Pirate Jenny (4:45)

Cover of Live And Kickin'

From Live And Kickin' and 19 other releases

“Pirate Jenny”, which originates from the first act of The Threepenny Opera, a musical by German dramatist Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill, in collaboration with translator Elisabeth Hauptmann and set designer Caspar Neher. It was adapted from an 18th-century English ballad opera, John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, and offers a Marxist critique of the capitalist world. It opened on 31 August 1928 at Berlin’s Theater am Schiffbauerdamm.

“Pirate Jenny” has been famously covered by singer and activist Nina Simone on 1964’s Nina Simone in Concert. She gave the song a grim civil rights undertone, with the ship ‘the black freighter’ symbolizing the coming black revolution.

For a visual referance of the original. View the rendition by Lotte Lenja in the 1931 German musical film, The Threepenny Opera, directed by G. W. Pabst.

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You people can watch while I'm scrubbing these floors
And I'm scrubbin' the floors while you're gawking
Maybe once you tip me and it makes you feel swell
In this crummy southern town in this crummy old hotel

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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