PHIL:  Well it is, you know.  And dark beer is like pumpernickel bread.
                                    (pours beer)
            Sadly, this stuff is like Wonder Bread.

LORRAINE:  But it’s OK ‘cause then you don’t really get drunk.

PHIL:  (confused)  But that’s the point, isn’t it?

                                    (They toast and drink)

                                    (The M.C. steps back up to the small blackboard
                                    and erases Bobby Lee’s name.  Phil watches the
                                    M.C. erase the name, then looks down to his own
                                    name at the bottom of the list.  There’s still seven
                                    people above him, but nevertheless Phil is getting
                                    nervous.  He glances at his guitar, then scratches
                                    his chin. The next name listed is “Moustapha.” 
                                    The M.C. steps up to the microphone).

M.C.:  I’d now like to introduce a personal friend of mine . . .
                                    (he winks at Moustapha who shakes his
                                    head)
           . . . Moustapha Hakim!

                                    (Moustapha walks up on the stage holding
                                    his beat-up 12-string guitar and steps in
                                    front of the microphone)

MOUSTAPHA:  Greetings, ladies and gentlemen.  I’d like to sing a song by the great
                            Huddie Ledbetter, better known as “Leadbelly.”  This man spent most
                            of his life in prison.  But even when he wasn’t in prison, he wasn’t
                            free.  In America Negroes are still slaves, sitting in the back of the bus,
                            living in the ghetto, dying in poverty.  The Springfield Five are just one
                            more example of the American hypocrisy.

(The audience feels ashamed.  Lorraine looks
around and grins.  Moustapha then sings
“Bourgeois Blues”)

MOUSTAPHA:  (singing)  Me and my wife
                                            Went out on the town
                                            Everywhere we went 
                                            The people turned us down

                                            Lord it’s a bourgeois town
                                            It’s a bourgeois town
                                            I got the bourgeois blues
                                            I’m gonna spread the news all around

 

                                            Home of the brave
                                            Land of the free
                                            I don’t want to be mistreated
                                            By no bourgeoisie

                                            Lord it’s a bourgeois town
                                            It’s a bourgeois town
                                            I got the bourgeois blues
                                            I’m gonna spread the news all around

                                            Me and my wife
                                            We were starting upstairs
                                            I heard a white man say
                                            I don’t want no niggers up there

                                            Lord it’s a bourgeois town
                                            It’s a bourgeois town
                                            I got the bourgeois blues
                                            I’m gonna spread the news all around

                                            The white folks in Washington
                                            They know how
                                            They call a colored man a nigger
                                            Just to see him bow

                                            Lord it’s a bourgeois town
                                            It’s a bourgeois town
                                            I got the bourgeois blues
                                            I’m gonna spread the news all around
                                               
                                           Tell all the colored folks
                                           Listen to me
                                           Don’t try to buy no home
                                           In Washington D.C.

                                           Oh Lord it’s a bourgeois town
                                           It’s a bourgeois town
                                           I got the bourgeois blues
                                           I’m gonna spread the news all around

                                    (There is a big round of guilty applause from
                                    the predominately white audience)

M.C.:  Moustapha Hakim, ladies and gentlemen.

                                    (Moustapha sits back down at the table beside
                                    Phil looking satisfied

MOUSTAPHA:  The blues have come.
                                                           
TERRY:  And they were gone, man, solid gone.

MOUSTAPHA:  Thank you.

                                    (They slap five)

                                    (The M.C. gets back up on stage and erases
                                    Moustapha’s name from the blackboard.  Phil
                                    notes this with a wince.  Next on the list is “4
                                    Feathers”)

M.C.:  And now I’d like to introduce some Purple Onion hootenanny regulars, ladies and                        gentlemen will you please welcome the incredible harmonies of the Four Feathers!

                                    (The Four Feathers take the stage.  Pete plays
                                    the banjo, Lee plays the upright bass, Fred
                                    plays an acoustic guitar, and Ronnie sings. 
                                    They are all reasonably looped and get a big
                                    round of applause)

PETE:  The U.S. and the Soviet Union continue to conduct             atomic bomb tests, irradiating
            our land, water and skies.

LEE:  We say, “Ban the Bomb!”

RONNIE:  There’s only one world and we all have to live in it together.  It’s time to wake
                  up, people!

 

                                   
                                    (The Four Feathers then proceed to do a
                                    beautifully performed and harmonized
                                    rendition of  the Weaver’s song, “Darling
                                    Corey”)

FOUR FEATHERS:  (singing)  Wake up, wake up, darlin’ Corey
                                                   What makes you sleep so sound?
                                                    The revenue officer is comin’
                                                    Gonna tear your still-house down

                                                    The first time I seen darlin’ Corey
                                                    She was standing by the sea
                                                    She had a .45 strapped around her bosom
                                                    She had a banjo on her knee

                                                    Go away, go away, darlin’ Corey
                                                    Quit hangin’ around my bed
                                                    That liquor has ruined my body
                                                    Pretty women gone to my head

                                                    Oh yes, oh yes, my darlin’
                                                    I’ll do the best I can
                                                    I’ll never give my pleasure
                                                    To another gamblin’ man

                                                    Dig a hole, dig a hole in the meadow
                                                    Dig a hole in the cold, cold ground
                                                    Dig a hole, dig a hole in the meadow
                                                    Gonna lay my Corey down. 

                                    (The Four Feathers pause for a big round of
                                    applause, then launch directly into “When the
                                    Saints Go Marching In” which brings on a bigger
                                    round of applause)

FOUR FEATHERS:  (singing)  We are traveling in the footsteps
                                                   Of those that have come before
                                                   And we’ll all be reunited
                                                   On a new and sunlit shore

                                                   Oh when the saints go marching in
                                                   Oh when the saints go marching in
                                                   Oh Lord I want to be in that number
                                                   When the saints go marching in

                                                   And when the sun refused to shine
                                                   And when the sun refused to shine
                                                   Oh Lord I want to be in that number
                                                   And when the sun refused to shine

                                    (Phil looks like he’s having a heart attack.  Lorraine
                                    puts her hand on his shoulder reassuringly)
                                               
                                                   Oh when the trum-pet sounds the call
                                                   Oh when the trumpet sounds the call
                                                   Oh Lord I want to be in that number
                                                   Oh when the trumpet sounds the call

                                                   Some say this world of trouble
                                                   Is the only one we need
                                                   But I’m waiting for the mornin’
                                                   When the new world is revealed

                                                   Oh when the new world is revealed
                                                   Oh when the new world is revealed
                                                   Oh Lord I want to be in that number
                                                   Oh when the new world is revealed

                                                   Oh when the saints go marching in
                                                   Oh when the saints go marching in
                                                   Oh Lord I want to be in that number
                                                   When the saints go marching in

                                    (The Four Feathers bring down the house.  The
                                    audience claps and stomps their feet.  Lorraine,
                                    Terry and the whole table join in loudly.  Phil
                                    honestly looks ill.  He is in a total panic.  His
                                    hands are sweating and he looks nauseous). 

 

PHIL:  (to no one in particular)  I think I gotta go.

                                    (Phil starts to stand and Lorraine reaches
                                    out and takes his arm)

LORRAINE:  What do you mean?

PHIL:  I can’t do this.

LORRAINE:  Sure you can.  You’ll be fine.

PHIL:  (seriously)  No, no, you don’t understand.

LORRAINE:  (smiles reassuringly)  Of course I do.  Everyone feels this way their
                       first time.         

PHIL:  Yeah, but these people are really good.

LORRAINE:  Right.  And their not professionals.

PHIL:  Yeah, but they really seem to . . . care.

LORRAINE:  Well, don’t you?

PHIL:  (good question)  Um . . .

                                    (Lorraine spots someone she knows and
                                    quickly exits)

LORRAINE:  ‘Scuse me.

                                    (Phil is in a deep quandary.  He glances
                                    over at the back door, above which is a
                                    sign that says “Exit”— he could just leave
                                    and no one would be the wiser.  Meanwhile,
                                    Terry is looking right at him)

TERRY:  What’s wrong?

 

PHIL:  (sighs deeply)  Lorraine is doing the song that I was gonna do.  I was all ready, too,                       y’know.  I practiced the song       like a hundred times.  But now I’m screwed.

                                    (Terry takes pity on Phil)

TERRY:  Come with me.  Everything’ll be just fine. 

PHIL:  What? 
                                               
TERRY:  Just come on. 

                                    (Terry leads Phil out the back door the club
                                    goes dark)

 

Scene Three

     (The lights come up on Terry and Phil stepping out into the under-lit alley behind the Purple Onion.  Terry pulls out a big, fat, crooked cigarette.  Phil can’t believe it.  He looks all around to make sure they’re alone)

PHIL:  (shocked)  That’s marijuana, isn’t it? 

                                    (Terry nods, lighting up

TERRY:  Say it louder, maybe a cop’ll hear you.

PHIL:  (frightened)  But, it’s illegal.

TERRY:  (nods)  Yep.

PHIL:  Doesn’t it lead to hard drugs like morphine and heroin?

TERRY:  (grins fiendishlyWhoa!  Slow down, tiger.  One step at a time.

                                    (Terry hands Phil the burning joint.  Phil
                                    hesitantly takes it, gives the issue one more
                                    brief moment of consideration, shrugs, then
                                    takes a hit;  black out)

 

Scene Four

     (The lights come up in the club as Lorraine sits back down in her seat, looking somewhat embarrassed and straightens her hair.  She notices that Phil and Terry’s chairs are empty.  She glances around as though people are looking at her and pulls her sweater closed.  The M.C. steps up to the microphone, grinning, his hair askew)

 

M.C.:  Ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to welcome back a Purple Onion regular, a dedicated                 fighter for equality and justice, and the organizer of the Springfield Five defense fund        
           meeting here tomorrow at eight.  Let’s give a warm hand to Lorraine Dempsey!

                                    (Lorraine throws a last look at the empty
                                    seats on either side of her where Phil and
                                    Terry used to be, shakes her head, smiles
                                    and heads up on stage holding her guitar

LORRAINE:  Sometimes it’s not easy to do what’s right.  We’re always tempted to go the
                       other way.  To take the wrong path.  And sometimes we don’t even know
                       which path we’re on.  Justice, freedom and equality are not just words. 
                       They’re goals that we have to work for.  That’s why I strongly urge you to
                       be here tomorrow night at eight P.M. for a very important meeting.  We can
                       make a difference . . .

                                                (black out)

 

Scene Five

     (The dim alley light comes up on Phil and Terry as they are just finishing the joint.  Their eyes are bloodshot and at half-mast.  They’re stoned)

PHIL:  (grinning)  Man, If I had a hammer, I’d hurt myself. 

                                    (They both laugh like total idiots)

TERRY:  So, what’dya think?

 

PHIL:  About what?
                                    (Terry waves his hand, Phil grins)
           Oh, yeah.  Boss.  Is it always like this?

TERRY:  Like what?

PHIL:  This?              
                                   
TERRY:  Yeah.

PHIL:  Wow.  How much is this stuff?

TERRY:  Pretty cheap.

PHIL:  And you got it from . . . um . . .
                                    (he can’t remember)
            That Negro man.

TERRY:  Moustapha.  Right.

PHIL:  Does he grow it?

TERRY:  No, man.  He gets it from someone else who gets             it from someone else who
                brings it from Panama or Mexico or wherever.

PHIL:  Wow!  Too much!  I feel like I’m in Panama or Mexico or wherever now.

TERRY:  Yeah.  I know what you mean.  Wherever’s where it’s at.

PHIL:  And that’s where we are.  Where it’s at.

TERRY:  Yeah.

                                    (They both start laughing idiotically again;
                                    black out)

 

 

Scene Five

     (The lights come up inside the Purple Onion as Lorraine proceeds to sing “If I Had a Hammer” in a pretty and forceful way)

LORRAINE:  (singing)  If I had a hammer
                                       I’d hammer in the mornin’
                                       I’d hammer in the evenin’
                                       All over this land
                                       I’d hammer out danger
                                       I’d hammer out warnin’
                                       I’d hammer out love between
                                       My brothers and my sisters
                                       All over this land

                                       If I had a bell
                                       I’d ring it in the mornin’
                                       I’d ring it in the evenin’
                                       All over this land
                                       I’d ring out danger
                                       I’d ring out warnin’
                                       I’d ring out love between
                                       My brothers and my sisters
                                       All over this land

                                       If I had a song –
                                               
                                                (black out)

 

Scene Six

     (Terry is holding forth to a stoned and completely rapt Phil)

TERRY:  Elvis and Chuck Berry and Little Richard             and Jerry Lee Lewis all had their
                careers taken from them, man.  Where’d they all go?  What happened to rock
                & roll?  They were stopped, drafted, arrested, persecuted.  Their careers were
                stopped.  Why?  It’s because there’s a conspiracy to stop rock & roll, and I’m
                telling you it’s the same guys that killed Kennedy. 

                                    (Phil has no idea what Terry’s talking about)

PHIL:  Killed Kennedy?  Lee Harvey Oswald killed            Kennedy.

TERRY:  Ah ha!  That’s what they’d like you to believe.

PHIL:  Then Jack Ruby killed Oswald. 

TERRY:  Pretty convenient, huh?  Get rid of the patsy.

PHIL:  But I saw it on TV.

TERRY:  Yeah?  I see “Howdy Doody” on TV but that don’t make it true.

                                    (Phil looks all around, freaking out; black out)
                                   

 

Scene Seven

                                    (Lights up; Lorraine finishes the song with a flurry)

LORRAINE:  (singing)  Well, I have a hammer
                                       And I have a bell
                                       And I have a song to sing
                                       All over this land

                                       It’s the hammer of justice
                                       It’s the bell of free-e-dom
                                       It’s a song about love between
                                       My brother and my sisters
                                       All over this land    

                                    (Lorraine receives a big round of applause.  
                                    She glances at the table with the two empty
                                    seats and furrows her brow.  The audience
                                    hollers for “More!”

 

LORRAINE:  All right.  Now we’re all gonna sing a song together, because we all have
                       to stick together if we’re gonna make things better.  And we can all start
                       by being here tomorrow night at eight to help put together the defense fund
                       for the Springfield Five.  OK?  Now, instead of singing “the” union, let’s
                       all sing “our” union, OK?  And if you don’t know the verses, just join in
                       for the chorus.

                                    (Lorraine begins to play the melody to “The Battle
                                    Hymn of the Republic” which becomes “Solidarity
                                    Forever.”  The audience hesitantly joins in at first,
                                    but gets stronger with each chorus)

LORRAINE:  (singing)  Solidarity forever
                                       Solidarity forever
                                       Solidarity forever
                                       For our union makes us strong.

                                       When our union’s inspiration
                                       Through the worker’s blood shall run
                                       There can be no power greater
                                       Anywhere beneath the sun
                                       Yet what force on Earth is weaker
                                       Than the feeble strength of one
                                       But our union makes us strong

                                       Solidarity forever
                                       Solidarity forever
                                       Solidarity forever
                                       For our union makes us strong.

                                       It is we who plowed the prairies
                                       Built the cities where they trade
                                       Dug the mines and built the workshops
                                       Endless miles of railroad laid

                                       Now we stand outcast and starving
                                       ‘Mid the wonders we have made
                                       But our union makes us strong

                                   
                                       Solidarity forever
                                       Solidarity forever
                                       Solidarity forever
                                       For our union makes us strong.

                                       They have taken untold millions
                                       That they never toiled to earn
                                       But without our brain and muscle
                                       Not a single wheel will turn

                                       We can break their haughty power
                                       Gain our freedom when we learn
                                       That our union makes us strong.

Solidarity forever
                                       Solidarity forever
                                       Solidarity forever
                                       For our union makes us strong.

In our hands is placed the power
                                       Greater than their hoarded gold
                                       Greater than the might of atoms
                                       Magnified a thousand fold
                                       We can bring to birth a new world
                                       From the ashes of the old
                                       For our union makes us strong.
                                                (Lorraine call out)
                                       Now, come on!  Everybody!
                                                (everybody joins in)

Solidarity forever
                                       Solidarity forever
                                       Solidarity forever
                                       For our union makes us strong.

                                    (There is the biggest round of applause of the
                                    evening.  Everybody laughs and cheers.  Lorraine 
                                    returns to her   table to the smiles of her friends,
                                    then seats herself between the two empty seats
                                    and frowns.  Debbie is drunk and gives Lorraine
                                    a fresh beer and another cigarette, which Lorraine
                                    gratefully takes.  Alvin keeps one hand on his
                                    wife’s belly while drinking and smoking with the
                                    other

DEBBIE:  (drunk)  Good job, Lorraine.  Solidarity forever!

ALVIN:  (drunk)  That was great, Lorraine, just great. 
                                                (points at Debbie’s belly)
                This kid is gonna grow up in a better world than what we got.  What we got
                was shit.  Old and worn-out and busted.

                                    (Lorraine looks all around)

LORRAINE:  Have you seen Terry or Phil?

                                    (Alvin and Debbie look around)

DEBBIE:  No.

LORRAINE:  (standing)  I’ll be back in a sec.

                                    (Lorraine leaves.  Debbie drunkenly turns back
                                    to Alvin)
                                                           
DEBBIE:  And that’s why you’ve got to get a better job.

ALVIN:  Oh, Jesus Christ!  I don’t give a shit about a better job, can’t you get that
               through your thick skull?

DEBBIE:  I get it, but I’m not buyin’ it.  And don’t you talk to me that way, spineless
                  wimp!

                                    (Phil and Terry return and they’re toasted
                                    and giggling.  Terry gives Moustapha the
                                    thumbs-up

TERRY:  I’ll go get some more beer.

PHIL:  Good thinking.

                                    (Phil sits down beside Moustapha)
            So, uh . . . Moustachio—

MOUSTAPHA:  —Moustapha.

PHIL:  Exactly.  So, what’s it like being a Negro?

MOUSTAPHA:  (laughs)  Boy, you are stoned.

PHIL:  (looks around)  Yeah?  I guess so.  Everything has sort of an echo.

MOUSTAPHA:  “What’s it like being a Negro?” Shit!  What’s it like being a silly little
                            stoned white boy?

PHIL:  (grins foolishly)  Not bad.  Pretty good, actually.

MOUSTAPHA:  But that wears off.  Bein’ black don’t.  Everywhere you go, all the
                            time, you still a Negro, and you’re generally outnumbered, unless
                            you’re in the ghetto.  All the white folk are friendly here tonight,
                            but that don’t mean they won’t be back out lynchin’ niggers again
                            tomorrow.

PHIL:  (this is heavyWow!

MOUSTAPHA:  (sarcastic)  Wow!  Golly gee-whiz!
                                    (points at Phil)
                            I was down in Birmingham last year for Dr. King’s big march, the one
                            where he got arrested.  You hear about that?

PHIL:  Uh . . . maybe.

MOUSTAPHA:  (shakes his head sadlyShit!  You don’t know anything, do you?  Your
                            head’s as empty as a bucket, that’s why you hear an echo.  What’re you
                            doin’ here, anyway?  You ain’t no folkie.  You ain’t committed to no
                            causes.

                                    (Phil points at Lorraine who is talking to a guy
                                    at another table)

PHIL:  She invited me.

MOUSTAPHA:  (laughs)  Yeah, the great recruiter, Sweet Lorraine.
                                    (gets serious)
                            Y’know, man, we all stand for somethin’, even if             we don’t know what it
                             is.  You can stand for something on purpose or by mistake, but either way
                             you still do.  Think about it.

                                    (Phil does think about it, and completely dazes
                                    out.  All the lights in the club, as well as all the
                                    voices, fade out.  The only light left is a spot on
                                    Phil.  When he looks up the whole table becomes
                                    illuminated and he finds that everybody’s gone
                                    and he’s the only one left sitting at the table. 
                                    He immediately gets paranoid.  He can’t figure
                                    out what to do with his hands.  Phil starts biting
                                    his nails.  He stops himself and lights a cigarette.  
                                    Lorraine suddenly sits down beside him frightening
                                    him.  The lights come back up, and everyone
                        else is back in their seat, too)
                                   
LORRAINE:  You missed my songs.

PHIL:  You sang more than one?

LORRAINE:  Two.  They went over very well.

PHIL:  Well that’s cool.

                                    (She looks into Phil’s eyes, then shakes her
                                    head in disapproval)

LORRAINE:  (whispers)  You and Terry smoked pot?

PHIL:  (stutters)  Um . . .  That is . . .  We, uh . . .

LORRAINE:  (shocked)  That’s so irresponsible.

PHIL:  What’dya mean? 

LORRAINE:  Phil, you’re about to go on. 

                                    (Phil waves his hand and smiles)

PHIL:  No, no, no.  There’s still gotta be six or seven people ahead of me.  He said they
            probably wouldn’t get to me anyway.

                                    (Phil points at the blackboard and there are
                                    still quite a few people’s names listed ahead
                                    of him, except right then the M.C. steps up to
                                    the blackboard, picks up the eraser and erases
                                    all the names above Phil’s name.  Now Phil is
                                    next.  Phil’s mouth drops open in panic.  The
                                    M.C. steps up to the microphone

M.C.:  Due to several last minute cancellations, may I introduce one more good friend
            of Lorraine’s, Phil Butler!

                                    (Phil gets a squeeze on the arm from Lorraine
                                    and a thumbs-up from Terry, Moustapha, Alvin
                                    and Debbie)

                                    (Phil makes his way onstage, which is a very
                                    long walk.  He sits down on the stool, strums
                                    his guitar, coughs, then squints up at the bright
                                    lights glaring in his eyes)

PHIL:  That’s Buckley, not Butler. 

                                    (The audience could really give a shit less.  And
                                    sadly, Phil hasn’t got the slightest clue what to
                                    play.  This is the worst moment of his entire life. 
                                    Phil sees everybody looking at him expectantly.
                                    Phil moves closer to the lower, guitar microphone
                                    and gets feedback.  Phil suddenly has an idea. 
                                    He grabs the microphone and shoves it into the
                                    hole in the guitar and proceeds to do the Elvis-
                                    style, rocker version of “If I Had a Hammer”) 

 

PHIL:  (singing)  If I had a h-h-h-hammer
                            I’d h-h-h-hammer in the mornin’
                            I’d h-h-h-hammer in the evenin’
                            All over this crazy old land, oh yeah!

                                    (There is a big solid moment when the audience
                                    has absolutely no idea what they’re watching. 
                                    They look befuddled.  Is this a joke?  Phil doesn’t
                                    care.  In for a penny in for a pound.  He goes for
                                    it . . .)

                             I’d-a hammer out danger
                             I’d-a hammer out warnin’

 

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