Minstrel Man


German composer Hermann Reutter's song "Minstrel Man" (or "Bänkelsänger" in German) sets a poem of Langston Hughes. This song is the first song in Reutter's song cycle My Dark Hands (Meine Dunklen Hände) and can be sung in either German or the original English.

Minstrel Man
by Langston Hughes

Because my mouth
Is wide with laughter
And my throat
Is deep with song,
You do not think
I suffer after
I have held my pain
So long?

Because my mouth
Is wide with laughter,
You do not hear
My inner cry?
Because my feet
Are gay with dancing,
You do not know
I die?

--The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, p. 61

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