Mary, Don't You Weep
©Linda Allen 1989

There were seven hundred fifty houses and apartments
Now they're gone, what can we do?
You better take heed - if it happened to me -
My friend it can happen to you

Oh, Mary, don't you weep don't you moan
You say, Oh, Mary, don't you weep
Listen to me children, got to turn things around
Or we're all gonna be out on the streets

I've been walkin' up and down these hills of Seattle
Since nineteen sixty-three
When I came to this city with my husband and my sons
For better opportunities

Now it wasn't too easy startin' out in Seattle
But for us those years were good
My husband got a job carryin' mail in our district
I'd walk with him when I could

When the boys got older I started waitin' tables
Serving coffee to the working men
They were working on the buildings that kept gettin' higher
And the rents would go up again CHORUS

Well we moved five times from nineteen sixty-nine
It was hard on the boys, I know
I lost one to the war and the other to the streets
And I never hear from him any more

Things started gettin' bad 'bout five years ago
My husband truly loved his gin
The last time he beat me I headed for the streets
And I never went back again

I moved to an apartment not far from my work
It was cheap and the neighbors were fine
Then came the notice from the city 'bout a new convention center
There was no place to move this time Instrumental CHORUS

Now I still have my job, but it ain't no use
'Cause I can't pay the rent these days
So I live in the shelters and the streets of the city
I get mad, and I walk, and I pray

Now people, look around at your fancy meeting hall
So shiny and so new
Then look a little closer in the cracks and the shadows
At the faces starin' back at you
Repeat V. 1, Chorus (Instrumental "Mary" - then out)

Notes: Seattle's new convention center reportedly replaced 750
housing units. Seattle's streets may be "home" to as many as
4,000 people. 22% of these may hold full or part-time jobs.