Why Not Dream? from Assassins (Day 120)

In my musical Assassins, I tried to imagine the moment when my fictional character “G,” down-and-out prospective assassin, was approached by a mysterious stranger with a proposition. The result is a sort of low-down blues in a Tom Waits mode, and Christopher Cooke does a fine job of putting it over.

I see you are no stranger to adversity,
If I may be so candid,
And in this land of opportunity,
You’ve come up empty handed.
Now here you are, in a bar in Quebec,
Drinking and thinking you can’t pay the check.
In a foreign place, it’s bizarre indeed
To find a kind of friend in need.

What is it like when your dreams break down?
You run out of gas on your way into town.
Graveyard shift with the rest of the bums.
Just getting by til the next check comes.
How does it feel to have holes in your socks?
Flunking your class in the School of Hard Knocks?
When you add up your change, there’s a buck and a half.
You may call it a life, but I call it a laugh.

Mi amigo,
Such frustration!
What of ego,
Think of your pride, and the hope you’ve denied.
You’d feel better with a dream inside.
You were not meant to be living this way,
Borrowing time you can never repay.
Well, I’m here to help you, if anyone can.
That’s why they call me the Fantasy Man.

Do you ever dream of Cuba?
Someplace safe from extradition?
Dancing in Aruba to a rumba on the tuba,
You ease your inhibition.
Left hand holds a margarita,
Right hand, Havana panatela.
You feel like a swell,
And even Fidel
Says you’re one hell of a fella.

Why not dream? It’s your only chance.
Don’t you worry. Arthur Murray can teach you to dance.
If the fantasy fits, then why not wear it?
Why not dare it? Why not dream?

Hey, pay attention! I’m talking to you!
I’ve got me some favors I want you to do.
An auto trip, some errands to run,
Maybe some shopping that I’d like done.
Don’t waste your time with small-time trash,
I pay on the spot in American cash.
I know you’re a man I can trust, I’m sure.
It’s a side of the law that you’ve dealt with before.

I can see you’re so suspicious.
What could be more low or vicious?
Spare me your spiel, I can see how you feel.
Just think of this as a business deal.
Once you discover my reasoning’s sound,
Little by little, you’ll come around.
I knew I’d convince you before I began,
‘Cause no one can argue with the Fantasy Man.

Do you dream of being different?
Would you like a new beginning?
Why be a boozer, a loner or a loser?
It’s time you started winning!
You’d look handsome in a mustache,
Lean face, Caribbean complexion.
A tuck in your nose,
A new suit of clothes
And you’ll be safe from detection.

Why not dream? There are benefits.
If your Spanish is rusty, there’s always Berlitz.
All things come to a man with merit,
Why not dare it? Why not dream?

Wish becomes want, want becomes need
Wherever there’s a hunger on which it can feed.
Love becomes lust, which leads to require,
Til his brain is numb with the hum of desire.
He’ll think that he’s happy til you hear him scream,
“I can’t bear it!”
Why not dare it?
Why not dream?

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