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He Wanted to Say Lyrics

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He Wanted to Say

 
Ragtime Soundtrack Musical, 1998
CD  ·  DVD  ·  Sheet music

He Wanted to Say (SARAH disappears. The sound of the elevated train overhead. We are at COALHOUSE's hideout. COALHOUSE sits behind a table.
With him are his MEN. Everyone is well-dressed in starched shirts with stick pins and ties. Silence. They all seem to be
waiting for something. One of the FOLLOWERS begins to whistle.)

COALHOUSE
I said, no music.

(The FOLLOWER that YOUNGER BROTHER followed enters.)

COALHOUSE FOLLOWER
He's here.

COALHOUSE
Bring him in.

(YOUNGER BROTHER is led in, blindfolded. The blindfold is removed.)

COALHOUSE
What is it you want?

YOUNGER BROTHER (flustered, there is so much he wants to say)
I...I...I want to...I know that if...

(Lights come up suddenly, magically on EMMA GOLDMAN at the side of the stage.)

EMMA
He wanted to say:
I am here because I have to be.
He wanted to say:
I am here for what is right.
Every day I wake up knowing
What you've lost and what is owing
I would shed this skin if I could
To stand with you and fight.
He wanted to say:

YOUNGER BROTHER
I am not who I appear to be.

EMMA
He wanted to say:

YOUNGER BROTHER
Do not blame me for my past.

BOTH
We have different lives and faces
But our hearts have common places
This was deep inside me
And you helped me find it at last

EMMA
Two men meeting
For a moment in the darkness

COALHOUSE
One turning from...

YOUNGER BROTHER
One waking to...

ALL THREE
...America!
Two men finding
For a moment in the darkness...

YOUNGER BROTHER & COALHOUSE
They're the same.

EMMA
They're the same.

COALHOUSE'S MEN
He wanted to say:

COALHOUSE
How I envy you your innocence.

EMMA & COALHOUSE'S MEN
He wanted to say:

YOUNGER BROTHER
By your side I could be brave
If there's such a thing as justice
Let me help you find your justice
This I do for you and for Sarah
Who lies in her grave...

EMMA & MEN
But all he said was...

YOUNGER BROTHER
I know how to blow things up.

EMMA GOLDMAN, MEN
Two men meeting
For a moment
In the darkness.
For a moment
In the darkness.

(There is an enormous explosion, very present, very terrifying, visceral. The theatre should shake.)

[Thanks to Yehuda Alexander for lyrics]
CD  ·  DVD  ·  Sheet music
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