Madam To You

(1964)

In Madam To You, Elie Siegmeister sets seven texts of his friend and collaborator Langston Hughes.


Siegmeister states, in the liner notes to the recording The Music of Elie Siegmeister:


"We [Langston Hughes and Elie Siegmeister] wrote about fifty songs together, of which the two cycles Madam To You (1964) and The Face of War (1966) remain my favorites...'Madam' Alberta K. Johnson was the typical black woman of the Harlem tenements, spunky, bright, in love with life, and standing up (long before women's lib) to all 'put-downs' whether by the Census Man, the Minister, the Rent Collector, or even Old Death himself. In each of the seven songs of the cycle, Madam meets a formidable antagonist, and always comes out the winner. Befitting it subject, the music is down-to-earth, breezy, light-hearted, or tender, but never complicated."


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