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Songs From The Capeman

Paul Simon
Lingue: Inglese, Spagnolo



ADIOS HERMANOS

SAL
It was the morning of October 6th, 1960
I was wearing my brown suit
Preparing to leave the house of D.
Shook some hands then adios Brooklyn amigos
Maybe some of them had hopes of seeing me again
Some even said that my judge-Judge Gerald Culkin-
Wouldn't play it by the book
Maybe let us off the hook
But, WOH-OO-WOH, I knew better.

SAL & SALVADOR
Afraid to leave the projects
To cross into another neighborhood

SAL
The blancos and the nigger gangs
Well, they'd kill you if they could.

AUREA & WOMEN
Angel of Mercy, people are suffering
All over the world
Spanish children are taught on their knees to believe
Angel of Mercy, people are suffering
All over the island tonight,
Mothers weep

SAL & AUREA
Sisters grieve.

SAL
Well, I entered the courtroom, state of New York
County of New York, just some spic
They scrubbed off the sidewalk
Guilty by my dress
Guilty in the press
Let The Capeman burn for the murder
Well the "Spanish boys" had their day in court
And now it was time for some fuckin' law and order
The electric chair
For the greasy pair
Said the judge to the court reporter

SAL & SALVADOR
Afraid to leave the projects
To cross into another neighborhood

SALVADOR
The newspapers and the T.V. crews
Well, they'd kill you if they could

AUREA & WOMEN
Angel of Mercy, people are suffering
All over the world
A Spanish boy could be killed every night of the week

SAL
But just let some white boy die
And the world goes crazy for blood - Latin blood.
I don't lie when I speak.

SAL & SALVADOR
Well they shackled my hands

SAL
A heavy belt around my waist to restrain me

SAL & SALVADOR
And they shackled my legs

SAL
Hernandez, the "Umbrella Man," chained beside me
Then we rode that Black Maria
Through the streets of Spanish Harlem
Calling old friends on the corners

SAL & AUREA
Just to lay our prayers upon them

SAL
Crying
Adios Hermanos, Adios

SAL & SALVADOR
Adios Hermanos, Adios

*

BORN IN PUERTO RICO

SALVADOR
I was born in Puerto Rico
We came here when I was a child
Before I reached the age of sixteen
I was running with the gang and we were wild

He keeps looking but he don't recognize me.
Some guy from Lexington or Park
Red beans and rice from kitchen windows
Supper-time and the barrio is dark.

No one knows you like I do
Nobody can know your heart the way I do
No one can testify to all that you've been through
But I will.

SAL & THE VAMPIRES
I was born in Puerto Rico
And my blood is Taino
Spanish Caribbean my soul

SALVADOR
We came here wearing summer clothes in winter
Hearts of sunshine in the cold
Your family rented this apartment
You'd watch the street lamps from your perch
In the sacramental hour your stepfather in black
Preached the fire of the Pentecostal Church
No one knows you like I do
Nobody can know your heart the way I do
No one can testify to all that you've been through
But this will.

SAL & THE VAMPIRES
I was born in Puerto Rico
Came here when I was a child.

SALVADOR
Small change and sunlight, then I left these streets for good.
My days as short as they were wild.

CARLOS APACHE
I'm Carlos Apache

ANGEL SOTO
Angel Soto

FRENCHY CORDERO
Frenchy Cordero

BABU CHARLIE CRUZ
Babu Charlie Cruz

SALVADOR
Your features blurred in every grainy photo
And fading headline of the Daily News

Wiltwyck School for Criminal Children
Auburn, Brooklyn House of D.,
Dannemora, Sing-Sing, Attica,
Greenhaven

SALVADOR
Twenty years inside, today you're free.

You cannot even read your story
The pages piling up in shame
Before the words released you, the guard would kill the light
The night you took The Capeman for your name.

CHORUS
I was born in Puerto Rico
I was born in Puerto Rico

I was born in Puerto Rico
I was born in Puerto Rico
I was born in Puerto Rico
I was born in Puerto Rico
I was born in Puerto Rico
I was born in Puerto Rico

LAZARUS
Yo nací ­ en Puerto Rico
Yo nací­ en Puerto Rico
Mi corazón es Puerto Rico
Mi alma es Puerto Rico

*

SATIN SUMMER NIGHTS

SAL
I been sleeping on the roof of my building
It's cooler than the street.
I been watching the setting sun
As it bounces off the avenue
Turning into gold dust at my feet.
OH-WOH-OH
Carlos and Yolanda
Dancing in the hallway
To an old melody
Spanish eyes and soft brown curls
My love, my love
Come to me.

I believe I'm in the power of Saint Lazarus.
And he holds me in his sight
I know that these jitterbug days I'm livin',
Well, they won't last for all of us,
But they'll last for a long summer night.
I can feel the fire in her eyes
Tonight, tonight
Under satin summer skies.

THE VAMPIRES
OOH-OOH-OO-OOH-OOH-OO
OOH-WOO-OO-OO


GIRLS
Baby, baby, baby
Be my special one
I seen you move in from across the street
I like the way you walk
I love the way you run

Baby, baby,
No more baby talk

Papi, this ain't Mayagüez

This is the island of Nueva York

We'll go through the projects,
Make-out on the roofs
An' count the stars like silver studs on
My...

Motorcycle boots

Tengan cuidado con ese tipo.

Ay verdad te digo, ese tipo es tan sucio.

Sucio!

HERNANDEZ
You wastin' your time, they don't know what I do
You little ghetto weeds . . . I feel like killin' you.

Banana-colored light-skinned spics,
You feel your peel so fine?
I'm Hernández, The Umbrella Man,
Your future's locked in mine.

The Chaplains and The Golden Guineas
The Red Wings and The Crowns,
The Mighty Mau Maus,
Those Shines from Brooklyn,
They want to cut The Vampires down

The Savage Skulls, The Fordham Baldies,
They'll treat you like you're piss
From the heart of the barrio, now my brother
We tell them mother fuckers suck on this.

I think we got something to talk about.
You're a coolie from the turf.
That's cool, but you don't get no respect around
here unless you belong to a bopping gang . . .
I mean, you either belong or you get hurt.
Or you could buy some protection from me.

'Cause if someone's got to die
To pay for the shit they done
I believe in an eye for an eye
What you believe in, Salvador Agrón?
Mr. Agrón? Señor Agrón?

SAL
I believe I'm in the power of St. Lazarus
And he holds me in his sight
I believe he watches over us all
Don't tear apart
This satin summer night.

*

BERNADETTE

SAL
Whoa------I got time on my hands tonight
You're the girl of my dreams
When I'm near you my future seems bright

OO------I want you to be my girl
I want you to be my movie
I am Sal Mineo and I need you so
Sweet Bernadette

Whoa------You got style from your hair to your heels
Though my words may be jumbled
Still I'm telling you just how it feels

I love you

SAL & BERNADETTE
I love you
And the breeze that wraps around you

SAL
Satin summer nights

BERNADETTE
Satin summer nights

SAL & BERNADETTE
A girl I can't forget

SAL
Whoa------You're the smile of the moon Bernadette

SAL & BERNADETTE
Dom Dom Dom Doo
Well-a well I'm home
Dom Dom Dom Doo
Well-a well I'm home

SAL
Wop, Wop, Wop, Wop
Come with me
There's a place I want you to see

When the leaves are dark
I've got a hiding place in Central Park
And the sky is a coat of diamonds

There's a wooden cross over my bed
The city is lit with candles
They're shining for you Bernadette.

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa
OO OO, Bernadette

SAL & BERNADETTE
Dom Dom Dom Doo
Well-a well I'm home
Dom Dom Dom Doo
Well-a well I'm home

SAL
Wop, Wop, Wop, Wop, Wop.

*

THE VAMPIRES

HERNANDEZ
Well, did you bring me my money,
My cab fare
My new shoes?
I got expenses, you know
Where's my weekly dues?

SAL
I ain't giving you my fucking money.

HERNANDEZ
Oye, mother fucker, where's this jibaro from?
You go when I say.

I call, you come.
You know it takes a strong man to survive.
It ain't no accident that you're still alive.

HERNANDEZ & THE VAMPIRES
We stand for the neighborhood

HERNANDEZ
He still lives with his mami, but he sneaks down,
A coolie in the shadow of the playground
You want to fight for your people, don't you, Sal?

SAL
Well, yeah, if I got to.

HERNANDEZ
Oh, you got to. Come here, I want to show you something.

This is the cave of The Vampires,
Count Dracula's castle,
The very sight could turn a white man grey.
Made in the shade, use my umbrella
Black like the night we fly in.
That blade is all you need to keep the dogs away.

So, you want to be a vampire, man! That's good.
We always looking for young blood in the neighborhood now
Carlos Apache collects the dues
So you bring us something that we can use

HERNANDEZ & THE VAMPIRES
If you got the balls, then come on, mette mano,
If you got the balls, then come on, mette mano,

HERNANDEZ
Frenchy Cordero goes down to Hell's Kitchen
To sell the Irish some weed
So this Paddy Boy's mother on the stoop starts bitchin'
'Bout spics is a mongrel breed
Now here comes her son
He looks like a ton of corned beef
Floating in beer

He says
'Fucking Puerto Rican dope-dealing punk
Get your shit-brown ass out of here.'

HERNANDEZ & THE VAMPIRES
'Fucking Puerto Rican dope-dealing punk
Get your shit-brown ass out of here.'

We stand for the neighborhood.

HERNANDEZ
So the shanty-town Irish they kicked his ass good.
Fractured his collar bone
Coño, all I was thinking is, 'What home of the brave?
This a fucking war zone'

THE VAMPIRES
If you got the balls, then come on, mette mano,

We stand for the neighborhood.

If you got cojones, come on, mette mano

We stand for the neighborhood

If you got the balls, then come on, mette mano,

We stand for the neighborhood.

If you got cojones, come on, mette mano

*

QUALITY

TEEN IDOL
The way you move
It's got quality
Come on baby, let's go downtown
Little girl, you sure look good to me
The way you move
It's got quality
Come on baby now don't be shy
Step in the light so I can see
The way you move
It's got quality

GIRLS
I want to know
Are you my beautiful young boy
Or just another love
Passing through my life
I need to know
Will you be my sorrow and my joy
And maybe one day soon
Will I be your wife.

TEEN IDOL
Come on baby,
Let's rock some more
I want to spend my salary
The way you move
It's got quality

SAL
Everytime they see me walk down the street
They say 'Coño that boy is fine
The way he moves
Got quality

GIRLS
I want to know
Are you my beautiful young boy,
Or just another love
Passing through my life,

I need to know
Will you be my sorrow and my joy
And maybe one day soon
Will I be your wife
Quiero saber
Quiero saber
Nadie nunca sabe
En la vida

TEEN IDOL
The way you move
It's got quality
The way you move
It's got quality

*

CAN I FORGIVE HIM?

ESMERALDA
I am Esmeralda Agrón, señora.
I know I've no right to speak.
My son is not the savage boy you see,
The cape, the sneer, the slicked-back hair
It hides the child I nursed and bathed, señora.
Please don't turn your eyes from me
Your son, gone to God, and mine to blame
My fated son,
He too is gone
The state will see to that, I am sure, Señora
The state will see to that, I am sure.

1ST MOTHER
You Spanish people, you come to this country
Nothing here changes your lives
Ungrateful immigrants asking for pity
When all of your answers are knives
This city makes a cartoon of a crime
Capes and umbrellas the glorification of slime
I have to face this horror, Señora.

2ND MOTHER
My religion
Asks me to pray for the murderer's soul
But I think you'd have to be
Jesus on the cross
To open your heart after such a loss
Can I forgive him?
Can I forgive him?
No, I cannot
Can I forgive him
No, I cannot

Friends become strangers
Compassion is hard to express in words
The trembling flowers they bring
Fear in the roots and the stem
What happened to me they know could happen to them.
Can I forgive him
No, I cannot
Can I forgive him
No

ESMERALDA
Only God can say 'Forgive'
His son too received a knife
But we go on, we have to live
With this cross we call our life

1ST MOTHER
Feels like a bomb fell
And wave after wave come the aftershocks

2ND MOTHER
You can't believe that it's true
There must be some mistake
You drift through this nightmare from which you can't wake

BOTH MOTHERS
Can I forgive him?
Can I forgive him,
No, I cannot

Can I forgive him?
Can I forgive him, no, I cannot

Can I forgive him?
Can I forgive him, no, I cannot

Can I forgive him
No, I cannot.

*

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

ESMERALDA
Salvador, the afternoon sunlight is folding around us,
The dishes are done,
The buildings here, tall as our mountains
Slice through the windows and cut off the sun.
On such days I find I am longing for Puerto Rico
Though I never would return 'til you are free
But when I hear the Aguinaldo my heart's a little lighter
And we dance together Aurea and me
In my life I've been unlucky with two husbands
Gumersindo liked his rum and women friends
Then that hypocrite who beat you and preached about repentance
Has gone, and so another Sunday ends
And tomorrow is another hard working Monday
I'm still hoping for the raise they promised me
There's a job as operator
I would not have to wait for
If I could speak the language easily
But I tell Aurea:
The barrio's boundaries are our own little nation
Sometimes I hear you run upstairs
And I view my light with resignation
Keep your bible near you
Time is an ocean of endless tears.

Mmm. . .

*

KILLER WANTS TO GO TO COLLEGE

INMATE
Killer wants to go to college
He wants to get his parole
So the Department of Corrections
Will release him in the fall
Killer wants to go on T.V.
Wants to talk about his book
Make my life into a movie
I got the style, I got the look.

VIRGIL
This boy used to be on death-row
Will his violence return?
Will he call out to his mother,
'Mama, you can watch me burn!'

INMATE
Killer wants to go to college
Another bullshit degree
Tell the little town of New Paltz
'You ain't got nothin' to be scared about with me'

*

TIME IS AN OCEAN

SAL
I speak to you in Jesus's name
As Jesus speaks through me,
The evil we do can't be blamed upon our destiny
I have walked through the valley of death-row to the shore
I have stumbled through silvery water to my savior, my Salvador!

SALVADOR
It took me four years to learn
I was in prison not in church.
And two more to begin the book of my soul's search.

SAL & SALVADOR
Time is an ocean of endless tears

SAL
A wild boy from the streets of El Barrio
An orphan from the hills of Mayagüez

SALVADOR
And when I wrote my story
The words flew from the page
And my soul in solitary
Escaped its iron cage.

SAL & SALVADOR
Time is an ocean of endless tears

SAL
Mama, I got your letter today
The next time that you write I'll be transferred far away.
I'm leaving Greenhaven's towers of stone
Where the Latin population will soon be minus one.

SALVADOR
Time is an ocean of endless tears.

SAL
I know how hard it's been for you these many years,
You say the Aguinaldo makes you dream of home
Where once we strolled the beach at El Malecon
Go back don't you worry, I am your grown-up son.

SALVADOR
The politics of prison are a mirror of the street.
The poor endure oppression
The police control the state.

Correctional facility
That's what they call this place
But look around and you will see
The politics of race.

SAL
A forest and a prison
Where the snow and guards are white

SALVADOR
If you want to keep your sanity
You'll teach yourself to write.

You were a child of sixteen
With a twelve-year-old mind
You came here numb and battered
By the streets I left behind

SAL
I'll take the evil in me
And turn it into good,
Though all your institutions
Never thought I could
So now I'll turn to say goodbye

SALVADOR
I'll keep your image in my eye

SAL & SALVADOR
I turn around to say goodbye

SALVADOR
I'll keep your image with me till the day I die

SAL & SALVADOR
Time is an ocean of endless tears

*

VIRGIL

VIRGIL
I've got a wife, four grown children
I can't afford their education
I been a prison guard for fourteen years
That ain't exactly a vacation

WARDEN
Since he's been here he's followed every rule
Well I told you my position
The law says he's got the right to go to school,
We abide by the court's decision

VIRGIL
I got a Winchester 243
I like that gun for deer
Upstate November when the air is free
Smells like hunting season's here

He's the one to keep your eyes on
He's smart yeah and he's quiet
A troublemaker if I ever seen one
Next thing you know it's Attica
And we got a prison riot

There ain't no way that punk gets his degree
And hides behind the Constitution
No way in hell that smart ass spic goes free
Not while I'm in this institution

*

KILLER WANTS TO GO TO COLLEGE II

SAL
I know you're trying to protect me
Searching for another truth
With your language and your poetry
From my ignorance and youth

Hey I did not come to argue
My life never made much sense
I just wish that I could hug you
You're my only defense

I don't understand your writing
I could barely sign my name
All I ever learned was fighting
But I'm not the only one to blame

The streets were dark with danger
I have to stand up for my friends
In a land where I'm a stranger
And the hatred never ends

INMATE
Killer wants to go on T.V.

*

TRAILWAYS BUS

LAZARUS
A passenger traveling quietly conceals himself
With a magazine and a sleepless pillow
Over the crest of the mountain the moon begins its climb
And he wakes to find he's in rolling farmland

The farmer sleeps against his wife
He wonders what their life must be
A Trailways bus is heading south
Into Washington, D.C.

A mother and child, the baby maybe two months old
Prepare themselves for sleep and feeding.
The shadow of the Capitol dome slides across his face
And his heart is racing with the urge to freedom.

The father motionless as stone,
A shepherd resting with his flock,
The Trailways bus is turning west-
Dallas via Little Rock.

WAHZINAK
O my darling, darling Sal
The desert moon is my witness.
I've no money to come East,
But I know you'll soon be here

LAZARUS
We pull into downtown Dallas by the side of the Grassy Knoll
Where the leader fell and a town was broken.
Away from the feel and flow of life for so many years
He hears music playing and Spanish spoken

The border patrol outside of Tucson boarded the bus

BORDER PATROLMAN
Any aliens here? You better check with us,
How about you son?
You look like you got Spanish blood.
Do you 'Habla Ingles,' am I understood?

SAL
Yes, I am an alien, from Mars.
I come to earth from outer space.
And if I traveled my whole life
You guys would still be on my case
You guys would still be on my case

LAZARUS
But he can't leave his fears behind,
He recalls each fatal thrust
The screams carried by the wind,
Phantom figures in the dust
Phantom figures in the dust
Phantom figures in the dust.


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