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Black On A
Saturday Night

(1998)


from the Song Cycle "Seven For Luck"


Music by John Williams
Lyrics by Rita Dove


1.

Black On A Saturday Night (2:22)
Cynthia Haymon and the Boston Pops
from "Excerpts from 7 for Luck and other recordings"

Lyrics

Black on a Saturday Night

This is no place for lilac
or somebody on a trip
to themselves. Hips
are an asset here, and color
calculated to flash
lemon bronze cerise
in the course of a dip and turn.
Beauty's been caught lying
and the truth's been rubbed raw:
Here, you get your remorse
as a constitutional right.

It's always what we don't
fear that happens, always
not now and whay are
you people acting this way
(meaning we put in petunias
instead of hydrangeas and reject
ecru as a fashion statement).

But we can't do it—now, because
the wages of living are sin
and the wages of sin are love
and the wages of love are pain
and the wages of pain are philosophy
which leads definitely to an attitude
and an attitude will get you
nowhere fast so you might as well
keep dancing dancing till
tomorrow gives up with a shout,
'cause there is only
Saturday night, and we are in it—
black as black can,
black as black does,
not a concept
nor a percentage
but a natural law.


MH