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    (1928) Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill

    You people can watch while I'm scrubbing these floors
    And I'm scrubbin' the floors while you're gawking
    Maybe once ya tip me and it makes ya feel swell
    In this crummy Southern town
    In this crummy old hotel
    But you'll never guess to who you're talkin'.
    No. You couldn't ever guess to who you're talkin'.

    Then one night there's a scream in the night
    And you'll wonder who could that have been
    And you see me kinda grinnin' while I'm scrubbin'
    And you say, "What's she got to grin?"
    I'll tell you.

    There's a ship
    The Black Freighter
    with a skull on its masthead
    will be coming in

    You gentlemen can say, "Hey gal, finish them floors!
    Get upstairs! What's wrong with you! Earn your keep here!
    You toss me your tips
    and look out to the ships
    But I'm counting your heads
    as I'm making the beds
    Cuz there's nobody gonna sleep here, honey

    Then one night there's a scream in the night
    And you say, "Who's that kicking up a row?"
    And ya see me kinda starin' out the winda
    And you say, "What's she got to stare at now?"
    I'll tell ya.

    There's a ship
    The Black Freighter
    turns around in the harbor
    shootin' guns from her bow

    You gentlemen can wipe off that smile off your face
    Cause every building in town is a flat one
    This whole frickin' place will be down to the ground
    Only this cheap hotel standing up safe and sound
    And you yell, "Why do they spare that one?"
    That's what you say.
    "Why do they spare that one?"

    All the night through, through the noise and to-do
    You wonder who is that person that lives up there?
    And you see me stepping out in the morning
    Looking 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 noontime the dock
    is a-swarmin' with men
    comin' out from the ghostly freighter
    They move 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 by the dock
    You can hear a foghorn miles away
    And in that quiet of death
    I'll say, "Right now.
    Right now!"

    Then they'll pile up the bodies
    And I'll say,
    "That'll learn ya!"

    And the ship
    The Black Freighter
    disappears out to sea

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