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"You Gotta Give the People What They Want!"

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Expressing the cynicism of an age when old rules and social structures are beginning to tear and crumble, this witty, frenetic opener sets the stage for the tragic events to follow, and has obvious parallels to today's world. The Poet begins, and is joined by the Clergy, the Aristocracy, and the Common Rabble.
Gotta Give the People What They Want
(lyrics and music by Rainey)
(Sung by the Poet)

I don't think I can keep on knocking myself out anymore
I'm being buried by those I don't respect
I guess I never could face the truth before
That 'Sensation' is the synonym we use today for art
And if you want to be successful in this world
You got to give the people what they want

A sleight of hand, a degraded man, or perhaps a dirty song
Titillation's the best distraction
From dragging this old world along

Never mind the public good or doing what you think you should
You gotta give the people what they want
They won't listen anyway to a single word you say
You gotta give the people what they want
Damn your conscience, lies are fine
But don't forget the Bottom Line
You have to give the people what they want
Pearls to swine wastes your time
When they're deaf, dumb and blind
We got to give the people what they want

(Sung by the Clergy:)

We never stray too far away from our formula for success
People love a good mystery and the way we dress
Make the innocent feel guilty and they'll pay through the nose
But let the guilty start to feel a little innocent
That's when the real money starts to flow

Jesus was so revolutionary and difficult to please
Salvation's much easier with payoffs and false pieties

We'll exchange your tithe for greed; absolution's guaranteed
We only give the people what they want
Hocus-Pocus Domini and all that cryptic liturgy
We love to give the people what they want
A ring to kiss, a sip of wine, and damn you if you're out of line
We have to give the people what they want
God is too complex for you, just relax, we'll pull you through
We always give the people what they want

(Sung by the Nobility:)

We aristocrats have found the situation to be ideal
Laws were made for the little men we grind beneath our heel
We got on top so long ago by convincing the common man
To respect his betters, keep his place and appreciate the plan

We oppress with their consent and this right to rule we flaunt
Because we only exist to give you exactly what you want

The people have to have a king, so they can be his underling
You gotta give the people what they want
They'll kill themselves to make our tax
And carry us upon their backs
We love to give the people what they want
We could never subjugate if they did not cooperate
We only give the people what they want
Enlisting in the lie of caste, they thrive no matter how debased
You've got to give the people what they want

(All the people sing:)

And just like a giant tidal wave
The public sweeps along the latest rave
What's the use of fighting? Why don't you get smart?
Just don't aim so high, and then you'll hit the mark

Plundering economists, how do we get away with this?
By giving all the people what they want
Dispensing bread and circuses is how we line our own purses
You gotta give the people what they want
Only meet a basic need, your claim to fame is guaranteed
You have to give the people what they want
Don't moan about the way things are
Just sell your soul and you'll go far
Wake up and give the people what they want

And on some happy day we'll all begin again
Lumbering toward that inexorable end
Call it karma, it's inevitable
Even now it's being written on the wall

Let the world go up in flames, we are not the ones to blame
We only gave the people what they want
The downward spiral starts its flux
As Man becomes the things he does
We have to give the people what they want
Let the Devil take his turn, the lesson is we never learn
We gotta give the people what they want
Let the future go to hell, as long as we can make out well
We'll always give the people what they want!
We have to give the people what they want!
We want to give the people what they want!
You gotta give the people what they want!
You better give the people what they want!

END

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