Restaurant Man
No please no
Not tonight please no
Mister - can't you go -
Not tonight - can't have a scene

Roger
What?

Restaurant Man
Go, please go;
You - Hello, sir -
I said, "No"
Important customer

Mark
What am I - just a blur?

Restaurant Man
You sit all night - you never buy!

Mark
That's a lie - that's a lie
I had a tea the other day

Restaurant Man
You couldn't pay

Mark
Oh yeah

Collins
Benjamin Coffin III -- here?

Restaurant Man
Oh no!

All
Wine and beer!

Maureen
The enemy of Avenue A
We'll stay

Restaurant Man
Oiy vey!

Collins
What brings the mogul in his own mind to the Life Cafe?

Benny
I would like to propose a toast
To Maureen's noble try
It went well

Maureen
Go to hell

Benny
Was the yuppie scum stomped
Not counting the homeless
How many tickets weren't comped

Roger
Why did Muffy --

Benny
Alison

Roger
Miss the show?

Benny
There was a death in the family
If you must know

Angel
Who died?

Benny
Our Akita

Benny, Mark, Angel, Collins
Evita

Benny
Mimi - I'm surprised
A bright and charming girl like you
Hangs out with these slackers
(Who don't adhere to deals)
They make fun - yet I'm the one
Attempting to do some good
Or do you really want a neighborhood
Where people piss on your stoop every night?
Bohemia, Bohemia's
A fallacy in your head
This is Calcutta
Bohemia is dead

Mark
Dearly beloved we gather here to say our goodbyes

Collins & Roger
Dies irae - dies illa
Kyrie eleison
Yitgadal v' yitkadash (etc)

Mark
Here she lies
No one knew her worth
The late great daughter of mother earth
On this night when we celebrate the birth
In that little town of Bethlehem
We raise our glass - you bet your ass to -
La vie Boheme

All
La vie Boheme
La vie Boheme
La vie Boheme
La vie Boheme

Mark
To days of inspiration
Playing hookey, making something out of nothing
The need to express -
To communicate,
To going against the grain,
Going insane
Going mad
To loving tension, no pension
To more than one dimension,
To starving for attention,
Hating convention, hating pretension
Not to mention of course,
Hating dear old mom and dad
To riding your bike,
Midday past the three piece suits
To fruits - to no absolutes -
To Absolut - to choice -
To the Village Voice -
To any passing fad

All
La vie Boheme
La vie Boheme

Maureen
Is the equipment in a pyramid?

Joanne
It is, Maureen

Maureen
The mixer doesn't have a case
Don't give me that face

Mr. Grey
Ahhemm

Maureen
Hey Mister - she's my sister

Restaurant Man
So that's five miso soup, four seaweed salad
Three soy burger dinner, two tofu dog platter
And one pasta with meatless balls

A boy
Ugh

Collins
It tastes the same

Mimi
If you close your eyes

Restaurant Man
And thirteen orders of fries
Is that it here?

All
Wine and beer!

Mimi & Angel
To hand-crafted beers made in local breweries
To yoga, to yogurt, to rice and beans and cheese
To leather, to dildos, to curry vindaloo
To huevos rancheros and Maya Angelou

Maureen & Collins
Emotion, devotion, to causing a commotion
Creation, vacation

Mark
Mutual Masturbation

Maureen & Collins
Compassion, to fashion, to passion when it's new

Collins
To Sontag

Angel
To Sondheim

Four People
To anything taboo

Collins & Roger
Ginsberg, Dylan, Cunningham and Cage

Collins
Lenny Bruce

Roger
Langston Hughes

Maureen
To the stage

Person #1
To Uta

Person #2
To Buddha

Person #3
Pablo Neruda, too

Mark & Mimi
Why Dorothy and Toto went over the rainbow
To blow off Auntie Em

All
La vie Boheme

Maureen
And wipe the speakers off before you pack

Joanne
Yes, Maureen

Maureen
Well - hurry back

Mr. Grey
Sisters?

Maureen
We're close

Angel, Collins, Maureen, Mark, Mr. Grey
Brothers!

Mark, Angel, Mimi & Three Others
Bisexuals, trisexuals, homo sapiens,
Carcinogens, hallucinogens, men, Pee Wee Herman
German wine, turpentine, Gertrude Stein
Antonioni, Bertolucci, Kurosawa
Carmina Burana

All
To apathy, to entropy, to empathy, ecstasy
Vaclav Havel - The Sex Pistols, 8BC,
To no shame - never playing the Fame Game

Collins
To marijuana

All
To sodomy,
It's between God and me
To S & M

Benny
Waiter...Waiter...Waiter

All
La vie Boheme

Collins
In honor of the death of Bohemia an impromptu salon will
commence immediately following dinner... Mimi Marquez,
clad only in bubble wrap, will perform her famous lawn
chair-handcuff dance to the sounds of iced tea being stirred.

Roger
Mark Cohen will preview his new documentary about his
inability to hold an erection on high holy days.

Mark
Maureen Johnson, back from her spectacular one-night engagement
at the eleventh street lot, will sing native american tribal
chants backwards through her vocoder, while accompanying herself
on the electric cello - which she has never studied.

Benny
Your new boyfriend doesn't know about us?

Mimi
There's nothing to know

Benny
Don't you think that we should discuss --

Mimi
It was three months ago

Benny
He doesn't act like he's with you

Mimi
We're taking it slow

Benny
Where is he now?

Mimi
He's right -- hmm

Benny
Uh huh

Mimi
Where'd he go?

Mark
Roger will attempt to write a bittersweet, evocative song.
(Roger picks up a guitar and plays)
That doesn't remind us of "Musetta's Waltz"

Collins
Angel Dumott Schunard will now model the latest fall fashions
from Paris while accompanying herself on the 10 gallon plastic
pickle tub.

Angel
And Collins will recount his exploits as an anarchist -
including the successful reprogramming of the M.I.T.
virtual reality equipment to self-destruct, as it broadcast
the words:

All
"Actual reality - Act Up - Fight AIDS"

Benny
Check!!

Mimi
Excuse me - did I do something wrong?
I get invited - then ignored - all night long

Roger
I've been trying - I'm not lying
No one's perfect. I've got baggage

Mimi
Life's too short, babe, time is flying
I'm looking for baggage that goes with mine

Roger
I should tell you --

Mimi
I've got baggage too

Roger
I should tell you --

Mimi
I got baggage too

Roger
I should tell you --

Both
Baggage - wine --

Others
And beer!

Mimi
AZT break

Roger
You?

Mimi
Me. You?

Roger
Mimi


Lyrics submitted by babeee, edited by Ohheidi

La Vie Boheme song meanings
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32 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentSong is set after Maureen's performance piece. The cast is commencing in the Life Cafe.
    Some of what's happening:
    Benny gloats that Bohemia is dead, and Mark and others reject his pronouncement. Rodger discovers that Mimi is also suffering from AIDS.

    This song drops so many names, and makes TONS of references:
    Maya Angelou : Famous Poet
    Sontag : Probably Susan Sontag, cinema critic, author, playwright
    Sondheim : Composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim.
    Ginsburg: Allen Ginsberg, beat generation poet.
    Dylan: Bob Dylan. Folk-rock songwriter and performer.
    Cunningham: Merce Cunningham, modern choreographer.
    Cage: John Cage, avant-garde musician.
    Lenny Bruce: Controversial comedian who was reportedly the first person jailed for swearing in public in the US
    Langston Hughes: African-american playwright, poet.
    Uta: Uta Hagen; noted stage actress and teacher of Stanislavski's Method of acting.
    Pablo Neruda: Poet, 1971 Nobel Prize recipient for literature.
    Gertrude Stein: Lesbian poet, novelist
    Antonioni: Probably Michelangelo Antonioni, Italian filmmaker.
    Bertolucci: Probably Bernardo Bertolucci, Italian filmmaker.
    Kurosawa: Probably Akira Kurosawa, Japanese film director.
    Carmina Burana: A musical based on poems contained in a 13th Century German manuscript from the Benedictine abbey of Benediktbeuern, in Bavaria.
    Vaclav Havel: President of the Czech Republic.
    8BC: once a nightclub in the East Village
    ACT UP: AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power.


    One of my favorite RENT songs!
    theatrepunk03on July 25, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti love this song i know all the words
    SKAnkinon July 13, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is possibly my all time favourite song IN THE WORLD.

    My schooly-people think I'm mad, sitting with a book on the tarmac with my iPod in my ears, singing away about dildos and masturbation, heh. I know every word off by heart, I've scrawled the lyrics into my diary twice, and I joined this site just so I could comment. =)

    And to Ms/Mr Sociology Report Person, reading too much into things often ruins them bigtime.

    I love it. SO MUCH. I love Rent, I love everything Rent related, I love people who love Rent, I love singing Rent, I love listening to Rent on my iPod, and the very SECOND I get the chance, I am buying the movie, or going to see it in theatre...

    Yeah, I've never seen it. But I know just as much about it, and I love it just as much as anyone who has. So there. =P

    YAY RENT! La Vie Boheme = Best Song EVER!
    And I knew Rent was a play well before I knew it was a movie too. =D

    I'm so annoying...
    kat2695on May 05, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMUCHO MASTERBATION!
    leftrighton November 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfavorite song from rent its just so funny and i love singing along with it!!!!!
    asilbaby23on July 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentso well choreographed on stage, especially with the fauz funeral scene lol.
    emmychloeon July 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a song that not only advocates but celebrates the many varied lifestyles that ad to our culture. It also celebrates everyone who came before pushing the envelope and forcing people to really see life instead of just pretending it doesn't exist.
    Lioness_Whisperson July 25, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUmm... Someone told me it was about AIDS ... (hint hint the person who wrote the most up there ^.^) but it's pretty kewl. Once I read the lyrics, I understood it a bit better, even if I haven't seen it on stage.
    CoUrTnEySWhoRe00on August 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is definitely up there with One Song Glory and What You Own as my favorite song from Rent. Such a great celebration of diversity and acceptance. I love the line "To being an us for once instead of a them"-- something about that just seems to fit my friends and I very well, even if it doesn't make much sense when you think about it. One warning though; even though this is one of the best songs in Rent, there are certain parts of it (e.g. the "sisters" and "brothers" parts) that don't work unless you're seeing it in person, or you just know the show very well. Other than that though, this is one of the best celebrations of life in general that will probably ever be recorded. Listen and be happy.
    nightkite13on March 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know all the words to this song, too. =)
    i loooveee it
    SaraWithOutAnHon December 19, 2005   Link

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