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The Song Before the Storm

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"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. Thematically related to A Storm Is Coming.


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    Film — Live-Action 


    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.
  • Galavant has "A Good Day to Die" and its reprise. Though the title sounds tough and militaristic, all the lines other than the Title Drop discuss how everyone would rather this day not before dying in the Battle of the Three Armies.
  • 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.
  • "Teardrop" by Massive Attack at the end of the first season of Prison Break, a night before the breakout.

  • "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)".

  • Anastasia:
    • In act 1, "We'll Go From There" has Anya, Dmitry, and Vlad each muse on what awaits them and what they wish to happen most once they get to Paris.
    • Act 2 has "Quartet at the Ballet" where Anya, Dmitri, and Grandmama prepare to meet each other, and Gleb prepares to confront Anya for the last time.
  • "Comfort and Joy" from Bat Boy: The Musical
  • 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.
  • "I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line.
  • "Welcome to the Rock", the opening song of Come from Away follows the residents of Gander, Newfoundland as they begin the completely normal day of September 11, 2001.
  • "No Good Can Come From Bad" from Drood has all the major players (and Edwin) get together for dinner during a storm, and all leave some incriminating thought or action about themselves that could prove that they were the one to murder Edwin that night.
  • "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 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.
  • "Soon It's Gonna Rain" from The Fantasticks.
  • 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.
  • "Luck Be A Lady" from Guys and Dolls.
  • In Hairspray, before the main characters crash the set of The Corny Collins Show, Motormouth Maybelle sings "I Know Where I've Been" as a reminder of how much is at stake.
  • Appropriately enough, the song in Hamilton just before the Reynolds Pamphlet is released is called "Hurricane" and perfectly fits this.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A light-hearted, waltzy version appears in A Little Night Music: "A Weekend in the Country".'
  • 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.
  • "One Day More" from Les Misérables, in which one of Enjolras' lines is literally: "One more day before the storm"
  • Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812:
    • "The Opera", where Natasha meets Hélène and sees Anatole for the first time, as well as making her first official appearance in Moscow society.
    • "Preparations", where Anatole and Dolokhov prepare for Natasha's abduction.
  • 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).
  • 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 SpongeBob Musical has "Tomorrow Is" where the citizens of Bikini Bottom sing about what they hope to accomplish before Mt. Humongus erupts.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "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.

    Video Games 
  • A rarity in video games: Red Dead Redemption 2 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 
  • Amphibia has "No Big Deal" for the second-to-last episode of its second season, giving the viewers one last time to chill and have fun before things go off the rails in the finale.
  • On Daria, "What If the Town Blew Away" is literally this—the characters are singing about the hurricane that's about to hit Lawndale.
  • "Where is the Fun?" from The Fairly Oddparents: School's Out! The Musical
  • I ♡ Arlo: "Back To You", Arlo's "Setting Off" Song from the S1 finale sung just before arriving at the swamp to find it turned into The Hedge of Thorns by the Big Bad. It is then followed by the Warning Song sung by Ruff and Stucky just before Arlo encounters the Bog Lady which in turn leads to the episode's Darkest Hour.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "This Day Aria" from the Season 2 finale, sung by Princess Cadance and the imposter Cadance (Queen Chrysalis in disguise) just before the big confrontation.
    • "The Ballad of the Crystal Empire" from the Season 3 premiere, as the Mane Six prepare the Crystal Fair prior to learning the truth of the Crystal Heart.
    • "You'll Play Your Part" from the Season 4 finale, sung by the four Princesses just before Tirek makes his appearance.
  • The Triumphant Reprise of "Royal Prep" from the Sofia the First Grand Finale, "Forever Royal", just before Vor's attack.
  • "For Just One Day Let's Only Think About (Love)" from the Steven Universe episode "Reunited" has Steven prepping for Ruby and Sapphire's wedding and also references events throughout the series that still haven't been resolved and will come to a head soon like the Cluster still yet to have emerged, that Rose Quartz was really Pink Diamond, and that the other Diamonds are still unaware of this and want revenge.
  • Tangled: The Series:
    • "I've Got This" from "Queen For a Day", as Rapunzel struggles to adjust to her Short-Lived Leadership just before Zhan Tiri's blizzard hits.
    • "Ready As I'll Ever Be" from "Secret of the Sundrop", with both the villain, Varian, and the heroes preparing for the first season's big finale battle.
    • "Through it All" from the Grand Finale, as Rapunzel rallies up all of Corona to take down Cassandra and Zhan Tiri once and for all.
  • "You're the Greatest" from the Wander over Yonder episode "My Fair Hatey", just before Lord Dominator reveals her true motives.


Video Example(s):


La Resistance

Gregory prepares Stan and Kyle for their rescue mission with a song, while all their adult rivals prepare for war and execution and Satan prepares for his rise to power.

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Main / TheSongBeforeTheStorm

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