Since it is a new year, and I want to add some new things to the blog, and because I have been watching a lot of deleted songs, this idea popped out. I just want to differentiate from what Swanpride is brilliantly doing with discussing songs and analyzing the lyrics and message. This will be more so discussing how it could have added more depth to the characters in the song, how it could or could not have fit into the plot, and how it would have changed things regarding the movie.
The focus of this post is the deleted song called In A Place of Miracles, from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It is a song where Phoebus and Esmeralda sing about their love for one another, right after she saves him and Quasimodo from being hung by Clopin. So, the main factor to discuss is why it was not included in the film. The directors stated that the song took too much focus from Quasimodo in the film, which is fair enough. If any of you read my review of the film, I stated that the film naturally gravitates towards Esmeralda, and that I think she should have been a protagonist, or the story should have been a bit more altered to suit Quasimodo.
This was included in the Broadway version released a year or two ago, so it does hold some importance. The first few lyrics involve Phoebus and Esmeralda stating that they are confused as to why their heart is beating so fast, and that they are from two different worlds, which is true. Both of them keep on emphasizing “The solider and the gypsy”, and in the state of Paris France at the time, it is signifying the different classes,and the conflict/standards between the both of them. This kind of fits in with the movie, with the theme of “monster vs man”, and you can also interpret that into “gypsy/lower class vs parisian/higher class”. The song is kind of establishing that there is a middle ground, and what I like about it is that there are no promises between the two, and they are talking about the state of infatuation, with the bewilderment of it hitting them in the face. They are remembering that they are strangers who still barely know one another.
What I found interesting about the song is that it discusses both of them putting on a facade, or a face, quoting Phoebus, “Like this place, safe and secret; I have hidden my heart away; ‘Til tonight; It was known to only me.” Esmeralda also says something similar, quoting, “See my face; Always laughing; That’s just part of the part I play; That’s just part of this masquerade if only me,” which we actually do see of the both of them during the film.
Quasimodo is included in the song by the couple thanking him because if it was not for him, they would not be together. Clopin includes him, telling him to have a drink for love. What is interesting is that he states love, the other three characters tie it into Friendship as well. The song further talks about hidden identities which are used as misunderstandings, and how a place of miracles is where you can feel safe, and have no reason to hide. This also refers to the gypsies, and gives them another side to them that I felt the final version of the film had missing.
People stated that the song is not really good for a few reasons. One so that it makes Quasimodo feel worse about himself, and how it kind of rubs their romance in his face. I cannot really disagree completely with that, but I do think the message of the film is not fully realized on some people. The song is not really about a romantic love (though it is a part of it); it is about feeling a need to not be hidden, and a place where they can be understood and have their identity appreciated in all levels.
Another reason why people are not a fan of this song is because many do not think Phoebus and Esmeralda are the ones to sing about their feelings, or to get romantic. Most of their scenes contain playful banter, and a more mature but light-hearted tone that makes then different from most other couples. To go from that to singing about their relationship kind of takes a backseat to that, and I can see why people do not like it.
So my overall opinion on this song is that I think it could have fit into the movie to give the gypsies a different side to them, make the romance get a bit more focus, and to reestablish the message of the film through a few examples, but I see why it was taken out.
If any of you want me to discuss another deleted Disney or DreamWorks song, you can recommend it to me, and I will do it.