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Balancing Act

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"Tanz auf dem Seil" (Balancing Act) is the first new song of the musical, Der Glockner von Notre Dame. It introduces Clopin as the Leader of the Gypsies and to Esmeralda. Clopin starts the song by telling the audience and the new members of the Court of Miracles what roles they play in Paris as Gypsies. Those roles are beggars, artist, and the scapegoats and they must understand them in order to surive. One of the newcomers catches Clopin’s attention and that is Esmeralda, a dancer. Esmeralda had to move to Paris as she can’t keep her opinions to herself and it gets her into trouble but she is determine to try and make Paris her home.

Lyrics

CLOPIN
Welcome to Paris
Parasites and rubble
True there's still some trouble you'll attract
Where our race is killed in other places
Here our life is like
A balancing act!

GYPSIES
Welcome to Paris
Parasites and rubble
We have rules here
Learn them on the double

CLOPIN
We Gypsies here in Paris
Have our specified roles to play

GYPSIES
We Gypsies here in Paris
Have our specified roles to play

CLOPIN
And if we play them nice enough
Then maybe they'll let us stay

GYPSIES
And if we play them nice enough
Then maybe we'll stay

CLOPIN
First there is the beggar
So forlorn and forsaken
Next the street-performer they acclaim

GYPSY
We're street performers

CLOPIN
Last but never least
There is the scapegoat who they can blame
For all their troubles
And we try to keep the times
We're pitied or petted
Greater than the times we are attacked

FEMALE GYPSIES
Sometimes we're spared...

MALE GYPSIES
Sometimes we're smacked...

CLOPIN
It's a balancing act!
Alright, let's get organized.
Beggars first! Good, good.
Even more pathetic as usual.
Let's see, we need musicians,
we need fortune tellers.
Now, if you lose your way, remember that...
When you wear this woven band, you hold the city in you hand.

GYPSIES
When you wear this woven band, you hold the city in you hand.

CLOPIN
We are a ruby, red and pure. And the church a topaz, green as...
Ahh what do we have here? And what is this beauty's name?
 
ESMERALDA
Esmeralda.

CLOPIN
And how are you going to earn your keep, Esmeralda?

ESMERALDA
I dance.

CLOPIN
Dance. Good.
Welcome to Paris, Esmeralda
The way you move
Is made to make men fall

MALE GYPSIES
Esmeralda...

CLOPIN
A girl who looks like Esmeralda
Is sure to prove
An asset to us all

GYPSY WOMAN
Asset, hah! She's the reason we got kicked out of Frankfurt!

CLOPIN
Oh really? Caught stealing were you?

GYPSY WOMAN
She hit a soldier.

CLOPIN
Ah. Listen here Esmeralda,
you just worry about yourself here.
Otherwise you'll soon be on
your way to the next town. Understood?

ESMERALDA
Yes.

Welcome to Paris, Esmeralda
You've seen how cruel
The world can really be

But here in Paris, life is better
At least on that,
I think I can agree

GYPSIES
Welcome to Paris, wretched refuge

ESMERALDA
Can it be
At last I'll find a home

GYPSIES
This is our home now...

ESMERALDA
And end to all my years of roaming

GYPSIES
We'll have a home...

ESMERALDA
I'll hold my tongue

GYPSIES
At last a home...

ESMERALDA
Control my temper

GYPSIES
And in this home

ALL
We'll use our wiles and wits and talents
As we try to keep on balancing
Forever

CLOPIN
And when this day is done
We should have plenty to celebrate

ESMERALDA / GYPSIES
And when this day is done
There will be plenty to celebrate

CLOPIN
Unless of course it's one
When they decide to display their hate

ESMERALDA / GYPSIES
Dear God, don't make it one
Where they display their hate

CLOPIN
Well, no point in worrying
It's time to get out there
And do our level best to keep intact

ESMERALDA / GYPSIES
We'll do our best to keep intact

ALL
Our balancing act

ESMERALDA / GYPSIES
Welcome to Paris
All that we desire
Is a home here
Dancing on a wire

CLOPIN
It's a balancing act

ESMERALDA / GYPSIES
And we're ready
To accept the fact:
Living here is like
A balancing act!


v - e - d
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Media

Films: The Hunchback of Notre Dame | The Hunchback of Notre Dame II | Video
Television: House of Mouse | Esmeralda
Video games: The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Topsy Turvy | Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Music: Soundtrack
Books: Big Golden Book | Classic Storybook | Disney's Wonderful World of Reading

Disney Parks

Disney Animation Building | Stitch and Friends Summer Surprise
Entertainment: Animazment - The Musical | Disney Classics: The Music & The Magic | Disney Dreams! | One Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On! | The Golden Mickeys | The Hunchback of Notre Dame: A Musical Adventure | The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Festival of Fools | World of Color
Restaurants: Clopin's Festival of Foods
Parade: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Topsy Turvy Cavalcade
Halloween: Disney's Not-So-Scary Halloween Show | Happy Hallowishes | It's Good To Be Bad With The Disney Villains | Re-Villains! Halloween Parade | The Disney Villains Halloween Showtime | Villains Mix and Mingle

Characters

Original: Quasimodo | Esmerelda | Claude Frollo | Phoebus | Victor, Hugo, and Laverne | Clopin | Archdeacon | Achilles | Djali | Quasimodo's mother | Quasimodo's father | Old Prisoner | Snowball | Brutish and Oafish Guard | Frollo's soldiers
Sequel: Madellaine | Zephyr | Sarousch

Songs

Original: The Bells of Notre Dame | Out There | Topsy Turvy | Humiliation | God Help the Outcasts | The Bell Tower | Heaven's Light | Hellfire | Paris Burning | A Guy Like You | The Court of Miracles | Sanctuary | And He Shall Smite the Wicked | Into the Sunlight | Someday
Sequel: Le Jour D'Amour | An Ordinary Miracle | I'd Stick With You | Fa la la la Fallen In Love | I'm Gonna Love You
Musical: Balancing Act | Rest and Recreation | Rhythm of the Tambourine | Top of the World | Esmeralda | City Under Siege | Out of Love (Reprise) | Dance of the Gypsies | Made of Stone | Grand Finale
Deleted Songs: In a Place of Miracles | As Long As There's a Moon | Someday

Locations

Paris | Notre Dame de Paris | Palace of Justice | Court of Miracles

Other

Musical | Disney Sing Along Songs: Topsy Turvy | The Making of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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