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The Bells of Notre Dame

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Frollo adopts Quasimodo.

DGvND-Fro-quas-blue

A hunchback and his master.

"The Bells of Notre Dame" is a song from the Disney musical, Der Glöckner von Notre Dame, composed by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. It is sung at the beginning of the musical by the clown-like gypsy, Clopin.

The song details about Quasimodo's origin. During the song, Clopin tells the audience about the mysterious bell-ringer of Notre Dame. He then talks about a story that goes back twenty years where a group of gypsies attempted to ferry their way into Paris, but a trap had been laid and they are captured by Judge Claude Frollo and several soldiers. When Quasimodo's mother amongst gypsies is seen carrying a bundle, a guard attempts to confiscate it, prompting her to flee.

Frollo pursues her on his horse, believing her to have stolen goods, in a brutal chase that comes to a head on the steps of Notre Dame cathedral. Here, Frollo takes the bundle out of her hands but, in doing so, strikes a blow to her head with his boot, causing her to fall down onto the stone steps, breaking her neck and killing her. Frollo then learns that the bundle is actually a deformed baby. He sees a well and attempts to drown the baby, as he believes it is a demon from Hell, but is stopped by the Archdeacon, who tells Frollo that he has killed an innocent woman and that, if he wishes for the survival of his immortal soul, he must raise the child as his own. Frollo reluctantly does so and raises the baby in the bell tower of Notre Dame and gives him a cruel name; Quasimodo, which, according to Clopin, means "half-formed". It is quickly learned that Quasimodo is the mysterious bell-ringer.

LyricsEdit

CLOPIN:
Morning in Paris, the city awakes
To the bells of Notre Dame
The fisherman fishes, the bakerman bakes
To the bells of Notre Dame
To the big bells as loud as the thunder
To the little bells soft as a psalm
And some say the soul of
The city's the toll of the bells
The bells of Notre Dame

Listen, they are beautiful, aren't they? The bells. So many colors of sound, so many changing moods. But, they do not ring all by themselves. No, there is a bellringer.

Now, to hear these bells is to be reminded of an extraordinary time, when this lowly bellringer brought Paris to its knees. And who better to tell you this story than someone who knows it best of all. But, I must warn you in advance. You are about to see an ugly monster. Just who that might be is for you to decide.

Dark was the night when our tale was begun
On the docks near Notre Dame

GYPSY MOTHER:
Hush, little one.

CLOPIN:
Four frightened Gypsies slid silently under
The docks near Notre Dame

GYPSY MOTHER:
Please, please be quiet.

CLOPIN:
But a trap had been laid for the Gypsies
And they gazed up in fear and alarm
At a figure whose clutches
Were iron as much as the bells
The bells of Notre Dame

One of the most powerful officials in Paris was the Minister of Justice.

Justice Frollo was a man
With morals so pristine
That he swore he would make
All of Paris just as clean

FROLLO:
You there! What are you hiding?

GYPSY MOTHER:
Please Sir, I only come into the city seeking help for my baby!

FROLLO:
A Baby? Likely story. What have you stolen? See what that gypsy has in her hands.

CLOPIN:
And the poor woman ran for her life!

GYPSY MOTHER:
Sanctuary! Please give us sanctuary!

FROLLO:
This is a child of Satan! I shall send it back where it belongs.

CLOPIN:
Stop! Cried the Archdeacon.

ARCHDEACON:
What have you done? What have you in your hands?

FROLLO:
An unholy demon that this woman has borne.

ARCHDEACON:
Lord help us! She's dead!

FROLLO:
Dead?

ARCHDEACON:
See here the innocent blood you have spilt
On the steps of Notre Dame

FROLLO:
I was merely enforcing the law. I never meant to hurt her.

ARCHDEACON:
Now you would add this child's blood to your guilt
On the steps of Notre Dame?

FROLLO:
This misshapen monster can have no life here!

ARCHDEACON:
You can lie to yourself and your minions
You can claim that you haven't a qualm
But you never can run from
Nor hide what you've done from the eyes
The very eyes of Notre Dame!

CLOPIN:
And the saints looked down on Frollo
From their stone facade
And he knew he must do penance
In the eyes of God

FROLLO:
You're right, father. God has given me this challenge. I will take this... thing and look after it. But I ask a favor of you in return.

ARCHDEACON:
What is it?

FROLLO:
I have no home to speak of. Let him live here, in the church.

ARCHDEACON:
Live here? Where?

FROLLO:
Anywhere. The bell tower, perhaps. And let us agree never to speak of what has happened here today. In return, I will raise the child as my own.

ARCHDEACON:
Very well.

FROLLO:
See this loathsome creature
From whom lesser men would flee

I will ennoble him.

I will keep and care for him
And teach him at my knee
To think like me

CLOPIN:
And he gave the child a thoughtless name - a name that means "half-formed" - Quasimodo.

Now...
Here is a riddle to guess if you can
Sing the bells of Notre Dame
Who is the monster and who is the man?

CHORUS:
Sing the bells, bells, bells, bells
Bells, bells, bells, bells
Bells of Notre Dame!

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