Oliver Soundtrack Lyrics
OLIVER SYNOPSIS Lyrics
In a Victorian West Midlands charity workhouse, orphan boys march towards their places at the dinner tables. They dream about the meal the meal they are looking forward to. But although they anticipate the pleasures of hot sausage and mustard, cold jelly and custard, in fact all they ever get is gruel. After eating their miserable daily ration, one boy called Oliver dares to ask Mr Bumble, who runs the Workhouse with Widow Corney, 'Please sir, I want some more'. Mr Bumble is enraged and Oliver tries to run away. When he is caught, Mr Bumble takes him into the cold snowy streets to be sold for the price of a mere seven guineas. He is bought by Mr Sowerberry, an undertaker, and is ill-treated by him and bullied by their older hired hand, Noah Claypole. Oliver is very miserable and daydreams of the mother he never knew. When is teased about his feelings, he hits out and is put into a coffin as punishment, but he escapes and runs out into the streets and after days and days of walking, finds himself in the streets of London.
London is an overwhelming world of thriving commerce and bustling crowds. Another older boy soon takes Oliver under his wing: he is the Artful Dodger, the ringleader of a gang of boy thieves run by a wizard of pickpocketry, Fagin. Dodger sees Oliver as a possible new recruit and invites him home with him. In the thieves' kitchen, Oliver is introduced to the other boys and to Fagin, who explains what Oliver has to do if he wants to stay there: learn how to pick a pocket or two. The boys then demonstrate how it's done. Nancy, a good-hearted, good-time girl who boyfriend is the ominous, menacing thief Bill Sikes, leads the boys in a celebration of what a fin life it is. Nancy makes an instant friend of Oliver and tells him that a life of crime is fine as long as you look after yourself and your friends.
The next morning, Fagin sends his criminal brood off to work instructing them to be back soon, and Oliver is initiated into his life of crime by the Artful Dodger, who relieves Mr Brownlow of his wallet. But it is the nearby Oliver who is promptly apprehended for the crime and taken away by the police.
Nancy is entertaining the locals at the Three Cripples pub with a popular music hall turn. She suddenly stops when Sikes arrives and is told by the other boys of Oliver's capture. Sikes fears that Oliver will tell the police about the gang, and orders Nancy to get him back. Because Nancy loves Sikes, despite everything, and will do anything he asks, she reluctantly agrees to find Oliver.
Meanwhile, Mr Brownlow has had Oliver released and taken him home to Bloomsbury. The next morning Oliver awakens to a new life of unexpected luxury. Outside, the street vendors are selling their wares. But this touch of paradise does not last. Oliver is sent out on an errand and is captured by Nancy and Sikes, who take him back to Fagin's den.
Sikes takes the money from Oliver that Mr Brownlow had given him for an errand. Oliver taunts Sikes that Mr Brownlow and the police will soon be out looking for him, and when Sikes threatens Oliver, Nancy steps in to protect him. Sikes and Nancy have a huge argument which Fagin attempts to placate, but they storm out. Fagin sends the boys out to work and is left alone to ponder whether it is time to renounce his criminal life.
Meanwhile, Widow Corney, now married to Mr Bumble, has discovered from the deathbed confession of an old woman that Oliver is the child of a wealthy woman who died in childbirth. A locket taken from the mother reveals that she was Brownlow's daughter, who left home to bear her illegitimate child. Bumble and Widow Corney decide to visit Mr Brownlow to try and claim the reward that had been promised for information about Oliver. On hearing their story Mr Brownlow realises it is they who have treated both his daughter and Oliver so cruelly in the workhouse. He is furious at their audacity and greed and throws them out, swearing that he will see to it neither of them will ever hold a position of responsibility again.
Nancy is determined to help Oliver somehow without betraying Sikes. She visits Mr Brownlow at his house and they agree to rendezvous on London Bridge. Nancy steals Oliver away to bring him there at midnight, but before she can hand the boy over, Sikes, who mistakenly believes she has betrayed him, kills her in retaliation. He takes Oliver hostage and, pursued to Fagin's den, Sikes is killed in the chase and Oliver is finally and happily reunited with his grandfather. Fagin escapes and we are left wondering if he will repent or continue a life of crime.