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Nobody Cares


Nobody Cares*

By Glenn Bowen

*This play was written in 2002 by Glenn Bowen, an Illinois Arts
Council Fellowship Artist. Funding for the writing and first
production of this play was provide in part by the Illinois Arts
Council – whose support needs to be acknowledged on all printed
material.
Glenn Bowen is now a Blues Harp Player in the Twin Cities.
Listen to Glenn Bowen play the "Three Day Blues" at his
website http://glennbowen.biz/ on the CD "A Puppy at the Table".
Please obtain written permission from the playwrite before any
performance of this play. Contact me at [email protected]

Scene 1
A large storage space. Records, eight tracks, cds, are arranged
on gray metal shelves.
There are two racks, one is much more full than the other.
The empty one is twisted, as if it had once almost collapsed
under a great strain. A mop and a broom are in one corner, but
it is obviously not a broom closet, until recently, and the mop
handle is on the glass for a gold record. A large poster of the
Beatles is on the wall. There is writing, possibly autographs
on the poster. Two old phonographs players are in the room.
One is much older, with a horn speaker and a hand crank, for
playing 78’s. The other is boxy, with a cheap vinyl surface,
for playing 45’s. A light bulb hangs down on a cord.

(The sole actor on stage, a harmonica player should be scruffy,
and wearing a t-shirt and baggy pants. Preference should be
given to individuals for whom scruffiness comes naturally.
The Harmonica players’ name is Geoff.)

Geoff
What a Shit hole
(there is a brief pause)

I’m not leaving
(another brief pause)

fine, I’ll wait
(selects a 78, puts it on the turntable, and cranks it up)

Song #1 –Three Day Blues
Come home sick and tired, sun be burning my back all day
Woman be there waiting, say honey, where’s’ the pay?
I look down at the dirt, she say we aint had bread for three day
I say woman stop this naggin’, can’t you just go away

She say honey, what’s the problem, I will understan’
I will always be your woman, baby, you my man,
I look down at the dirt, she say we aint had bread for three day
I say woman stop this naggin’, up an’ walk away

Well ol’ Jim had a bottle, so I took eight, nine hit
Come home sloppy drunk, that woman just waitin’ to throw a fit
She say Lord this a fine sight, we aint had bread for three day
I say woman stop this naggin’ can’t you jus’ go away?


Yeh, they don’t write like that anymore

Takes out a 45. Plugs in the second phonograph

Song #2 The Minnesota Blues

I went back to the city, in my worn out shoes
Out on the main street, where people walk in twos
I was just a looking, couldn’t win or lose
‘Cuz I was alone with the Minnesota Blues.

With so many choices, you kind of hate to choose
I could say I have my reasons, but it might be a ruse
‘Cuz I can’t shake this feeling that I can’t win or lose
When I am alone with the Minnesota Blues

Yeh, back in that ol’ city, back where I paid my dues,
Blowing through the alley, like yesterdays’ news,
Never coming back here, whether I win or lose,
Couldn’t stand to be alone with the Minnesota Blues

Good shit Maynard
So you aint talking to me, huh.
I can wait

Pulls out harmonica and starts to play

Song #3 To Make You Believe

You’re standing in the doorway; I’m standing in the hall
You’re standing in the doorway; I’m standing in the hall
I’m trying to explain, but it’s too late, after all

Before you say it’s over, before I have to leave
Before you say it’s over, before I have to leave
After I say I’m sorry, I will make you believe

(instrumental passage)

Before you say it’s over, before I have to leave
Before you say it’s over, before I have to leave
After I say I’m sorry, I will make you believe

Nothing, huh, OK, let try this……

Song #4 Spin to Win

She plays spin the bottle and she spins to win
She plays spin the bottle and she spins to win
I think that she’s cheating, but I let her win

Monkeys in the barrel, even pick up sticks
Monkeys in the barrel, even pick up sticks
Don’t matter what we play, every game is fixed

Ten times in a row, she spins out on her knees
Ten times in a row, she spins out on her knees
When she hits a dozen, you’ll do as she please

Spin it baby spin it, you’ve played this before
Spin it baby spin it, you’ve played this before
If you never let me win, we won’t play no more

She plays spin the bottle and she spins to win
She plays spin the bottle and she spins to win
She’s a dirty rotten cheater, I say with a grin

Well not today then……
OK, but I’ll be back

(a door closes as the lights turn off)
in the darkness, voices, to be identified shortly are heard

Voice #1
Boy…..Boy, you don’t think we’re stupid do you?

Geoff (very nervous)
N.n.n.n.n.no, no Sir (turns on light – it is the phonographs that
are talking to him)

Voice #2
You’re in the wrong room; try the front door next time

Voice #1
You got some pretty songs boy, they’d like to hear them, make
good money, too

Geoff
I tried that, I gave them this….. they said they don’t need Bible crap

Song # 5 You Showed Me Hate

You showed me hate and for that I thank you,
Next time I see hate, I’ll know what to do

You showed me hate and for that I thank you,
Next time I see hate, I’ll know what to do

Pray to Heaven, stay with what’s true
Hope that someday you will see the view
Pray to Heaven, stay with what’s true
Hope that some day you will see the view

You say Friend and you say Brethren,
And you say you will be there for me

And I stand there cold and I stand there broken
From your careless care I’m yearning to be free

Pray to Heaven, stay with what’s true
Hope that someday you will see the view
Pray to Heaven, stay with what’s true
Hope that some day you will see the view

Voice #1
Well there looking for love songs these days, give them a love song,
get rich, live dumb, die young.

Geoff
Love Songs, shit. This the Blues its’ real, I’m real, I mean,
I mean, listen……

Song # 6 Leaving Chicago Blues

I was born in Chicago, that means something, don’t you know
I was born in Chicago, that means something, don’t you know
I grew up in Chicago, that’s why it hurts to go

When you’ve left Chicago, and when you call it home
When you’ve left Chicago, and when you call it home
You won’t find no rest, no matter where you roam

I was alone in Chicago, and no one would take me in
I was alone in Chicago, and no one would take me in
And so I left Chicago, sometimes you just can’t win

Voice #1
So you got rejected, you been treated like shit, your broke,
your alone,
Grow up for Christ sake, that’s life

Voice #2
Everybody gets the blues

Geoff
Song #7 Got To Help Me

Can’t trust nobody, and nobody can trust you
Can’t trust nobody, and nobody can trust you
This is a mean old world, don’t you know that it is true

Got to help me…. And I’ll help you in return
Got to help me…. And I’ll help you in return
Such a simple lesson.. Won’t nobody learn

Making money…, you can never make enough
Making money,… you can never make enough
Will the last man in the world still be saving up?

Got to help me…. And I’ll help you in return
Got to help me…. And I’ll help you in return
Such a simple lesson.. Won’t nobody learn

With looks comes money, baby doll is doing well
With looks comes money, baby doll is doing well
Four kids and forty, she finds her life has gone to hell

Got to help me…. And I’ll help you in return
Got to help me…. And I’ll help you in return
Such a simple lesson.. Won’t nobody learn

The blues aint nothin’ but a good man feeling bad
Voice #2
As true now as when I said it

Voice #1
It aint the Blues boy, that aint why we’re here.

Geoff
But of course it’s the Blues, why else……….

Voice #1
I went to the crossroads……….

Geoff
But that’s’ just a song

Voice #1 (with guitar)
Song #8 The Delta Traveling Blues

On the lonely delta, red sun sinking low
On the lonely delta, red sun sinking low
Travel on poor Bob, still a ways to go

Prowling empty highways on a moonless night
Prowling empty highways on a moonless night
Got a sinking feeling this won’t turn out right

“Feet get so heavy, must be dragging lead
Feet get so heavy, must be dragging lead
Fear and desperation swimming in my head”

Traveled now for hours, travel now another mile
Traveled now for hours, travel now another mile
Get to my destination, before I rest a while

Crossroads at midnight, this place and this time
Crossroads at midnight, this place and this time
Might not be no laws, might not be no crime

Sun comes up in hours, ev’rything be all right
Sun comes up in hours, ev’rything be all right
Sun say oh, no poor Bob, you should’ve slept last night

We cursed the Gods, This is our punishment

Voice #2
We’re being punished, son, go home
Geoff
I don’t believe that nonsense. Superstition, the devil, curses,
no way. Its’ the music, that’s why you’re here. It has to be.
The music is real, your soul lives on, it keeps the music alive.
They’ve locked you up, but they can’t kill you, you are the soul
of the music. You are the spirit of the blues, and I want to be
a part of that.

Voice #1
They’re just songs

Geoff
Just songs?

Voice #2
They’re just songs

Voice #1
Nobody cares, anymore

Voice #2
Nobody cares

Geoff
Nobody cares, you’re right, they’re just songs, nobody cares,
nobody cares
(Geoff leaves room, then a long pause……….)

Voice #1
He wasn’t the one.

Voice #2
No.

Voice #1
We’ll find him; we’ll pass it along

A scratchy recording of a guitar player is heard as the
light turns off……………..

The End



contact Glenn Bowen at [email protected]

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