Lyrics: Two Women, by Jody Jay Nagel

Two Women                                                                                                         Jody Jay Nagel (b. 1960)


(Premiered at Carnegie Hall by Soprani Compagni in 2012)

In this anonymous poem, two women (one representing the peasant or working class and one representing the elite) speak of their experiences after the election of Salvador Allende, president of Chile, and after his murder during the military coup in 1973.  Only the first part of the poem is here set to music.


I am woman.                                                                         I am a woman.

I am woman                                                                          I am a woman.

Born of a woman whose man owned a factory.             Born of a woman whose man labored in afactory.

I am a woman whose man wore silk suits                        I am a woman whose man wore tattered clothing,

who constantly watched his weight.                                  whose heart was constantly strangled by hunger.

But then there was a man;                                                   But then there was a man;

And he talked about the peasants getting richer             And he told me of days that would be better

By my family getting poorer.                                               and he made the days better.

We had to eat rice.                                                                 We had rice!

We had to eat beans.                                                             We had beans!

My children are no longer given summer visas to Europe.  My children no longer cried themselves to sleep.

And I felt like a peasant.                                                        And I felt like a woman