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Look What You've Done/ Think of Your Son Lyrics

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Look What You've Done/ Think of Your Son

 
Ragtime Soundtrack Musical, 1998
CD  ·  DVD  ·  Sheet music

Look What You've Done/ Think of Your Son (We see a vigil of HARLEM WOMEN with candles.)

WOMEN AT VIGIL
A day of peace.
A day of pride.
A day of justice.
We have been denied.
Let the new day dawn,
Oh, Lord, I pray!

(We are outside the impressive facade of the Morgan Library. 36th and 37th streets have been cordoned off form Madison
Avenue to Park.

There is a cluster of POLICE and REPORTERS.

J.P. MORGAN trying to impress a flustered DISTRICT ATTORNEY CHARLES S. WHITMAN of the gravity of the situation. Also present
is a thoroughly wretched WILLIE CONKLIN who is being made to repair COALHOUSE'S car, and FATHER.)

WHITMAN (raises a megaphone)
Mr. Walker. This is This is District Attorney Charles S. Whitman. Do you hear me? I have Fire Chief Willie Conklin with me.
He is restoring your car. Will you come out, sir?

WILLIE CONKLIN
You gonna let me be a martyr!

WHITMAN
Mr. Conklin will receive due process. You both will.

MORGAN
How much longer are you going to stand for this? Give him his car and then hang the savage!

WHITMAN
I'm doing my best, Mr. Morgan.

CONKLIN
This is a conspiracy of nigger lovers, that's all it is.

FATHER
Sir, if I might suggest.

WHITMAN
Who the hell are you?

FATHER
You sent for me. I know Mr. Walker and I believe there's one man he'll listen to.
Mr. Booker T. Washington.

VIGIL WOMEN
Justice! Ah!

(The focus now goes to WASHINGTON, as the people on the street move away. It should seem as if he has been admitted to the
library, and is now addressing COALHOUSE directly.)

BOOKER T. WASHINGTONFor the sum of my lifeI have lived in hopeWe might all be Christian brothers.I have worked to
persuadeEvery white-skinned manThat he need not fear our race.What has your selfish recklessnessCost us,We who work so hard
to stillThe white man's hate.Look what you've done. VIGIL WOMENDay of peace...Day of pride...Justice!Justice!

(As the conversation continues, and escalates, the lights dim on the library and come up on the people outside. Over the
following, the VIGIL WOMEN continue to hum.)

WHITMAN
You are surrounded by militia. they are cutting off your water even as I speak.

J.P. MORGAN
Four Shakespeare folios! A Gutenberg bible on vellum.
The treasures of civilization are at stake! You've got to do something!

WILLIE CONKLIN
White people should be grateful for what I done!

EMMA GOLDMAN
I deplore the taking of human life, nut I applaud Mr. Walker's capture of the Morgan library. His actions speak for all
oppressed people. It is the cry of revolution.

VIGIL WOMEN
Justice!

(Lights come up inside the library.

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
With guns and dynamite, you are destroying everything I have fought for, sir.

COALHOUSE
Despite the respect I have for you, Mr. Washington, you have come in vain.

WASHINGTON
Had you been ignorant of the tragic struggle of our people, I could have pitied you this adventure. But you are a trained
musician, an educated man.

COALHOUSE
It is true, sir. But I hope that I might suggest to you the solemn calculation of my mind.
We are both men of colour who insist on the truth of our manhood, and the respect it demands!

(Lights come up outside the library.)

MEN, FATHERHours passing by andNot a sign from Coalhouse!Hours passing by,The situation hopeless!Hours passing by...Hours
passing by... WOMENHours passing by andNot a sign from Coalhouse!Hours passing by,The situation hopeless!Hours passing by...

(Lights dim on the chaos outside the library, and come up inside again. It is apparent that time has passed. They are tired.
They are disheveled. The guns have been lowered.)

WASHINGTON
Your situation is hopeless. And you will be responsible for the death of these young men.

COALHOUSE FOLLOWER #1
Don't listen to him, Coalhouse.

COALHOUSE FOLLOWER #2
They're using him to get to you.

COALHOUSE FOLLOWER #3
We're not giving up.

WASHINGTON
And you dare to teach your lessons
To these wild, unthinking youths.
Yet your own son, you abandon
To be raised on white men's truths.
Look what you've done.
Think of your son.

(COALHOUSE reacts to this blow. All at once he hears SARAH's VOICE, humming "Your Daddy's Son".)

SARAH (offstage)
Oooh...

WASHINGTON
Is this the legacy you would bestow upon him? Are these the shoulders you would have him stand upon? Let him be the son of a
man who had the courage to tell the truth in a court of law. Make your case, and if the verdict is death, go to it proudly,
knowing that you have been heard. The truth is all. If you do this, you will have the thanks and respect of every decent man
of colour and of all those children of our race whose way is hard and whose journey is long.
Think of your son.

COALHOUSE
I would need a hostage and safe passage for my men.

WASHINGTON
It is done.

YOUNGER BROTHER
You can't change your demands. You are betraying us. You said we would all go free or we all would die!

COALHOUSE
And the promise of a fair trial.

YOUNGER BROTHER
No!

WASHINGTON
You have my word. I am their mediator, sir, not their fool.

COALHOUSE
Then they will see me come out with my hands raised, and no further harm will come to any man from Coalhouse Walker, Jr.

WASHINGTON
God bless you sir.

(WASHINGTON and COALHOUSE shake hands. WASHINGTON exits. The FOLLOWERS and YOUNGER BROTHER surround COALHOUSE in furious
agitation.)

FOLLOWER #1
You said we'd fight to the finish.

FOLLOWER #2
Yeah, you can go out there, man. We ain't.

FOLLOWER #3
We're all ready to die as Coalhouse.

FOLLOWER (leaping toward the detonator)
Push the plunger! Blow it all up!

FOLLOWER
We're not going. You've lost, Coalhouse. We've all lost.

COALHOUSE
I don't believe that.

[Thanks to Yehuda Alexander for lyrics]
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