greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,
greygirlbeast
greygirlbeast

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"That'll learn you."

"Pirate Jenny" (1928, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill)

You gentlemen can watch while I'm scrubbin' the floor,
And I'm scrubbin' the floor while you're gawkin',
And maybe once you tipped me and it made you feel swell
In a ratty waterfront
In this ratty old hotel.
But you never know to who you're talkin'.
You never know to who you're talkin'.

Suddenly one night there's a scream in the night,
And you yell, "What the hell could that have have been?"
And you see me kind'a grinnin' while I'm scrubbin'
And you say, "What's she got to grin?"

And the ship,
A black freighter
With a skull on its masthead,
Will be comin' in.

Then you gentlemen can say, "Hey girl, finish the floors!
Get upstairs! Make the beds! Earn your keep here!"
You toss me your tips
And look out at the ships,
But I'm countin' your heads
While I make up the beds
Cause there's nobody gonna sleep here
Tonight, none of you will sleep here.

Then that night, there's a bang in the night
And you yell, "Who's that kickin' up a row?"
And you see me kind'a starin' out the window
And you say, "Whats she got to stare at now?"

And the ship,
The black freighter,
Turns around in the harbour,
Shootin' guns from the bow.

Then you gentlemen can wipe off the laugh from your face,
Every building in town is a flat one.
Your whole stinkin' place will be down to the ground
Only this cheap hotel standin' up safe and sound.
And you ask, "Why did they spare that one?"
And you ask, "Why did they spare that one?"

All night through, with the noise and to-do,
You wonder, "Who's the person lives up there?"
Then you see me steppin' out in the mornin',
Lookin' nice with a ribbon in my hair.

And the ship,
The black freighter,
Runs a flag up its masthead
And a cheer rings the air.

By noon-time the dock
Is all swarmin' with men,
Comin' off from the ghostly freighter.
And they're movin' in the shadows
Where no one can see.
And they're chainin' up people,
And they're bringin' 'em to me
Askin' me, "Kill them now, or later?"
Askin' me, "Kill them now, or later?"

Noon by the clock,
And so still on the dock.
You can hear the foghorn miles away.
In that quiet of death,
I'll say, "Right now."
And they'll pile up the bodies,
And I'll say, "That'll learn you."

And the ship,
The black freighter,
Disappears out to sea,
And
On
It
Is
Me...
Tags: justifiable homicide, pirates, the red tree
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