Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You Al Capone, I’m Nina Simone

If I had my way I would’ve been a killer.
But the only thing I had was music.
Well, the sea first.
It was always the sea first,
music, second.
You can quote me on that.

Mama called it the devil’s music,
because she knew
God so well.
I liked the sound
of that,
but still when I was a young girl,
played for the first time,
they made her move
to the back of that music hall.
White gloves covered her black, black
hands and she held onto the tiniest purse I’d ever seen.
My hand hovered over those keys, stopped the sound
until they let her back to the front.
What can you fit in a purse so tiny?

I married a white man once,
he was a creep.
You can quote me on that.
He never said it,
none of them ever do,
but he wanted me to change.
And I don’t do that,
it’s just not my thing.

But I tell you what is my thing –
That’s all I want now.
Not to change the world,
because I can’t.
The rich are getting
richer, the poor poorer
and me, 
well I’m just getting old.
And I’ve realized it just ain’t my job to change this world, Baby.
You can quote me on that.

All I want now, are the raspberries
that grow in my garden.
This tree bearing fruit for winter.

Not even love,
it’s too much lava, and I’ve been
burning up for many years now.

I don’t want to change the world, not
I just want my raspberries,
and a man
who is rich, and who can give me
a boat- a sailboat.
I want to own it,
let him pay for it.
You can quote me on that.

First, was the sea and then came my music.
Not this dirty black jazz the white people hear,
but this black classical thing, the Duke and I play.

I don’t know how Mama did it,
with a purse so small.
I always wanted the things
my hands hold
to be bigger.
Big enough to fight
the voice that told me once –
Because you’re black.

And now, all I want are
And sailboats.
And the sea, it was always the sea first.
You can quote me on that.

No comments:

Post a Comment