Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Weary Blues

Christmas in Central Park (M.A. Reilly, 2011)

The Weary Blues

 - Langston Hughes

Droning a drowsy syncopated tune, 
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon, 
            I heard a Negro play. 
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night 
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light 
            He did a lazy sway . . . 
            He did a lazy sway . . . 
To the tune o' those Weary Blues. 
With his ebony hands on each ivory key 
He made that poor piano moan with melody. 
            O Blues! 
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool 
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool. 
            Sweet Blues! 
Coming from a black man's soul. 
            O Blues! 
In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone 
I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan-- 
            "Ain't got nobody in all this world, 
             Ain't got nobody but ma self.
             I's gwine to quit ma frownin' 
             And put ma troubles on the shelf."  

Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor. 
He played a few chords then he sang some more-- 
            "I got the Weary Blues 
             And I can't be satisfied. 
             Got the Weary Blues 
             And can't be satisfied-- 
             I ain't happy no mo' 
             And I wish that I had died." 
And far into the night he crooned that tune. 
The stars went out and so did the moon. 
The singer stopped playing and went to bed 
While the Weary Blues echoed through his head. 
He slept like a rock or a man that's dead.

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