Story of O (histoire_do) wrote in neobeatniks,
Story of O
histoire_do
neobeatniks

Speak White by Michele Lalonde

Speak white
il est si beau de vous entendre
parler de Paradise Lost
ou du profil gracieux et anonyme qui tremble
dans les sonnets de Shakespeare

nous sommes un peuple inculte et bègue
mais ne sommes pas sourds au génie d'une langue
parlez avec l'accent de Milton et Byron et
Shelley et Keats

speak white
et pardonnez-nous de n'avoir pour réponse
que les chants rauques de nos ancêtres
et le chagrin de Nelligan

speak white
parlez de choses et d'autres
parlez-nous de la Grande Charte
ou du monument à Lincoln
du charme gris de la Tamise
de l'eau rose du Potomac
parlez-nous de vos traditions
nous sommes un peuple peu brillant
mais fort capable d'apprécier
toute l'importance des crumpets
ou du Boston Tea Party
mais quand vous really speak white
quand vous get down to brass tacks

pour parler du gracious living
et parler du standard de vie
et de la Grande Société
un peu plus fort alors speak white
haussez vos voix de contremaîtres
nous sommes un peu durs d'oreille
nous vivons trop près des machines
et n'entendons que notre souffle au-dessus des outils

speak white and loud
qu'on vous entende
de Saint-Henri à Saint-Domingue
oui quelle admirable langue
pour embaucher
donner des ordres
fixer l'heure de la mort à l'ouvrage
et de la pause qui rafraîchit
et ravigote le dollar

speak white
tell us that God is a great big shot
and that we're paid to trust him
speak white
parlez-nous production profits et pourcentages
speak white
c'est une langue riche
pour acheter
mais pour se vendre
mais pour se vendre à perte d'âme
mais pour se vendre

Speak White

Speak white
It sounds so beautiful when you
Speak of Paradise Lost
And of the gracious and anonymous profile that trembles
In Shakespeare's sonnets

We're an uncultured stammering race
But we are not deaf to the genius of a language
Speak with the accent of Milton and Byron and Shelley and Keats
Speak white
And forgive us our only answer
Being the raucous songs of our ancestors
And the sorrows of Nelligan

Speak white

Talk about this and that
Tell us about Magna Carta
Or the Lincoln Memorial
The grey charm of the Thames
The pink waters of the Potomac
Tell us about your traditions
As a people we don't really shine
But we're quite capable of appreciating
All the significance of crumpets
Or the Boston Tea Party

But when you really speak white
When you get down to brass tacks

To talk about gracious living
And speak of standing in life
And the Great Society
A bit stronger then, speak white
Raise your foremen's voices
We're a bit hard of hearing
We live too close to the machines
And we only hear the sound of our breathing over the tools.

Speak white and loud
So that we can hear you
From St-Henri to St-Domingue
What an admirable tongue
For hiring
Giving orders
Setting the time for working yourself to death
And for the pause that refreshes
And invigorates the dollar

Speak white
Tell us that God is a great big shot
And that we're paid to trust him
Speak white
Talk to us about production profits and percentages
Speak white
It's a rich langauge
For buying
But for selling
But for selling your soul
But for selling out

Ah!
Speak white
Big deal
But to tell you about
The eternity of a day on strike
To tell the story of
How a race of servants live
But for us to come home at night
At the time that the sun snuffs itself out over the backstreets
But to tell you yes that the sun is setting yes
Every day of our lives to the east of your empires
There's nothing to match a language of swearwords
Our none-too-clean parlure
Greasy and oil-stained.

Speak white
Be easy in your words
We're a race that holds grudges
But let's not criticize anyone
For having a monopoly
On correcting language

In Shakespeare's soft tongue
With the accent of Longfellow
Speak a pure and atrociously white French
Like in Vietnam, like in the Congo
Speak impeccable German
A yellow star between your teeth
Speak Russian speak call to order speak repression
Speak white
It is a universal language
We were born to understand it
With its teargas words
With its nightstick words

Speak white
Tell us again about Freedom and Democracy
We know that liberty is a black word
Just as poverty is black
And just as blood mixes with dust in the steets of Algiers
And Little Rock

Speak white
From Westminster to Washington take it in turn
Speak white like they do on Wall Street
White like they do in Watts
Be civilized
And understand us when we speak of circumstances
When you ask us politely
How do you do
And we hear you say
We're doing all right
We're doing fine
We
Are not alone

We know
That we are not alone
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