1943 lyrics

- Caroline, or Change

1943 lyrics

1943

WASHING MACHINE
Nineteen-fourty-three you marry?

CAROLINE
Handsome boy, a navy man.
He go off to fight Japan.

WASHING MACHINE
You stay home?

CAROLINE
Give birth to Larry.
Then three years of lonely waiting.
Fearful prayers.
Anticipating.

WASHING MACHINE
Nineteen-fourty-five the Navy
send you home your handsome man.

RADIO
Life is sunny, life is gravy.

CAROLINE
Thank you, Jesus, thank you Navy!
He is home now, every limb
is beauty, lovely, like a tree.
Falling deep in love with him.

RADIO
The handsome Navy man!
Falling deep in love with him,
long and tall and sweet and slim.

CAROLINE AND RADIO
Even now your hand can summon
how his neck, his belly feel,
shoulders, what his breath was like.
Hands burn then with happy fire,
every inch of you desire.
Longing set your skin aflame.

CAROLINE
Nurse the baby,
sing his name.

RADIO
Sing his name!
Sing his name!

WASHING MACHINE and RADIO
Back in nineteen-fourty-seven

CAROLINE
Ain?t no work for negro men.

WASHING MACHINE
You?s both hanging on to heaven.

CAROLINE
Emmie come?

WASHING MACHINE and RADIO
Shipyard close.

CAROLINE
?mmonia factory almost hire him.

RADIO
Only white mens in that union.

CAROLINE
He get drunk, he scared, he angry,
feeling hopeless, I suppose?

WASHING MACHINE
He hit you.

CAROLINE
Just once.

WASHING MACHINE
He break your nose.

CAROLINE
Larry is a gentle baby.
Emmie fussy, never sleeps.
He gets drunk. He broke my nose.

RADIO
Even now your face can summon.

CAROLINE
What his punch feel like, the pain,

RADIO
Pain is white, remember pain?
Pain is white, that is its color,
bright as sunshine.
Nighttime follow.
Bitterness you drink and swallow.

CAROLINE
God whose eye is on the sparrow,
please make Emmie go to bed.
Folk?ll stare tomorrow. Jesus,
please fix up my swollen head.
Please a job so he stop drinking.
Please, he don?t like digging sewers.

WASHING MACHINE
No one likes that diggin sewers?

CAROLINE
Please give me a mop and bucket.
Please, a white folks house to tend.
Please some money, feed the babies,
choke his throat when he drink liquor,
make my sis help with my babies,
let him see
he mess with me
after I have spent the day
putting white folks? clothes away,
tell him God, if he ever
ever
ever hit me again?

RADIO
Larry, Emmie, Jackie, Joe?

WASHING MACHINE
Other men find work.

CAROLINE
He don?t.

RADIO
Change come fast and change comes slow.

WASHING MACHINE
Other men leave drink?

CAROLINE
..he can?t.

WASHING MACHINE
Ahead of time you?re getting old.
Care beatin down on you.
Then one day?

CAROLINE AND WASHING MACHINE
Then one day?

CAROLINE
One bad day?
he hit again.

WASHING MACHINE
You beat him black and blue.
Then
he disappear from view?

RADIO
And even now your hand can summon

CAROLINE
What it like to beat his face in.
What his back feel like, his kiss.

WASHING MACHINE
Even now, your scar hand miss

CAROLINE
The handsome boy, the Navy man.

CAROLINE, WASHING MACHINE, RADIO
Sorrow bleed you.

CAROLINE
Where is he?
Where is he?
Where is he?

WASHING MACHINE AND RADIO
You are sixteen
sixteen
sixteen
sixteen
sixteen?

ROSE
Caroline?

CAROLINE
?sixteen feet beneath the sea.

Last Update: June, 10th 2013


1943
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Musical: Caroline, or Change. Song: 1943. Broadway musical soundtrack lyrics. Song lyrics from theatre show/film are property & copyright of their owners, provided for educational purposes