Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This Bitter Earth

In the performance of the play we watch in class, this song was played on the phonograph by the Ruth character as the curtain comes up on Act II. She is ironing but listening intently. Beneatha then comes in and says, "Enough of this assimilationist junk!" and puts on some Nigerian folk music.

"This Bitter Earth" is a classic. A beautiful song made famous by Dinah Washington. Lyrics below. Why might Ruth, in particular, be moved by these lines?

This bitter earth
What fruit it bears
What good is love
That no one shares
And if my life is like the dust
That hides the glow of a rose
What good am I
Heaven only knows

This bitter Earth
Can it be so cold
Today you're young
Too soon your old
But while a voice
Within me cries
I'm sure someone
May answer my call
And this bitter earth
May not be so bitter after all

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