I saw him once, then he was gone We were like dreamers at night Who meet as in trance and part again Two phantoms in the shadows of the moon Can people really fall in love so soon? He walked alone, he seemed alone like me Could he have known that moment was my destiny? I had to run away and it was like a dream I saw him once, the dream was true I saw him once, and once will do.
So! I was listening to my ipod on shuffle on the bus home today and this particular song came up, from the musical Les Miserables, sung by Cosette. To say the least, it's not my favourite song from the show but I listened anyway and thought this:
1) Is it actually possible that someone could simply see another person and suddenly be bowled over head over heels in love with them? I don't think it's possible. Where it's lust, perhaps, yes. But how can someone simply look at someone and know they were their "destiny", as the song says? Personally the people I generally form crushes on I dislike at the first meeting. Perhaps that's the Jane Austen-Pride and Prejudice fan coming out in me. Or, I like them right away but it definitely involves some form of speech and the way your personality clicks with someone else. I have to admit I've never been "in love" the way songs talk about it so my experience isn't necessarily relevant. But I just can't see it happening that way.
2) Secondly, let's say (for the purpose of this argument) it is possible that you can fall instantaneously and irrevocably in love with someone at first sight. That you can go away saying things like "that moment was my destiny". (Aside: please shoot me if I ever say something like that.) Well, then, how can you possibly come away saying "I saw him once and once will do"? I beg your pardon, once will definitely not do! Is the songwriter kidding? This is the defining moment of Cosette's life, according to her, yet she's satisfied to let it go without a whimper? How gutless is that!
Of course, it doesn't matter how she feels about it, I suppose, as we all know that for narrative purposes of course she's going to meet Marius again.
Trust the French to overwrite things (the musical of Les Miserables was originally written in French). I love the French language and I love France... but all throughout French lessons in high school, our teacher would make us listen to melancholic, overwrought, chest-heaving French music by artists like Celine Dion about people killing themselves that changed key about seven times each song and made our teacher cry.