I—ve stayed in the front yard all my life.
I want a peek at the back
Where it—s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
A girl gets sick of a rose.

I want to go in the back yard now
And maybe down the alley,
To where the charity children play.
I want a good time today.

They do some wonderful things.
They have some wonderful fun.
My mother sneers, but I say it—s fine
How they don—t have to go in at quarter to nine.
My mother, she tells me that Johnnie Mae
Will grow up to be a bad woman.
That George—ll be taken to Jail soon or late
(On account of last winter he sold our back gate).

But I say it—s fine. Honest, I do.
And I—d like to be a bad woman, too,
And wear the brave stockings of night-black lace
And strut down the streets with paint on my face.