Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald
rfmcdpei

  • Music:

[MUSIC] Brecht/Weill, "What keeps mankind alive?"

I've been listening to the Pet Shop Boys version of the Brecht and Weill song "What keeps mankind alive?", from The Threepenny Opera. It's rather fun, even apart from the deadly-serious political lyrics.

You gentlemen who think you have a mission
to purge us of the seven deadly sins
should first sort out the basic food position
then start your preaching, that's where it begins

You lot who preach restraint and watch your waist as well
should learn for all time how the world is run
However much you twist, whatever lies you tell
food is the first thing, morals follow on
So first make sure that those who now are starving
get proper helpings when we all start carving

What keeps mankind alive? The fact that millions
are daily tortured, stifled, punished, silenced, oppressed
Mankind can keep alive thanks to its brilliance
at keeping its humanity repressed
For once you must not try to shirk the facts
Mankind is kept alive by bestial acts

You say the girls may strip with your permission
You draw the line dividing art from sin
So first sort out the basic food position
then start your preaching, that's where it begins

You lot who bank on your desires and our disgust
should learn for all time how the world is run
Whatever lies you tell, however much you twist
food is the first thing, morals follow on
So first make sure that those who now are starving
get proper helpings when we all start carving

What keeps mankind alive? The fact that millions
are daily tortured, stifled, punished, silenced, oppressed
Mankind can keep alive thanks to its brilliance
at keeping its humanity repressed
For once you must not try to shirk the facts
Mankind is kept alive by bestial acts

Mankind can keep alive thanks to its brilliance
at keeping its humanity repressed
For once you must not try to shirk the facts
Mankind is kept alive by bestial acts


Ah, the joys of Brecht. He had good taste for someone who ripped most of his creative work off of his friends, lovers, and assorted collaborators.
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