Thursday, June 10, 2010

One Day More: World Cup Teams as Les Mis Characters

First Les Miserables reference in SCSD history? I don't know, but I'll tell you one thing: I'm not looking through 387 posts to find out.

Anyway, that particular song ("One Day More") could fit very well with the World Cup, which starts tomorrow. I could probably assign different teams to the different characters, and their lines might even make sense. If I were so inclined. Since I'm not, I'll just say that the most badass and creepiest line of the song, sung by Inspector Javert, would belong to the Germans. Tell me what you think:


One more day 'til revolution,
We will nip it in the bud!
We'll be ready for these school boys!
They will wet themselves with blood!

Perfect, right? It combines everything we know to be true about Germany- a crisp arrogance, love of order and establishment, utter rigidity, and a horrifying sadistic-erotic undertone corrupting every thought.

Hell, let's keep going. The following sequence, from the crafty, snaky, despicable Thenardiers, goes to Italy:


Watch 'em run amuck,
Catch 'em as they fall,
Never know your luck
When there's a free-for-all,
Here a little `dip'
There a little `touch'
Most of them are goners
So they won't miss much!

The 'here a little dip' and 'there a little touch'* signifies their strategy of flopping at the slightest contact and putting the game in the hands of the referee ('watch 'em run amuck'), at which point they excel. 'Never know your luck when there's a free-for-all' indeed.

*That couplet is perfect. It should be Italy's team slogan.


South Africa:

I did not live until today!
How can I live when we are parted?
Tomorrow you'll be worlds away
And yet with you, my world is started!

They are really loving the World Cup in their backyard. It's a whole new world where the main theme isn't racism or violence. But what happens when it's gone? How can they go on??

Valjean's opening lines go to Team France:


One day more!
Another day, another destiny.
This never-ending road to Calvary;
These men who seem to know my crime
Will surely come a second time!

Everyone knows they stole their World Cup berth from the Irish. The 'men' who know their crime can be seen as the referees who learned from the video replay, soccer fans in general, and even karma. They will come a second time, and justice will be served. (Some historical scholars argue that 'the crime' being referenced is Zidane's headbutt, and the men coming a second time are the Italians, bound for yet another victory.)

Do I even need to point out who takes the roll of the idealistic students striving for a better tomorrow?


One day to a new beginning
Raise the flag of freedom high!
Every man will be a king
Every man will be a king!
There's a new world for the winning
There's a new world to be won!
Do you hear the people sing?!
The time is now!
The day is here!!!!

OH GOD I'M SO PUMPED! Hear that, England? Every man will be a king, you monarchical motherfuckers! The people are singing! There's a new world to be won! And what did they used to call America? That's right, the new world! Whoa, England! Whoaaaaaa! Freaked out yet?

Hopefully we don't meet the same fate as the students who sang those words- waging battle with a crude defense for about an hour before being utterly decimated by a European superpower.

And to whom shall we give Eponine's heartbreaking lament? I think the Netherlands, a consistently great team who can't seem to break through and win a World Cup.

The Netherlands:

One more day all on my own.
One more day with him not caring.
What a life I might have known...
But he never saw me there!

The 'him' refers to the World Cup trophy. It would be fair to call this one a 'stretch,' but then again, you're reading a post comparing characters from a musical to World Cup teams. So fuck you.

Next comes Enjolras, the leader of the students. He's highly motivated, blindly zealous, and a strong leader. But also doomed; he dies in the battle because he overestimates his support and hasn't assembled a strong enough force. I'm liking Argentina for this one. There's a good amount of hype around their squad, they have three inspiring strikers and can be very dynamic. They'll win a lot of casual and neutral fans, and people will start believing. The groundswell will build, but eventually their weaker midfield and defense will damn them to a round-of-16 exit while more anchored teams move on. It will be fun to watch along the way, though.


One more day before the storm!
At the barricades of freedom!
When our ranks begin to form!
Will you take your place with me?

Finally, the religious, ambiguous, rousing finale goes to Spain, a very Catholic country who won Euro Cup 2008 and are probably the best team in the tournament (seriously, watch this goal):


Tomorrow we'll be far away,
Tomorrow is the judgement day
Tomorrow we'll discover
What our God in Heaven has in store!
One more dawn
One more day
One day more!


  1. I don't like soccer OR Les Miz and yet... this post is completely brilliant.

  2. I took you for a probably Les Mis fan. This is a sad surprise.