Around 2016 or so, I did a Google search for lyrics of Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera, since I am hard-of-hearing, wanting to find full lyrics in written form. However, all of the results I got back then ended with

Silently the senses abandon their defences...

And the rest of the melody continued without the lyrics. However, in another recording I got from a friend, it had more words to it that filled up that missing section. For the longest of time I've never been able to find it until yesterday, when I asked a friend of mine to help me. But at long last, I found out that it concluded with

Helpless to resist the notes I write, for I compose the music of the night.

Naturally, I wondered why such an omission was made, but I wasn't able to find anything definite, save that two sets of lyrics were published, supposedly because there were some minor legal controversies that were later settled.


1 Answer 1


The song was originally written for Andrew Lloyd Webber's wife Sarah Brightman and went though several changes before it ended up in "The Phantom of the Opera" which can probably be regarded as the 'definitive' version of the song. In the musical the Phantom stops singing after "... abandon their defences" and the orchestra plays three measures of music alone before he restarts singing "Slowly, gently...". This makes dramatic sense in context on stage, but it's probable the "Helpless to resist..." lyrics were originally intended to be sung there.

For a singer singing this piece in a concert setting or on a recording, the three instrumental measures make no sense, and it's quite plausible that they re-instate those lyrics.

The legal controversies mentioned were because Lloyd Webber had allegedly copied music from Giacomo Puccini, but that had nothing to do with the lyrics.

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