“Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from “The Phantom of the Opera”

The young heroine grieves the loss of her father in an unforgettable memorial song
Rose to the grieving Christine

Credit: blogtalkradio.com

Christine Daaé, once an obscure ballerina, is given a lead singing role in “Don Juan”, an opera written by the Phantom of the Opera, a disfigured man who is obsessed with the lovely, young woman. This opera is actually a complicated plot devised by the Phantom to kidnap Christine after finding out that she’s in love with Raoul, the Vicomte de Changy.

Christine, whose operatic triumph was orchestrated by the phantom, knows that during the performance she will be taken away to the phantom’s lair under the theater. The Phantom kills the leading man, sets the opera house on fire and escapes with Christine. When Raoul comes to save her, he’s tied up and tortured while Christine is given a difficult decision to make: she can either stay with the Phantom while Raoul goes free, or reject the Phantom while Raoul dies, and she goes free. Christine decides to stay with the Phantom. Raoul is released, but here’s a surprise — after all that — Christine actually loves her captor.

Does Christine feel pity or is it the authoritative power that the Phantom possesses that draws Christine to him?

memorial song from Phantom of the Opera

Gerard Butler & Emmy Rossum in “The Phantom of The Opera” (2004)
(Credit: gerardjamesbutler.com)

While he did put Christine into the limelight, the Phantom’s obsessive tendencies and a predilection to violence don’t seem like the qualities that would win a woman’s heart. Does Christine feel pity, or is it the authoritative power that the Phantom possesses that draws Christine to him? The young woman, whose father has died long ago, seems to have, well, a bit of daddy issues.

Perhaps that’s why the song “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” is so moving. “You were once my one companion, you were all that mattered,” Christine sings in the graveyard on the fateful day before the performance that will decide her fate. In the 2004 film version of Phantom of the Opera, Christine (Emmy Rossum) wanders between the monochromatic tombstones and monuments singing her desire to be with her father with such yearning and sincerity that it’s clear how lost she is in the world without him. “You were once a friend and father, then my world was shattered.” She had never truly healed from her loss, and it seems she probably never will.

You were once my one companion
You were all that mattered
You were once a friend and father
Then my world was shattered
Wishing you were somehow here again
Wishing you were somehow near
Sometimes it seemed if I just dreamed
Somehow you would be here

Wishing I could hear your voice again
Knowing that I never would
Dreaming of you won’t help me to do
All that you dreamed I could
Passing bells and sculpted angels
Cold and monumental
Seem for you the wrong companions
You were warm and gentle

Too many years fighting back tears
Why can’t the past just die?
Wishing you were somehow here again
Knowing we must say, “Goodbye”
Try to forgive, teach me to live
Give me the strength to try
No more memories, no more silent tears
No more gazing across the wasted years
Help me say, “Goodbye”
Help me say, “Goodbye”

— Andrew Lloyd Webber; Richard Henry Zachary Stilgoe; Charles Eliott Hart

Watch Emmy Rossum perform “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again”:

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