Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Musical Foundation of Native Son, Pt. 2

     "Say, Jan, do you know many negroes?  I want to meet some."
     "I don't know any very well.  But you'll meet them when you're in the party."
     "The have so much emotion!  What a people!  If we could ever get them going..."
     "We can't have a revolution without 'em," Jan said.  "They've got to be organized.  They've got spirit.  They'll give the party something it needs."
     "And their songs -- the spirituals!  Aren't they marvelous?"  Bigger saw her turn to him."Say, Bigger, can't you sing?"
     "I can't sing," he said.
     "Aw Bigger," she said, pouting.  She tilted her head, closed her eye and opened her mouth.

"Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home . . . . "

     Jan joined in and Bigger smiled derisively.  Hell, that ain't the tune, he thought.
     "C'mon, Bigger, and help us sing it," Jan said.
     "I can't sing," he said again.
     They were silent.  The car purred along.


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