Ragtime lyric question

Younger Brother
Broadway Star
joined:8/27/12
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 06:05am
As my name would suggest, I'm a pretty big fan of Ragtime. After listening to the cast recording with a friend yesterday we got into a bit of a debate over the line in 'Till We Reach That Day when Coalhouse sings about Sarah: "she had life in her, Lord, she had my baby".
I used to thing this was alluding to the fact that Sarah was pregnant again but for some reason I can't quite remember, just decided it was a way of saying she was (or at least grew to be) happy living and that she was the one to give Coalhouse a son. Anyone have an opinion? I've thought about it so much with my friend, I've lost the ability to understand the line properly. I could be doing something more constructive with my time but..
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 10:45am
I don't think she was pregnant. At least there is nothing in the book or otherwise mentioned in the play to support that.

I never even thought about your interpretation until this thread.
....but the world goes 'round
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 10:45am
Ever heard the expression "she had a lot of life in her"? Yeah, it's that thing. She wasn't pregnant again.
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 11:18am
I always took it to mean that she had his baby and now that she was dead he'll never find out where she put it so that's why he was so upset. Is that wrong?
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 11:21am
Your original theories were definitely over-thinking it. Basically he's saying "you killed my baby mama."
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 11:25am
Also, Coalhouse says "Look what they left of her left of her left of my girl" but then right after that it's said "she was nothing to to them, she was a woman".

So which is it? Is she a girl or is she a woman?
adamgreer
Broadway Legend
joined:3/18/05
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 11:31am
Maybe Coalhouse thinks she's a girl, but feminist Emma Goldman believes she's a woman.

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them"
~Walt Disney

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
~Walt Disney

My name is neither "adam" nor "greer."
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 11:37am
So much subtext I never got...
adamgreer
Broadway Legend
joined:3/18/05
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 11:39am
I was kidding...

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them"
~Walt Disney

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
~Walt Disney

My name is neither "adam" nor "greer."
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 11:47am
Yeah. So was I.


JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 01:38pm
Yes but does he mean the STAIRS got to her or the STARES she had to endure as an unwed black mother!??
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
Visceral_Fella
Broadway Star
joined:1/18/12
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 04:58pm
I never thought of it that way until you said it, but I do find your interpretation very intriguing.
busylizzie238
Chorus Member
joined:2/13/14
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 05:47pm
on the subject of Ragtime lyrics, there's a line in Till We Reach that Day that's always confused me a little too, it's quite trivial actually but when it goes "So they beat her, And beat her and beated her", the production I saw I thought she was shot to death? or does the beating refer to how life and society had beaten her down?
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 06:39pm
As written, she is beaten by the police, and they do use their guns/rifles to whip her.
busylizzie238
Chorus Member
joined:2/13/14
Ragtime lyric question
Posted: 7/26/14 at 06:59pm
oh right, in the production I saw there was a shot and the crowd clears and then we see Sarah dead on the ground from what I remember - I think that works better, surely the police wouldn't start beating and whipping a person they think is armed? Anyways, thanks for clearing that up