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Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

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Black Saint and the Sinner LadySingle Solos And Group Dance
Never mind and let it be So what if they do not
Let us be We cannot give up now Change our faces
Be someone else’s names and races Cry Freedom!
Storm the Storm of Storms Wake up the preacherman
Wake up the Lord I will dance for him bend my body
This way and that like you taught me with your voice
Moaning bass and wailing saxophone Play them now
Whip up the storm in our every muscle our every bone
Dance with me Cry with me Dance together Cry together
Feel the strength return subdue the pain But not the anger
See our bodies broken See our bodies bent rise up to meet
The stones that beat us down The ropes that hanged us once
Till our necks snapped But not our spirits Call up the
Preacherman Call on the Lord He’ll hear our cry Hear our call
He will send the waves again Energize our bodies as we strut
Our stuff Not in anger not in lust but
Black and beautiful we will dance Hail Mary full of grace
Shatter the clouds Bring down the rain
Call up the sun bathe our blackness in the light
No more darkness Never again Look up Hold high
Your hearts’ blood See the eagle fly high with the dove
Our bodies black and beautiful sweat smelling sweet
They made us mad it’s true They whipped our skins
Ripped our guts Walked jackbooted on our every vein
Till even our tears could not fall no more
But all that’s changed We dance madly Hands clap
Drums and castanets Bass and sax Feet tapping
Beat that drum! Blow that reed! Preach freedom
Cry, but not in pain Not in the same pain
Love will win Victory over pain I feel sure
So don’t be sad not even when I stand
Up and pick the strings and sometimes bow
Moanfully Hear the pain, but dance with joy and hope

Group And Solo Dance
Out on the streets now Strut our stuff Let the bananaman
And the preacherman The taxman and the sweeperman
Join us Dance is Freedom Every wave of the arm Every
Lilting Swaying Coupling and uncoupling of our bodies
Is the shout of joy Say you’re you Like I sing ‘I’m me’
Let everyone who has ears Let them hear Everyone with a soul feel
What’s true and real It’s time to sing a real song
All the blues won’t go away But with every beat
Of every drum And with every low and arco hum
Then every wail of every horn and reed and every strum
Of minor chords rising in soulful crescendo Then they will know
Who’s black and in pain Yet who’s beautiful under the Lord’s reign
Come, my beloved My black and beloved woman
Do not fear the time is near when every lock in
Every chain will snap like wood Yet every body
Black to Black Brown Beige and Yellow alike
Yeah! Maybe even white will melt into the one tight
Body of love Yeah! That’s the dream Now it’s up to
Us who love to make it happen Dance the night
Into the day And when the light fades join me hold me
Tight if you can Let’s join our hearts and minds
Let’s join in pain Let’s wail until it’s time
To laugh again Free at last to laugh bring joy again
What’s that you say? Why do I cry? Going away… hopeless
I see her now above my bed or maybe far away
Not yet, my love she says Not yet Not yet Not yet
Pirouetting gracefully circling Circling going down slow
Come on Charles Charles blow your horn Blow it blue
Her feet you see have come to a grinding halt
Her suppleness has turned to bone Caught in a frieze somehow
I see her She looks my way Her eyes and hands refuse to speak
She moves only from bed to door It opens She’s going going gone
There’s only me once more Alone on our bed Everything else’s still

Poem first published in the book The Unfinished Score – The Complete Works of Charles Mingus by Raul da Gama

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Raul da Gama is a poet and essayist. He has published three collections of poetry, He studied at Trinity College of Music, London specialising in theory and piano, and he has a Masters in The Classics. He is an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep technical and historical understanding of music and literature.

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