Follow TV Tropes


The Song Before the Storm

Go To

"Tomorrow we'll discover what our God in Heaven has in store!
One more dawn; one more day; one day more!"
Les Misérables, "One Day More"

So the Climax of the musical is about to begin. Something may happen At the Opera Tonight, or fate and destiny could be working to bring the characters together for some sort of final showdown. Either way, the writers find it that it's important to remind us just how important what is happening is. So they introduce a song to bring everything dramatically together. A classic example of this type of song seems to be cutting between the heroes doing a Hero Song and the villains doing their Villain Song, as they each do their own particular preparations.


Frequently overlaps with Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number, which can be about a wider range of subjects, but must include counterpoint and various character perspectives. Not to be confused with The Eleven O'Clock Number, which is sung near the end of a musical to initiate the climax.


    open/close all folders 



    Live Action Television 
  • "Walk Through the Fire" from the Buffy musical episode "Once More, With Feeling".
  • In the Musical Episode of Even Stevens, there's "Sixth Period", in which the two lead characters of the show express their fears about their upcoming classes.
  • "Teardrop" by Massive Attack at the end of the first season of Prison Break, a night before the breakout.
  • Brigadoom from Lexx. It's really almost more of a Backstory Musical, but it does also fill this role because it sort of pumps them up as well, by showing them the history of how Kai fought so hard in the past and how he shouldn't let that go to waste, and that they all must once again struggle valiantly to defeat new Big Bad Mantrid rather than running.

  • "Welcome to my Realm" from Food for the Gods by Fireaxe. Sung by the Devil, right before he and his army of demons and damned souls storm the walls of Heaven.
  • Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds has "Eve Of The War" and the first part of "Horsell Common And The Heat Ray", covering the lead-up to the violent first contact with the Martians.
  • The Megas: "History Repeating, Part 1," the first song on History Repeating - Blue, is a relatively slow and melancholy song that ramps up hard into the much more energetic "History Repeating, Part 2 (One More Time)", as a reluctant Mega Man commits to winning one last fight and moves onto a war footing. Then, in History Repeating - Red, "I'm Not the Breakman" has Proto Man lamenting his abandonment by Dr Light and resultant loss of purpose, just before the climax of the album as he and his brother fight in "Make Your Choice" and Mega Man saves the day in "I Refuse (To Believe)".

  • "Soon It's Gonna Rain" from The Fantasticks.
  • "One Day More" from Les Misérables, in which one of Enjolras' lines is literally: "One more day before the storm"
  • "Tonight" (the "Quintet" version with Tony/Maria/Anita/The Jets/The Sharks, even though the last two are actually groups) from West Side Story is one of the classics, setting up for the big rumble that changes everything.
  • The Phantom of the Opera:
    • "Prima Donna" qualifies, certainly in the stage production.
    • "Notes (Reprise) - Twisted Every Way" could apply as well (this song is called "We Have All Been Blind - Twisted Every Way in the movie version, as "Notes (Reprise)" was cut from this version).
  • "Luck Be A Lady" from Guys and Dolls.
  • "A New Argentina" from Evita, depicting the build-up to the 1946 Argentinian presidential election. It closes the first act, while the second act picks up right after the election, with Juan and Eva giving their victory speeches from the balcony of the Casa Rosada.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has the Fogg's Asylum sequence. As the final confrontation looms, the chorus asks "Who could see how the road would twist?" as the lunatics escape to echo the Beggar Woman's Cassandra Truth across the city.
  • "I Hope I Get It" from A Chorusline.
  • Little Shop of Horrors :
    • Though it was a Cut Song, "We'll Have Tomorrow" would have been a perfect example of this.
    • The start of "Suppertime Reprise (Sominex)" could count, but the storm sort of starts in the middle of it.
  • The Act One finale of Urinetown. Just for extra emphasis, it goes into slow motion. "Why Did I Listen To That Man?" features no less than four alternating, then simultaneous takes on the collapsing situation... then The Hero Dies and things truly explode two songs later.
  • Godspell subverts it with "On the Willows"note , which is light and soft, but the lyrics talk about the coming sacrifice as one by one the apostles say goodbye to Jesus after Judas has been exposed. Heartwrenching if done properly.
  • "It's Time" from Evil Dead: The Musical. The gist of the song is that Ash has decided it's time to man-up and kick a whole mess of ass. In the next few scenes, he kills things that are immortal.
  • A light-hearted, waltzy version appears in A Little Night Music: "A Weekend in the Country".
  • "Comfort and Joy" from Bat Boy: The Musical
  • Vanities: "I Can't Imagine" plays this straight, but its reprise, "The Argument" is a song during the storm (the breakdown of the characters' friendship).
  • A Very Potter Musical
    • "Voldemort is Going Down".
    • "No Way" in the Sequel, in which Draco finally gets to be a part of a 4 part harmony.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: "This is the Moment", sung right before Jekyll's first transformation into Hyde, and "Confrontation", sung right before the show's finale where Hyde comes out at Jekyll's wedding, leading to his death.
  • Sera Myu: Transylvania no Mori and it's revised version have "We'll Be The Last Victory" which is basically both the heroes and villains declaring what they're fighting for and end with what "group" they belong to, even if that group is themselves.
  • The reprise of "Checkmate" in Black Butler Musical II: A Thousand Souls and a Fallen Shinigami. All of the characters sing about what will happen At the Opera Tonight, ending with a dramatic "Yes, My Lord" from Sebastian.
  • In the stage version of The Little Mermaid (1989), "Fathoms Below" is a literal example, with the bridge section telling of the storms that occur when King Triton gets mad, which happens shortly afterwards.
  • Appropriately enough, the song in Hamilton just before the Reynolds Pamphlet is released is called Hurricane and perfectly fits this.
  • The SpongeBob Musical has "Tomorrow Is" where the citizens of Bikini Bottom sing about what they hope to accomplish before Mt. Humongus erupts.

    Video Games 
  • A rarity in video games: Red Dead Redemption II has "That's the Way It Is", which is played near the end of Chapter 6 when Arthur Morgan, riddled with tuberculosis, goes on his final ride to camp, where he will face the Pinkertons before meeting up with Micah Bell for one final showdown in which he may or may not survive depending on his honor.

    Web Original 
  • "So They Say" from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Dr. Horrible prepares his Death Ray, Captain Hammer sings about doing the weird stuff and Penny sings about her future.
  • The fanmade Phoenix Wright - The Musical features a song called Tomorrow's Trial, taking place the night before the final faceoff between Phoenix and Von Karma.

    Western Animation 


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: