Le Portes de Paris (The Gates of Paris)
This song is kind of funny and I don’t mean like it’s hilarious, I mean this song set-ups a trend in Notre Dame de Paris that is very clear in all three of these songs. Where the plot and story are reduced to one or two lines of song over setting up mood or emotion. Typically this is fine but in this chunk of the overall story we kind of need story being told.
In Les Portes de Paris, Gringoire tells us he met a girl, followed her and lost her. That’s it. It’s like drive-by exposition. I mean if you don’t know he meant Esmeralda, would you REALLY know he meant her? The rest of the song tells us Paris is a dark and sexy place. It’s very moody and Gringoire is a delight in the song but alas isn’t a little more than forgettable.
Tentative d’enlèvement (Kidnap Attempt)
Ah, yet another song to make that worst list, at number six. First off what the fuck? This song depicts the critical scene where Quasimodo tries and kidnap Esmeralda. This is also the scene in the book where Esmeralda and Phoebus meet for the first time. And it just all so sloppy in Notre Dame.
So when Quasimodo goes in for the kidnap, Esmeralda is in mid-run from some weird extra, so it just looks like she is running from the other guy and not even Quasimodo, so that ruins it.
However that not even the tip of the messed up-ness of Tentative d’enlèvement. When Phoebus saves Esmeralda he puts the moves on her and she rebuffs him, telling him he as gotten the wrong girl as Esmeralda isn’t a soldier-girl. So then what happens? He tells he he’ll meet her at a brothel the “Cabaret de Val d’amour.” And for whatever that line worked and she’s now like Phoebus, in fact later on she says her heart beats for him, but I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s just like what! In under two minutes the ruined a very pivotal scene.
The music for the song is okay, it has a nice mystery and dark tone but it’s not enough to save the song.
La Cour des Miracles (The Court of Miracles)
At last another big number. La Cour des Miracles tells us about the Court of Miracles and Clopin’s outlook on the world as a world without much divide of status and religion. Then there is the drive-by exposition where Gringoire just literally pops in, is hanged in a bag, which looks like fun and married off. Any humor of the scene is gone.
As far of the song itself, it’s fun and has good enegry. I do like Clopin singing it off a gilder from the ceiling. Not a favorite song of mine but far from the worst. I kind of wish that the camera guy got more of Gringoire and Esmeralda dancing.
Speaking of Esmeralda and Gringoire, other version added lines for them, where Esmeralda tells him that she is not into him which the next song did anyway so it was a weird addition.
Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE