The census man, The day he came round, Wanted my name To put it down. I said, JOHNSON, ALBERTA K. But he hated to write The K that way. He said, What Does K stand for? I said, K -- And nothing more. He said, I'm gonna put it K - A - Y. I said, If you do, You lie. My mother christened me ALBERTA K. You leave my name Just that way! He said, Mrs., (With a snort) Just a K Makes your name too short. I said, I don't Give a damn! Leave me and my name Just like I am! Furthermore, rub out That MRS., too -- I'll have you know I'm Madam to you!
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- by (James Mercer) Langston Hughes (1902 - 1967), "Madam and the Census Man", appears in One-Way Ticket, first published 1949 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Elie Siegmeister (1909 - 1991), "Madam and the Census Man", 1964, published 1975 [ high voice and piano ], from Madam to You, no. 1 [sung text checked 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2008-09-07
Line count: 32
Word count: 117