Dějství 1. - scéna 1.
CATFISH ROW
(Evening, Catfish Row is quiet. Jasbo Brown is at the piano,
playing a low-down blues while half a dozen couples dance
in a slow, almost hypnotic rhythm.)

GROUP
Da-doo-da. Da-doo-da.
(As a rhythmic chant)
Wa, wa, wa, wa. Da-doo-da. Da-doo-da.
 
 

(Lights find another group on stage, in the center of which
Clara sits with her baby in her arms, rocking it back and forth)

CLARA
Summertime and the livin' is easy,
Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high.
Oh your daddy's rich, and your ma is good lookin',
So hush, little baby, don' yo' cry.

(Girls of chorus sing "OOH" behind Clara)

One of these mornin's you goin' to rise up singin',
Then you'll spread yo' wings an' you'll take the sky.
But till that mornin', there's a-nothin' can harm you
With Daddy and Mammy standin' by.

(Lights come up on still another group,
this time a crap game.)

MINGO
Oh, nobody knows when the Lawd is goin' to call.

MEN
Roll dem bones, roll.

SPORTING LIFE
It may be in the summertime and maybe in the fall.

MEN
Roll dem bones, roll.

SPORTING LIFE
But you got to leave yo' baby and yo' home an' all,
So --

SPORTING LIFE AND MEN
Roll dem bones, oh, my brudder, oh my brudder,
Oh my brudder,
Roll dem bones, roll dem bones, roll, roll.

(The stage grows lighter and Catfish Row takes up its
normal life; children pass, couples walk about, the crap
game continues.)

JAKE
(Rolling dice)
Seems like these bones don't give me nothin' but boxcars tonight.
It was the same two weeks ago, an' the game broke me;
I don't likes that kind o' luck!

SPORTING LIFE
(Sporting Life produces own dice, but Mingo grabs them)
Damn you, give me dem bones!

MINGO
What do you say to these, Jake?

JAKE
Them's the same cock-eyed bones
what clean the game out last Saturday night;
If they rolls in this game, I rolls out.

SERENA
(To Robbins)
Honey boy!

JAKE
Come on down, Robbins, we're waiting for you.

SERENA
Honey, don't play tonight. Do like I say.

ROBBINS
(To Serena)
I been sweatin' all day. Night time is man's time. He got a
right to forget his troubles. He got a right to play.

SERENA
If you hadn't been drinkin' you wouldn't talk to me that way.
You ain't nebber hear Lord Jesus say nuttin' 'bout got to play.

ROBBINS
There you go again. Lissen what I say.
I works all the week; Sunday got to pray.
But Saturday night a man's got a right to play.

GROUP
A man's got a right to play.

ROBBINS
Yes, sir, that's right. That ole lady of mine is hell on
savin' money to join the buryin' lodge.
I says spend it while you is still alive and kickin'.
(Picks up dice and throws with grunt)

JIM
(Enters)
Lord, I is tired this night. I'm done with cotton.

JAKE
Better come along with me on the Sea Gull. I got room for
another fisherman.

JIM
That suit me. This cotton hook done swing its las' bale of
cotton. Here, who wants a cotton hook?
(Throws cotton hook to center of floor; children dive for
it; scramble)

CLARA
(Walking with baby)
Summertime and the livin' is easy. Fish are jumping etc. ...

CRAP SHOOTERS
Seven come, seven come to pappy! Throw that beautiful
number! Come seven to me! Yeah, man! I'll bet yo' wrong.
I'll bet he's right! Gettin' hot!
 
 
 

CLARA
...Oh, yo' daddy's rich and yo' ma is good lookin'...

CRAP SHOOTERS
Come, seven! Shoot! Made it! He made it!
 
 

CLARA
So hush, little baby, don't yo' cry!

CRAP SHOOTERS
Ol' man seven come down from heaven!