Bookshelf Tour, Part One
Down Once More Translatedby *Muirin007
Subliminal messages abound in The Phantom of the Opera. Some are so entwined in such carefully constructed, phallic metaphors, that it may be difficult to sift through the passionate web of angst and decipher the lyrics' true meanings. So here, for your clarity, I have provided a translation of some of the musical's most elaborate lyrics. The original lyrics will be italicized, while the translations will not. It is my desire that your next viewing of Phantom should be an enlightened one, and my sincerest hope that these translations will clear up any confusion.
"Down Once More"
PHANTOM: Down once more to the dungeons of my black despair!
(I am using hyperbolic metaphors that make me the patron saint of emos everywhere.)
Down we plunge to the prison of my mind!
(Have you, perchance, ever heard of schizophrenia? Because I think I may have it, along with a medley of other psychological disorders that would make a therapist salivate.)
Down that path into darkness deep as hell!
(We're not actually going to hell, just so you know. Hell is just an INGENIOUS way to describe my embittered life. Also, I live underground. And hell is, coincidentally, allegedly underground. See that? See what I did there?)
Why, you ask was I bound and chained in this cold and dismal place?
(You may be wondering why I confine myself to the sewers when proper sanitation systems haven't been invented yet.)
Not for any mortal sin, but the wickedness of my abhorrent face!
(It's because my face looks like it's been tossed into a meat grinder.)
ANGRY MOB: Track down this murderer, he must be found!
Track down this animal, he must be found!
(When we find this man, we are going to completely disregard the fact that he clearly needs psychological attention and toss him in the poorly regulated prison system where he will likely contract consumption and be rescued by a horde of Mary Sues via fanfiction.)
PHANTOM: Hounded out by everyone!
(Hark! The angry cries are coming from my hallway again!)
Met with hatred everywhere!
(I've murdered, manipulated, and scared innocent people out of their wits. I cannot understand why I've been the object of such maliciousness.)
No kind words from anyone!
(I am often called a "jerk.")
No compassion anywhere!
(Has the world lost its sense of brotherly love?)
(Virginal object of my affections!)
(I fail to understand why murdering stagehands and manipulating and kidnapping you necessitated the removal of my security blanket in front of, like, the whole audience.)
CHRISTINE: Have you gorged yourself at last in your lust for blood?
(Are you satisfied that you've managed to turn a perfectly nice opera house into a hammer horror film?)
Am I now to be prey to your lust for flesh?
(Is your surge in testosterone going to cause you to attempt to get it on with me?)
PHANTOM: That fate which condemns me to wallow in blood has also denied me the joys of the flesh.
(While I would doubtless enjoy making sweet love to you while the opera burns to the ground above us, you and I both know that I am never getting laid.)
This face, the infection that poisons our love...
(Perhaps I would get laid if I looked like Antonio Banderas, but unfortunately, nature was clearly PMSing when I was born, and I ended up with this face instead of his.)
This face, which earned, a mother's fear and loathing,
(I am attempting to win your sympathy by breaking down my cold emotional barriers and hinting at the obligatory Victorian child abuse directed at me by my mother.)
A mask, my first unfeeling scrap of clothing.
(I ran around naked until my mother decided that the only way she could stop vomiting was to shove a paper bag over my head.)
Pity comes too late!
(Unfortunately, your reasonable entreaties to cease and desist are now falling on deaf ears because this is the climax of the story, and I have to be over-emotional.)
Turn around and face your fate!
(Your forced marriage to me is inevitable because women's rights do not yet exist.)
An eternity of this before your eyes!
(Instead, you are going to have to wake up to my disgusting face every morning for the rest of your life. However, you will be permitted to wear a sleeping mask to prevent undue vomiting.)
CHRISTINE: This haunted face holds no horror for me now.
(I'm suddenly and inexplicably no longer disgusted by the fact that your face looks like it went through a meat processor.)
It's in your soul that the true distortion lies.
(I also suddenly and all-too-belatedly realize that it's what's inside that counts. Unfortunately, your inside sucks as much as your outside.)
PHANTOM: Wait! I think, my dear, we have a guest!
(Hark! I hear the confident, splashing footfalls of your annoying, handsome suitor who is interrupting any chance of character development on your part!)
Sir, this is indeed an unparalleled delight!
I had rather hoped that you would come.
(Being that you are the knight in shining armor, I knew your arrival would be inevitable. However, I wish your puffy shirt wasn't clinging to your perfectly-toned figure in such a Mr. Darcy-esque fashion, because Christine is clearing enjoying the view, and that is cheating, mister.)
And now my wish comes true! You have truly made my night!
(At least your idiotic rescue efforts will give me a chance to strangle you in a few minutes and win every female audience member's sympathy with the story's ending.)
RAOUL: Free her!
(Being the knight in shining armor that I am, I demand that you free my woman because clearly, she is unable to do so for herself because women's rights don't exist yet.)
Do what you like, only free her!
(In a selfless act of courage, I am offering myself up in exchange for her release even though I'd much rather just leave at this point.)
Have you no pity?
(I do not know about your tortured past that led to your misanthropy, and nor do I care, so I am asking a stupid question.)
PHANTOM: Your lover makes a passionate plea!
(Does he always ask such stupid questions?)
CHRISTINE: Please, Raoul, it's useless!
(Shut up, Raoul! You are destroying any chance I have for character development!)
RAOUL: I love her! Does that mean nothing? I love her!
(But I think she would make an ideal trophy wife! What part of "trophy wife" don't you understand?)
Show some compassion!
(In a hypocritical, ignorant plea, I once again disregard your tortured life and demand that you extend the respect that I wouldn't dream of giving you because you're, like, really ugly.)
PHANTOM: The world showed no compassion to me!
(I am embittered by a life spent battling a society that is unfailingly narrow-minded!)
RAOUL: Christine! Christine! Let me see her!
(Trophy wife! Trophy wife! I am proving that I really AM as dumb as I look by willingly stepping within strangling distance of the antagonist.)
PHANTOM: Be my guest, sir!
(Thank you for proving that you really are as dumb as you look and stepping within strangling distance of the antagonist.)
Monsieur, I bid you welcome!
(I am offering you snark and sarcasm in place of an actual welcome because you drive me nuts.)
Did you think that I would harm her?
(Your trophy wife was perfectly safe with me unless I gave into my carnal desires, which may not have happened anyway because she and I were getting to know one another before you showed up.)
Why would I make her pay for the sins which are yours?
(In a completely illogical and perfect example of psychological projecting, I am placing my blame upon you even though you are clearly too stupid to think up such a scheme.)
Order your fine horses now!
(The fact that you are rich cannot save you from certain death.)
Raise up your hand to the level of your eyes!
(Any effort to avoid this is futile because you are already choking and turning a vivid shade of blue.)
Nothing can save you now, except, perhaps, Christine!
(Your fate now rests upon Christine's shoulders, even though she is naive and thought her dead father was living in her mirror.)
Start a new life with me!
(Run away with me and abandon a life of comfort and social acceptability!)
Buy his freedom with your love!
(Because I have never known love, I am asking you to trade it like a commodity and I do not understand that you would rather lick a cat's backside than ever love me.)
Refuse me and you send your lover to his death!
(If you say no, I will kill your annoying, handsome boyfriend and STILL force you to run away with me.)
This is the choice!
(So either way, you are, quite simply, screwed.)
This is the point of no return!
(By repeating lyrics from an earlier moment in the story, I am twisting their meaning to fit my own crazed desires.)
CHRISTINE: The tears I might have shed for your dark fate grow cold and turn to tears of hate!
(I went from hating you to feeling sorry for you to hating you again all in the span of a few minutes.)
RAOUL: Christine, forgive me, please forgive me!
(I suddenly realize what an epic mistake I made by not getting you the heck out of here when I had the chance.)
I did it all for you and all for nothing!
(My brilliant plan to get him arrested so we could frolic away together backfired!)
CHRISTINE: Farewell, my fallen idol and false friend.
(My childhood fantasies have just been killed and I am facing adulthood before I really want to.)
We had such hopes and now those hopes are shattered!
(Curses! Foiled again!)
PHANTOM: Too late for turning back! Too late for useless prayers and pity!
(Oh, quit your bellyaching.)
RAOUL: Say you love him and my life is over!
(I am stating the obvious and making you feel worse by repeating the dilemma at hand.)
PHANTOM & RAOUL: For either way you choose, you/he cannot/has to win!
(You are screwed!)
PHANTOM: So do you end your days with me?
(So will you be forced into a marriage that will rob you of a chance at your coveted social acceptance?)
Or do you send him to his grave?
(Or will you cause him to die and STILL be forced into a marriage that will rob you of a chance at your coveted social acceptance?)
RAOUL: Why make her lie to you to save me?
(I'm going to be a prick and assume that she loves me more because I'm hot, which everyone knows is true, anyway.)
CHRISTINE: Angel of Music...
(By using the name I used to use when I idolized you, I am hoping to pound some reason into your thick skull.)
RAOUL: Christine, say no! Don't throw your life away for my sake!
(Now I am going to play the selfless hero and get myself killed in a useless attempt to free you, even though he's probably going to kidnap you either way.)
CHRISTINE: Why this torment?
(I am buying time because I hate making decisions for myself.)
PHANTOM: His life is now a prize which you must earn!
(All you have to do is kiss me. You could have been done by now.)
RAOUL: I fought so hard to free you...
(I really do like you, but that didn't really get us anywhere, did it?)
PHANTOM: We've passed the point of no return.
(The story is almost over.)
CHRISTINE: Angel of Music, you deceived me.
(I just realized that trusting a man who hid in my closet probably wasn't the best idea.)
I gave my mind blindly.
(I'm an airhead.)
PHANTOM: You try my patience. Make your choice.
(Would you shut up and just PICK already? The suspense is killing me!)
CHRISTINE: Pitiful creature of darkness...
(I've also just realized that you are a Byronic hero...)
What kind of life have you known?
(And that you're a tortured soul, which is actually kind of attractive...)
God give me courage to show you...
(This is going to be gross, because you're, like, really ugly, so I hope I can do this...)
You are not alone!
(But I am going to redeem myself, anyway, because all of a sudden, I find your dark, brooding attitude dangerously and pitiably irresistible.)
ANGRY MOB: Track down this animal, he must be found! Track down this murderer he must be found!
(Once again, we're ruining any chance of character development by interrupting the passion ensuing a few feet away.)
PHANTOM: Take her, forget me, forget all of this...
(Oh, forget it. Beat it, the both of you.)
Leave me alone, forget all you've seen.
(I have accepted the fact that the rest of my life must be spent wallowing. Get out of here and forget the fact that I nearly killed one of you and sexually awakened the other.)
Take the boat, swear to me never to tell the secrets you know of the angel in hell!
(I've conveniently left the gondola right there so you two can indulge in your insensitivity and leave me to rot. So long as you don't say anything about said rotting. Because I may or may not have committed a few serious felonies, and I would rather not be arrested.)
Go now! Go now and leave me!
(Oi! You two! Stop making out and get in the boat! I have a migraine.)
Masquerade, paper faces on parade...
(I am now free to abandon myself to insanity by playing with a creepy toy monkey.)
Masquerade, hide your face so the world will never find you...
(Back to the mask, I guess. A pity. It gets sweaty under there.)
Christine, I love you.
(I am uselessly stating the obvious, even though you clearly cannot hear me.)
CHRISTINE: Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime. Say the word and I will follow you.
(I've promptly forgotten about the Byronic hero behind me because now I don't have to wake up to a meat-processor face every morning.)
RAOUL: Share each day with me
(I am rubbing it in.)
CHRISTINE: Each night, each morning
(I am also rubbing it in.)
PHANTOM: You alone can make my song take flight...
(Thanks for running away with all my hopes and dreams, you slut.)
It's over now, the music of the night!
(I am through with this place. I will now vacate the premises and leave the story open-ended to make way for fanfiction and disastrous sequels.)
Tell me you didn't laugh, and I'll know you're lying.