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Deep in the heart the darkness of Marlow and Kurtz
They were looking for freaks. They were looking for firsts
From the Congo to U.S. The tribes of St. Louis
The white man forgets Ota Benga’s name

But there were debts unpaid. You were shuffled around
And before too long you were monkey house bound
A little man’s got a strange fate with an orangutan roommate
He never even knew Ota Benga’s name

From his native land of darkness to the country of the free
In the interest of science and of broad humanity
Brought we little Ota Benga
Dwarfed and without guile
Scarcely more than ape or monkey yet a man the while
So to tutor and enlighten, fit him for a nobler sphere
Show him ways of truth and knowledge
Teach the freedom we have here
In this land of foremost progress
In this wisdoms’ ripest age
We have placed him in high honor in a monkey’s cage
‘Mid companions we provide him – apes, gorillas, chimpanzees
He’s content wherefore decry them when he seems at ease
So he chatters and he jabbers in his jargon asking naught
But for money money money, just as we taught

Somewhere your body rests in a nice white suit
But they stripped you down down down to the roots
They can laugh ‘til it hurts
Bones down deep in the dirt
I hope one night they wake up screaming your name
Ota Benga’s name


from Songs for the Forgotten Future Vol. 1, released April 7, 2003
Doug Stone—guitar and vocals
Dave Wechsler—piano, accordion and vocals
Bill Gerstel—drums
Meredith Yayanos—violins
Dave Dorbin—tuba
Tom Nishioka—electric guitar

Charles Laughton and animal-men, from the film “Island of Lost Souls”, 1933

Music and lyrics by Doug Stone


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