Write What You See Lyrics

Musical by Ellen Schwartz and Laura I. Kramer
A Letter to Harvey Milk the Musical - Write What You See Lyrics


BARBARA (sings)
Write what you see

HARRY (spoken)
I see... the ceiling.

BARBARA (sings)
Write what you feel

HARRY (spoken)
I feel... old.

BARBARA (sings)
Write what you see

HARRY (spoken)
I know... I’ll get out of bed—eventually.

BARBARA (sings)
Write what you remember

HARRY
(spoken) These days less and less, but all right...
(sings) I get up
Make myself a coffee,
Half an english muffin
A little cottage—

FRANNIE
(spoken) Oy, already you told me this!
(sings) But don’t tell her nothing
You never told me!

HARRY
(spoken) I sit down at the table, and I eat.
(To FRANNIE) Is that OK?
(FRANNIE shrugs; to BARBARA)
(spoken) I get up from the table, and I get dressed.

BARBARA (spoken)
Good, but what else is on the table?

HARRY (spoken)
On the table? Salt, pepper, a jar of jelly beans—

BARBARA (spoken)
Jelly beans?

FRANNIE (spoken)
(To BARBARA) What’s it your business what’s on the table?

HARRY (spoken)
She can’t hear you.

FRANNIE (spoken)
You wake me up, and I can’t even talk? Oy...

BARBARA (spoken)
You like jelly beans?

HARRY (spoken)
No, I don’t eat them.

BARBARA (spoken)
Oh, did your wife eat them?

FRANNIE (sings)
Oy, is she prying
Don’t talk about me!

BARBARA (spoken)
When you put something unusual in your story, people will want to know why.

FRANNIE (sings)
Don’t tell her nothing
You never told me!

HARRY (spoken)
(To Frannie) The next week...

BARBARA (spoken)
Let’s try this for your next assignment. Write about what your workday was like.
What was it like to be a kosher butcher?

HARRY (spoken)
What’s to tell?

BARBARA (sings)
Write what you see

HARRY (spoken)
(Flippant) Meat. Lots of meat!

BARBARA (sings)
Write what you feel
What you know

HARRY (spoken)
(Smiling) How to joke with the customers...

BARBARA
(spoken) Good!
(sings) Write what you remember

HARRY (spoken)
On the counter, a jar of schmaltz and a loaf of rye, unsliced.

BARBARA (spoken)
Why unsliced?

HARRY (spoken)
If they want free schmaltz, they gotta slice the bread. And most people are too lazy.
So you look like a mensch, and every night you take the rye bread home for dinner.

BARBARA (spoken)
Wow, that’s very smart.

FRANNIE (sings)
I thought of that, harry
This you can tell her

HARRY (spoken)
My wife, Frannie, thought of that, may she rest in peace.

BARBARA (spoken)
She must have been a very smart woman.

HARRY (spoken)
She was.

FRANNIE (spoken)
I was.

BARBARA (spoken)
What else is on the counter?

HARRY (spoken)
(Mumbling) A jar of jelly beans...

BARBARA (spoken)
(Nonchalant) More jelly beans. Details.

FRANNIE (sings)
Don’t tell her details
You never told me

HARRY (spoken)
(To FRANNIE) The next week...

BARBARA (spoken)
OK, Harry, today I want you to write about what your day was like when you were a boy.
(SHE sings before HE can protest)
(sings) What you see

HARRY (spoken)
I see... a fiddler on a roof!

BARBARA (sings)
What you feel

HARRY (spoken)
I feel... like singing and dancing!

BARBARA (sings)
What you know

HARRY (spoken)
I know... I'm not gonna sing and dance!

BARBARA (sings)
What you remember

HARRY (spoken)
I remember... I'm starving, and the fiddler just got chased out of town by
Cossacks!

BARBARA (spoken)
Did you meet your wife in the old country?

FRANNIE (sings)
Oy, is she prying, is she prying, is she prying

HARRY (spoken)
She was the leader of the Cossacks!

FRANNIE (sings)
Good, don’t talk about me

HARRY (spoken)
And on top of that, the only sweet I ever ate was rotten fruit we threw into the tzimmis! No jelly beans!

FRANNIE (sings)
Oy! It just dawned on me
About those jelly beans
It’s a goyish thing, a goyish thing
They eat them at easter
Little easter eggs, little easter eggs
That’s what they are
Treyf! Treyf!
So, now I see—
After me
You took up with a shikse!

HARRY (spoken)
I didn’t take up with nobody.

FRANNIE (spoken)
So who were they for?

BARBARA (spoken)
So tell me about the jelly beans.

FRANNIE (sings)
You can write what you know
Write what you see
But don't tell her nothing
You never told me!

BARBARA (sings)
Write what you see!

Songs from musical: A Letter to Harvey Milk the Musical Lyrics
Write What You See lyrics from A Letter to Harvey Milk the Musical