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Barra
Pirate Jenny
1928 Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill
From the first act of musical The Threepenny Opera, by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. See also Songfacts.

Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera is a masterpiece of musical theater that grew out of its writers' experience of Weimar Germany, the period between the World Wars when Germany struggled to establish a working democracy in the face of economic malaise and the bitterness of military defeat.
First performed in Berlin in 1928, Brecht's text is sardonic and brittle. He creates a world of beggars, thieves, and prostitutes in which there is no honor; every character would sell out any other if an advantage is to be gained. Relationships are fluid, changeable; betrayals abound as new alliances are formed amongst the array of seedy, colorful characters.
-Arthur Lazer culturevulture.net

Recording sessions
1964 April 4-6: New York piano played by Atkinson
You people can watch while I'm scrubbing these floors
And I'm scrubbing the floors while you're gawking
Maybe once you tipped me and it makes you feel swell
 
 
1977 December 4: London (UK) Theatre Royal Drury Lane (evening)
 
 
1977 December 4: London (UK) Theatre Royal Drury Lane (evening) reprise
 
 
1985: USA Theatre tour
You gentlemen can watch while I'm scrubbing the floors
And I'm scrubbing the floors while you're gawking
Maybe once you tipped me and it makes you feel swell
In this crummy southern town in this crummy old hotel
But you'll never guess to who you're talking
You'll never guess to who you're talking

Suddenly one night there's a yell in the night
And you wonder who could that have been
And then you see me kind of grinning while I'm scrubbing
And you say what the hell she's got to grin
I’ll tell you there's a ship the Black Freighter
With a skull on its mast head will be coming in

You gentlemen can say hey gal finish them floors
What the hell is wrong with you
Earn your keep here and you toss me your tips
And look out at the ships
But I'm counting your heads as I'm making the beds
Cos there's nobody's gonna sleep here
There's nobody's gonna sleep here

Suddenly one night there's a yell in the night
And you say who's that kicking up a row
And then you see me kind of staring out the window
And you say what the hell she got to stare at now
There's a ship the Black Freighter
Turns around in the harbor shooting guns from her bow

Now you gentlemen can wipe off that smile off your face
Cos every building in town is a flat one
This whole freaking 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
And you yell 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 then you see me kind of stepping out in the morning
Looking nice with gold in my hair
And the ship the Black Freighter
Runs a skull up its mast head ahead of the cheerings yeah

By noontime the deck is a-swarming with men
Coming out of the ghostly freighter
They're moving in the shadows where no one can see
And they're chaining up people
And they're bringing them to me
Asking me kill them now or later
Asking me kill them now or later

Noon by the clock and so still at the dock
You can hear a foghorn miles away
And in that quiet of death I'll say
Right now
And they pile up the bodies
And I'll say that'll learn you
And the ship the Black Freighter
Disappears out to sea
And on it is me

(Lyrics transcription by Roger Nupie)
 
 
1992 June 4: Reykjavik (IS) Háskólabíó Arts Festival
 
1992 July 2: Montreal (CA) International Jazz Festival
 
1997 December 18: Warsaw (PL) Kongresowa Hall
 
Unknown recording session
2008 DVD 2 To Be Free Legacy Recodings (US)