Lyrics: Random Black Girl

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In January of 2006, Michael and I sat down in a coffee shop on Craig Street in Pittsburgh for our first ever brainstorming session.  Our goal was to come up with a couple of ideas for songs that we could write for a CD that would help to raise funds for the Carnegie Mellon class of 2006 senior showcase.

There were some terrible, terrible ideas kicked around that day.

One of the ideas that proved to be less terrible than the others involved a character who was sick and tired of being cast as the token African American female in musicals.

How awesome would it be, we dared to dream, if we could get burgeoning star Patina Miller (who had just brought down the house as Penelope Pennywise in a student production of Urinetown) to sing it?

When Michael nervously played the first draft for the divine Ms. Miller (who neither of us knew particularly well), she paused, gave him what we would later learn was a trademark Patina stare, and asked, “So… this is a comedy song, right?”

In the years that have followed, we’ve written better songs.  However, nothing we’ve written has been performed, heard, or discussed more than “Random Black Girl”.

Lyrics after the jump.

RANDOM BLACK GIRL

I’m not like the other girls in this show.
I’m something of a sore thumb.
I’m starting to think that I’m different.
And I suspect I know how come.

My complexion stands out.
And my voice does as well.
Cause in case you haven’t noticed,
I’m black as hell.

It’s an obligatory part of every new musical
It’s the random black girl singin’ the soul.

Every show must have an ensemble,
Without it things wouldn’t be right
And every crowd needs at least one person
Who doesn’t happen to be white.

Well, that girl is usually me,
Feels like I’m just filling a quota.
Anytime I ever have lines,
They’re “yes’m”, and “yessir” and “nosa’”.

When it comes to the plot I play no significant role
I’m just a random black girl singin’ the soul.

So, I conduct with my hands
And I’ll squinch up my eyes
And then I’ll open my mouth
Unbelievably wide.

And at the end of the song
When it’s time to let go
I’ll give ‘em a dose
Of my crazy vibrato.

Why couldn’t I be cast for a part in The Color Purple,
‘Stead of a random black girl singin’ the soul?

My agent gave me advice.
Those words I’ll never forget.
He said “Don’t think you’ll ever be cast
As Eponine or Cossette.”

But I guess things always could be worse,
When it comes to my Broadway station
At least I’m not cursed
Enough to have been born Asian.

Then I’d be stuck in Miss Saigon dancing on a pole,
Stead of the random black girl singin’ the soul.

The designers can’t light me.
Director don’t know my name.
And the make up artist thinks
That we all wear the same…shade.

And Mr. Stage Manager
Thinks I got too much sass.
The costumer don’t know what to do,
With my big old black—-hair.

Maybe I should audition for American Idol.
They love the random black girl singin’ the soul.

So what does this song change?
Well, not a relevant thing.
But you gotta be thinkin’ to yourself
“Goddamn, this sister can sing”.

Don’t you hate it when songs are so self-referential?
I’m a random black girl singin’ the…

Don’t stop me now, cause baby I’m on a roll.
I’m the random black girl singin’ the…

I can make an entire phrase out of one syllable.
Cause I’m a random black girl singin’ the soul.

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7 Responses to Lyrics: Random Black Girl

  1. RickY says:

    I absolutly LOVE this songg !! Woww.. Its really amazing nd makes me laugh supeer hard ! :).

  2. Tobreal says:

    Funny song, I can relate but I hate the line “Im black as hell”!!! It makes being black a negative thing. No one wants to be black as hell as juxtapose to what? Being White as Heaven??? Something to think about.
    I wanna use this for an audition but Im cutting out that line or making up my own rhyme.

    • koomandimond says:

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      I’m sorry you think the line is inappropriate. We certainly did not intend any part of the song to be offensive. It is a comedy song and the intent is to find comedy in the situation.

      We’ve had many, many people purchase the sheet music and perform this song (a search for the song on youtube comes up with well over 100 results). In all that time, no one has objected to that line.

      With that said, the professional and prudent thing to do in this situation would be to not perform the song at all. If you personally think that particular line is inappropriate or racist, than why would you want to perform a partially inappropriate/racist song? Changing the music/lyric is not only against copyright law, but it’s disrespectful to the many hours we spent on it.

      Thanks for your thoughts and best of luck.

  3. Donna says:

    Didn’t find it offensive at all. Love it actually, very funny and accurate, what inspired you, as two (white) males to write it?

  4. Brittany says:

    As a 17 year old graduating this year, I’m hoping to get into some musicals while in college and I am dying to sing this particular song at perhaps a recital or for fun somewhere.

  5. Enjoli Drake says:

    I am more than excited to bring this to my voice coach! Thank you for this beautiful piece of work and understanding the plight of African American female performers!

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