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The Peculiar Institution

The Peculiar Institution lyrics

The Peculiar Institution

Auctioneer
Step right up, gentlemen
Step right up
We have a fine selection of strong young bucks
And choice nimble-fingered wenches for your consideration

Auctioneer's Assistant
Turn around, you bastard

Auctioneer
A strong back for bearing any burden
Unscarred by whip or brand

Auctioneer's Assistant
Turn around, you bastard

Auctioneer
And fine white teeth unstained by any taste of liquor or lies
550
555, thank you, sir
560
560
560
580
590
600
610
Thank you, sir

The Enslaved
I remember the first time I witnessed
The hard terrible lash of the boss-man
On a back runnin' red
In the cool of the morning
In my sixteenth or seventeenth summer
How I cried when they sold off my brothers
To a house far away
Like a team of fast horses

How they jabbed and prodded and poked me
On the block of the docks in Savannah
They opened my mouth
For to reckon my value

I am summoned to pleasure the master
On those nights when the humor is on him
I bear him his sons
And he trades them for gold

And it feels more like dying than living
When somebody ain't free
And there's no one but Jesus forgiving
What they're doing to me

And they stole my son
From his bed one night
And they sold him South
'Cause the mistress decided he wasn't polite
And his eyes were disturbing
And my poor heart cries
But it comes and goes
Cause there's more good-byes
Than my body and soul and my broke heart knows
That I won't be forgetting

And it feels more like dying than living
When somebody ain't free

And the angels weep
And the winds complain
And the hurt goes deep
And the conscience of everyone tries to explain
When there's no explanation
And we're bought and sold
On the auction block
And the young grow old
In the chains that their father's would die to unlock
For their emancipation
And there's no one but Jesus forgiving
What they're doing to me

White women
Parasols, lawns of green
Summer all year long
Always there, seldom seen
They carry us along

The Enslaved
There must be an end!
To this long dark night
May the Lord God send
All his wrath down upon what he knows isn't right
To this valley of sorrow
Let the angels scream
Let the cold wind howl
Let the good men dream
Of the day when the devil of hate doesn't prowl
May that day be tomorrow
And it feels more like dying than living
How can God let this be
And there's no one but Jesus forgiving
What they're doing to me

I remember the old ones would tell me
'Bout a land that lay over the water
So far, far away
Where they said we had kingdoms
They said we had kingdoms

Auctioneer
Sold!
Last Update: June, 10th 2013


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Musical: Civil War, The. Song: The Peculiar Institution. Broadway musical soundtrack lyrics. Song lyrics from theatre show/film are property & copyright of their owners, provided for educational purposes