I SING OF SHINE by Etheridge Knight.

and yeah, brothers,
while white/America sings about the unsink
able molly brown
(who was hustling the titanic
when it went down)
I sing to thee of Shine
the stoker who was hip
enough to flee the fucking ship
and let the white folks drown
with screams on their lips
(jumped his black ass into the dark sea, Shine did, broke free from the straining steel.)
yeah, I sing of Shine
and how the millionaire banker stood on the deck
and pulled from his pocket a million dollar check
saying Shine Shine save poor me
and I’ll give all the money a black boy needs-
how Shine looked at the money and then at the sea
and said jump in muthafucka and swim like me-
and Shine swam on-Shine swam on-
how the bankers daughter ran naked on the deck
with her pinktits trembling and her roun her neck
screaming Shine Shine save poor me
and I’ll give all the cunt a black boy needs-
how Shine said now cunt is good and that’s no jive
but you got to swim not fuck to stay alive-
the Shine swam past a preacher afloat on a board
crying save me nigger Shine in the name of the Lord-
how the preacher grabbed Shine’s arm and broke his stroke-
how Shine pulled his shank and cut the preachers throat-
and Shine swam on-all alone.
And when the news hit shore that the titanic had sunk
Shine was up in Harlem damn near drunk-
and dancing in the streets.
yeah, damn near drunk and dancing in the streets…

Etheridge Knight

Category: Rituals: Music, Dance, Sports,