Do You Hear the People Sing?

As mentioned before, the three of us zoom each week to not only discuss marketing, but to write on a prompt we take turns providing. I decided to share ours for yesterday. You just never know where it will take your writing.

Les Miserables

Sally’s Prompt: Pick one of your favorite stanzas, lyrics or chorus from a song, write it out and continue with a short story, poem, or why it means so much to you.
Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of the 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!

—- Les Misérables Musical

I first heard Les Misérables years ago, when it was still new as a Broadway play. Cortney, Chad, and I were driving from Minnesota to Frisco, Colorado during that summer to stay at a condominium a friend had loaned us. Danny and Stacey had gone earlier for reasons I can’t remember. A result of age? Cortney put in a CD, Les Miserable. Though I’d never heard it before, I was instantly mesmerized. It was the writing, the meaning, the poetic style of Les Misérables that grabbed me. The words and music, beautiful.

I listen to the album often and I can’t help but think those words are a metaphor for the Ukrainians. They are in a battle they refuse to back down from, one at high cost for the people, for the country. It becomes so apparent when any of the people are interviewed. They love, truly love their country, their way of life, and most importantly, their freedom. I watch them in unbelievable awe. Ukraine’s citizens and soldiers have been tortured, deprived of food, heat, and water with their homes demolished to the ground—homes they built, schools where they sent their children. I cannot fathom their courage and have wondered more than once, Would I fight that hard, be that willing to die for my freedom? Would I stay in a country where I know there’s a strong possibility I would be tortured, brutally killed?

Still, Ukrainians stay and continue to fight for their freedom. I’ve never had to face having it taken away. I was born into freedom; I live in it. I know it is a basic human right and due to pure luck being born in America, I haven’t had to worry if I’ll have enough food, heat, water, and shelter. I haven’t had to worry if my children or grandchildren are safe from a war never asked for. I haven’t had to bury those I love in a shelled piece of ground full of craters, far from any cemetery, stripped of dignity.

This stanza reminds me that oppression of people, of countries, is never accepted by the human soul. One only hopes that all the death and devastation contributed to a war will free the Ukrainians. Until then, they keep on fighting.

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