“Les Miserables” contains one of the most moving songs ever written. The ballad “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” is sung near the end of the play by a young character named Marius, who is mourning the loss of his friends in a post-Revolutionary France uprising. Marius sings the song alone in the café where he and his friends used to congregate to sing, plan, and gather support for their cause in the musical.
The character sings to his peers’ ghosts, lamenting the fact that he survived while they were gone and questioning the value of their sacrifice. Even the most apathetic will be moved by this haunting scene of grief and despair. Many people in the real world have felt pain and sorrow in the last two years. With COVID-19 claiming millions of lives around the world, social and political upheavals, the effects of climate change becoming more visible, and a war in our midst, a reprieve is much needed.
Cormac Thompson comes in handy here. The 13-year-old singer released “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” as a charity single to benefit Acting for Others. His incredible rendition of the song allows many people to let go of emotions that they have long kept hidden in the shadows. Cormac first became famous on the internet when he was 11 years old, when a video of him singing “Danny Boy” for his grandparents in Northern Ireland went viral during the pandemic lockdowns.
Cormac’s angelic voice, which could calm even the most agitated mind, wowed listeners. Cormac’s rendition of “Danny Boy” landed him a record deal. He recorded an album called “Hear My Voice,” which will be released in December 2020 by Decca Records. Today, the young Englishman is making headlines once more with his stunning rendition of “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.” At the time of writing, the cover had nearly 300,000 views on his official YouTube channel.
The three-minute video alternates between Cormac singing in the studio and scenes depicting humanity’s terrible reality during the pandemic. Hundreds of viewers praised Cormac’s pitch-perfect voice. Some of their reactions are as follows: “How can someone so young and inexperienced put such delicacy and empathy into a song? Fabulous.”
“I was moved to tears by this. The beautiful voice of such a young person singing about such loss is so poignant right now, living in the United States.” “Absolutely stunning. You truly have the angelic voice. Sir, well done.” Cormac’s performance is yet another example of how music can both heal and inspire. If you’re in desperate need of emotional release through music, check out this young man’s beautiful rendition of this ballad by clicking the video below.