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Brown Girl

John D. Loudermilk
Language: English


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[1965]
Parole e musica di John D. Loudermilk, più noto come songwriter che come interprete, l’autore di canzoni come Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian) e Tobacco Road
Nell’album “The Open Mind Of John D. Loudermilk” del 1969

The Open Mind Of John D. Loudermilk

“A true story that happened back in the '40s in my hometown of Durham, NC. Both parties involved eventually went mad due to the social pressure of both sides. I haven't seen the man in years, but occasionally one will spot the figure of Bessie May Brown, shopping bag on her arm, stooping over to pick up a chewing gum wrapper or an old cigarette pack…”
(JDL)

A quanto capisco, si tratta della storia di una coppia mista nel North Carolina degli anni 40, quando segregazione e razzismo erano ancora legge.
Il punto di vista è quello di un ragazzo bianco che aspetta la sua fidanzata nera fuori dalla grande fabbrica dove lei lavora. L’uomo racconta del loro amore e della fatica di lei, dovuta alle mansioni più umili e dure cui i neri sono addetti (segregati anche nel colore della divisa, blu per loro, bianca per i bianchi) e alle angherie quotidiane e al demansionamento che ha subìto non appena si è sparsa la voce del loro rapporto… Però l’amore vince tutto, anche la cattiveria e l’odio…

Ma da quanto leggo nelle note di copertina, Loudermilk seguì la vicenda di quella coppia e la storia non andò a finire bene: racconta che i due non riuscirono a far fronte alle pressioni sociali cui erano sottoposti, di lui si persero le tracce e lei (precisamente identificata da Loudermilk in tal Bessie May Brown) finì quasi come una barbona, probabilmente vittima della depressione…
Back home, we got this great big old factory sittin' right in the middle of town
And almost everybody in town works there
Yeah, it's almost about like every other factory around there, I guess
The white folks do the easier work and wear the white uniforms
The colored folks do the hard labor and wear the blue uniforms
This is the story about an old boy waiting outside the factory for his girl to get off work
And the boy speaks...:

Man, this sidewalk is hot; almost five o'clock
Wait 'til that whistle blows and that door opens
And out she'll come and fall in my arms
Man when them folks see that
They'll want to ride us out of town on a rail
Well, I guess they just don't understand
About my brown girl, my brown girl
Brown girl, brown girl
With the blue dress on

She used to have a good job
But you know, as soon as folks found out we's goin' together
They handed her a broom and said
"Here girl, keep things clean"
But you know they just can't fire her, the union won't let them
She's the highest payed sweeper in town
And I'm the luckiest guy in the world
'Cause I found brown girl, my brown girl
Brown girl, brown girl
With the blue dress on

You know, all day long folks put her down
Saying nasty things, making smart little remarks
But she never cries, not until she's in my arms
Why, even her own folks won't speak to her
And at times, I bet her poor little heart is as blue as the uniform she wears
Yep, when she gets off she'll be tired, but she'll smile
Midst the sneers, the leers, and the jeers and the curse words
She'll smile, 'cause you know love can conquer anything
It can climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest ocean
Bridge the widest gap, even between men's hearts
Yep, love is the great cleanser
Take an old pair of dungarees
The more they're washed, the whiter they get
Yeah, love conquers all, even hate
I can't wait for my brown girl, my brown girl
Brown girl, brown girl
With the blue dress on
She wears it well
She wears it well

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2016/3/4 - 08:53



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