radio Show.

During The Magicians Season 2 Episode 9 "Lesser Evil", Margo enchants the royal aids and servants to back King Eliot in singing One Day More to build his confidence before a sword fight.

In 2016, the song was sung by James Corden the host of the Late Late Show on the popular Carpool karaoke segment. His guests included Broadway stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Audra McDonald, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jane Krakowski. [10]


  1. "Les Misérables at". Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  2. Behr, Edward (1993). The Complete Book of Les Miserables. New York: Arcade Publishing. p. 51. ISBN 978-1-55970-156-3. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  3. "Translations and Cast Recordings.". Archived from the original on 9 March 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009.
  4. "Gold and Platinum". Archived from the original on 2 September 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
  5. "Bored of Les Mis". Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  6. "R/Movies". Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  7. "Parody Video". Retrieved 22 October 2013.

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