So I was rereading through some of the songs from the Disney animated/live musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and there's a verse in "Someday" which goes,

"Till then, on days when the sun is gone
We'll hang on
And we'll wish upon the moon"

What does it mean "and we'll wish upon the moon"? And what is "days when the sun is gone"? I don't think that's a reference to night, is it?

1 Answer 1


This is a callback to a metaphor introduced in the first verse.

I used to believe
In the days I was naïve
That I'd live to see
A day of justice dawn
And though I will die
Long before that morning comes
I'll die while believing still
It will come when I am gone

Esmerelda wants to live to see "A day of justice dawn", until the metaphorical coming of justice. She acknowledges that it might be a long way off, but hopes and believes in "that morning" (the sun/justice) coming at some point.

The last verse can best be understood with this metaphor in mind.

We all share...
Our fight will be one then
We'll stand in the sun then
That bright afternoon
Till then
On days when the sun is gone
Hope lives on
Wish upon the moon
Change will come

The last verse, sung by everyone, explicitly calls back to the metaphor of justice dawning. Standing in the "sun" is basking in the metaphorical rays of justice. A "bright afternoon" is a place full of justice, the world that Esmerelda believes in and hopes for in the first verse. The group paints a picture of this wonderful scene which will happen "then", at some point later. Their "fight" for justice will be "one" with the wider world once justice comes, once the sun comes out.

Until "then", when the sun (or justice, in the metaphor) has not yet come and is not there, they vow to "hang on" and stick together. They'll "wish upon the moon". The moon is there when the sun is not, still casting light. Wishing on it is an expression of hope even in the absence of the sun, in the absence of true justice. They declare that "Change will come" - the sun will rise eventually, justice will come if they wait long enough and work hard enough.

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