Ellen Loudon

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The Song of The Great Capitulation

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Long ago when I was a green beginner
I believed I was a special case.
(None of your ordinary run of the mill girls, with my looks and my talent, and my love of the higher things in life!)
And if I picked a hair out of my dinner
I would put the cook right in his place
(All or nothing. Anyhow, never the second best. I am the master of my Fate. I’ll take no orders from no one.)

Then a little bird whispered in my ear:
“That’s all very well, but wait a year
And you will join the big brass band
And with your trumpet in your hand
You’ll march in lockstep with the rest.

Then one day, look! The battalions wheel!
The whole thing swings from east to west!
And falling on your knees, you’ll squeal:
The Lord God, He knows best!
(But don’t give me that!)
And a month or two before that year was over
I had learned to drink their cup of tea.
(Two children round your neck, and the price of bread and what all!)
And the day soon came when I was to discover
They had me just where they wanted me.
(You must get in good with people. If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Don’t stick your neck out.)

And that little bird whispered in my ear:
“You didn’t even take a year!
And you have joined the big brass band
And with your trumpet in your hand
You marched in lockstep with the rest.

But one day, look! The battalions wheeled!
The whole thing swung from east to west!
And falling on your knees, you squealed:
The Lord God, He knows best!
(But don’t give me that!)”
Yes, our hopes are high, our plans colossal!
And we hitch our wagon to a star!
(Where there’s a will there’s a way. One can’t hold a good man down.)
We can move mountains, says St. Paul the great Apostle
And yet: how heavy one cigar!
(We must cut our coat according to our cloth.)

For that little bird whispers in your ear:
“That’s all very well but wait a year
And we will join the big brass band
We march in lockstep with the rest.

But one day, look! The battalions wheel!
The whole thing swings from east to west!
And falling on our knees, we squeal:
The Lord God, He knows best!
(But don’t give me that!)

Another poem by Brecht. Taken from Mother Courage

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Written by ellenloudon

April 19, 2007 at 1:23 pm

Posted in poem

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