RED ANGEL:The Book of Esau

Selected Songs from the Show

 

Psalm: Who Can Praise (read)

I am Esau (read)

Red, Red Stew (read)

Esau's Coming (read)

The Blessing (read)

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The Raven (read) (listen)

Holy Moses (read)

Longhaired Radical Socialist Jew (read)

The Visitation (read)

Brothers (read) (listen)

 

Esau: The Red Book, and contents of this page ©1998, 2001 Hugh Blumenfeld

ACT I

Who Can Praise?


Who can praise the author of praises?
Who can praise the author of praise?

Who can praise the author of praises?
Who can praise the author of praise?

What mouth can open knowing it must close?
Who can raise their voice, knowing it must fall
Who can lift their tongue, knowing it is clay
And cleaves to the roof of the mouth and not to heaven?

Who can praise the author of praises?
Who can praise the author of praise?

Who can praise the author of praises?
Who can praise the author of praise?

Only the child of this one, this only moment,
Only the child of this one, this only day

Only the child of this one, this only moment,
Only the child of this one, this only day.


I Am Esau


I am Esau, the red-haired son of a bitch
who got kicked out of the Bible.
Hot-headed as a prairie fire
covered like fields of October barley,
I am the autumn, I am the autumn
I have learned how to turn, turn down everything.
I have learned how to turn, and turn it all down

Take my name, it's everything I've got
Take my claim to all I own
I'm the man who couldn't give a damn
never amounted to a hill of beans
I am autumn, I am autumn
I have learned how to turn, turn down everything.
I have learned how to turn, and burn it all down

O my Brother, I put my power in your hand
I am the boy with the rock and sling
and the hair of flame
I forgive you everything
And take all the blame.

Comes a time for every wound to heal
Though you may always bear the scar
I'll be a scapegoat for a thousand years
Even children have despised my tears
And now the autumn, now comes the autumn,
now I learn how to turn, turn down everything
Now I learn how to turn, turn it all down

I am Esau, the red-haired son of a bitch
who got kicked out of the Bible....

1997 Hugh Blumenfeld


Red, Red Stew

I had the father's propensity for brooding
And none of my mother or my brother's social graces
None of them could understand why I spent my time
Tracking through the desert wastes and left the tents behind
with the goats and sheep
and cakes and wine

The first time I went on the hunt alone
I set out in the dark before the morning light had broken
More than once I came upon my prey as it was grazing
Made sure that my scent was covered
Downwind from the clearing
And my sling was full
And my bow was pulled

But the pheasant called me friend, the gazelle called me lover
And in the stream the dreaming fish flashed out gold and silver
And I heard God laughing
over my left shoulder
I heard God laughing
As if he were no older than me

And I took nothing.
For five days nothing.

My brother set his cauldron in the fields
And from his vantage on the hill I'm sure he saw me coming
But what he took for hunger
Was just the emptiness
Of sitting silently for days out in the wilderness
and in the scales of life and death
I knew my birthright mattered less
And I had no earthly use for
what a man would kill his brother for.

the sun was balanced on its edge
and set the whole world glowing
and every part of God's green earth
burned like it was holy

and as cupped my hand around the spoon
all creation shimmered as I blew
And just like Adam, I am Edom
Who gave up what was promised
me for one red taste

And I heard God laughing
Everywhere laughing


Esau's Coming

Esau's coming with a hundred men
I could hear them beating on their drums of skin
Their pipes are made from bowels of goats
I wouldn't be surprised if they slit our throats
Oh Esau's coming, Esau's coming, Lord.

Esau's coming with 200 men
I heard them blowing on their trumpets of tin
and brass, in the mountain he has a forge
I could see the flashing of their terrible swords
Oh Esau's coming, Esau's coming, Lord.

Esau's coming he's a slow-burning flame
With his metal and his music he's a child of Cain
Esau's coming, Edom the Red
To sop you up like pottage on a heel of bread

Esau's coming, you could hear them sing
The barbaric yawp of 400 men
Pouring into the valley like a raging flood
If you heard them laughing it would freeze your blood
Oh Esau's coming, Esau's coming, Lord.

Esau's coming he's a slow-burning flame
With his metal and his music like a child of Cain
Esau's coming, it's like you always said
If he catches up to us we're as good as dead
Oh Esau's coming, Esau's coming, Lord.

 

The Blessing

Is this the only blessing you have left?
Is this the only blessing you have kept for me?
To make my living by my sword
To serve my brother as my lord and master
the little bastard

This is a heavy load to bear
To think my mother never cared for me
And now I look at you
trembling and I see it's true,
I do believe
You were not deceived?

Is this the only blessing you have left?
Is this the only blessing you have kept for me?
Then although I live in hell
I will serve my brother well, God help me
For if I take my brother's life
on some dark lonely night
Then it will serve him...
right.

 

Is this the only blessing you have left?
Is this the only blessing you have kept for me?
Then I guess I'll live in hell
For I will serve my brother well, God help me
For if I take my brother's life
in his dark tent tonight
Then it will serve him...
right.


 

ACT II

Scene 1: (Esau's Caberet Theatre)

The Raven


After the rain
came months of fog
man and beast
were sick as dogs

Borne on the flood
seeking haven
before he sent the dove
Noah sent the raven

He slid the plank
from the ark window
yellow eye
grew very narrow

And Noah cried,
"Great God above
to this most loathed of your creatures
show your love"

Tiger paced
grey wolf howled
viper hissed
monkey scowled

Grizzly grumbled
mammoth blew
the doves all fluttered
raven - flew!

He set the bird
set it in the sky
a croaking mote
in God's blue eye

And the raven's black
irridescent wing
made an ebony rainbow
shimmering, shimmering

And the water glowed
with a greenish light
the scavenger
Hunted all night

And the raven stayed
true to his red creed
and brought back entrails
for his master to read:

You will drive your plow
Through shallow graves
And plant your vines
In the mouths of babes

And pitch your tents
On heaps of bones,
And tune your harp
Where the wild wind moans.

After the rain
reaching haven
In the beginning
went the raven....


1997 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music


Holy Moses


Egypt was a country club compared to this wilderness
And if the Jordan is deep and wide
We won't make it to the other side
To tell you the truth, I'd rather die in peace

Chorus:
Holy Moses take me back, I was never meant to be free
Holy Moses take me back, I never asked to be free

Six hundred laws in the good Lord's cause,
and you tell me I can do as I please
But I miss my old TV, it never asked very much of me
And when you follow a plot, at least you know where it leads

Holy Moses take me back, I was never meant to be free
Holy Moses take me back, I never asked to be free

Bridge:
Lord it looks like you're gonna have to waste another generation
What I need is a rest and all you're giving me is aggravation
And I don't want to know the answers if I have to ask the questions...

Well Egypt was a country club compared to this wilderness
And if the Promised Land's this rough,
I'll be the first one to say enough,
There's a limit to how much a couple of choices are worth

Holy Moses take me back, I was never meant to be free
Holy Moses take me back, I never asked to be free

Holy Moses take me back,
we're a little off the beaten track, Moses
I didn't really get a chance to pack, Moses
Do you think the Lord will blow his stack if we
mosey on back Moses,
Moses,
Give me a home where the dromedaries roam....

 

long-haired radical socialist jew


Well Jesus was a homeless lad
With an unwed mother and an absent dad
And I really don't think he would have gotten that far
If Newt, Pat and Jesse had followed that star

Refrain: So let's all sing out praises to
That long-haired radical socialist Jew

When Jesus taught the people he
Would never charge a tuition fee
He just took some fishes and some bread
And made up free school lunches instead
So let's all sing out praises to....

He healed the blind and made them see
He brought the lame folks to their feet
Rich and poor, any time, anywhere
Just pioneering that free health care
So let's all sing out praises to....

Jesus hung with a low-life crowd
But those working stiffs sure did him proud
Some were murderers, thieves and whores
But at least they didn't do it as legislators
So let's all sing out praises to....

(Modulate to A)

Jesus lived in troubled times
the religious right was on the rise
Oh what could have saved him from his terrible fate?
Separation of church and state.
So let's all sing out praises to....

Sometimes I fall into deep despair
When I hear those hypocrites on the air
But every Sunday gives me hope
When pastor, deacon, priest, and pope
Are all singing out their praises to
Some long-haired radical socialist Jew.

They're singing out their praises to..oooo..oooo..
Some long-haired radical socialist Jew.

1996 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music


Scene 2: The Wrestler


Visitation (The Visit, II)


You put your hand on my forehead
like you used to when I was a child
- My God, you're burning up, you said
and your eyes grew wild

- I'm fine, I said, Ma don't worry
But you could not understand
how I could feel so feverish
under your hand.

Then we both knew in a moment
Oh how our dreams unfold
It wasn't that I had a fever
it's that you'd been so long cold


You put your hand on my forehead
like you used to when I was a child...

1998 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music

Brothers


My brother is a dark-eyed gentle man
We see each other when we can
For dinner or some music
But there's always been this tension
Neither mentions
It and then
The conversation dies down
And I think sometimes it's just as well
We live in different towns

CHORUS:
Some say we're like day and night
The Southern Cross and the Northern Lights
He's half a world away from me
Still he's half the world to me
And doesn't even know it

When we were young we fought till our mom cried
Forgave each other when she died
And swore we'd try to close the gap
And though we both are loyal
And enjoy each other's triumphs
We don't understand them well
And each other's friends are ciphers And each other's heaven hell

CHORUS

I recently got married high upon a hill
My brother spoke as brothers will
About growing up behind me
And when the vows were over
He broke down on my shoulder
I was not prepared
And I held him as he crossed the distance
I had never dared

CHORUS

1986 Hugh Blumenfeld/Hydrogen Jukebox Music


Esau: The Red Book, and contents of this page ©1998, 2001 Hugh Blumenfeld


 

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