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How I Know You Lyrics

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MEREB
I grew up in your hometown
At least began to grow
I hadn't got to my first shave
before the body blow
Egyptians in the courtyard

My family in chains
You witnessed our abduction
Which possibly explains
How I know you
How I know you

(MEREB takes AIDA upstage)

Before that fateful morning
My family enjoyed
A privileged existence
For my father was employed
As advisor to the King no less
Which surely rings a bell

For as your are his daughter
You probably can tell
How I know you
Yes I know you

AIDA
You know too much and what you say
Is better left unknown
And now I'm just a slave like you
Our lives our not our own

MEREB
I never have abandoned
And nor I think could you
That spark of hope for freedom
No terror can subdue

AIDA
My only hope is silence
You've never seen my face

MEREB
No you remain a princess
In any time or place

AIDA
You don't know me

MEREB
Yes, I know you

AIDA
You don't know me

MEREB
How I know you
How I know you

Princess...

AIDA
Mereb, you must treat me like any other slave. If the Egyptians knew I was
the daughter of the Nubian King...

MEREB
They would kill you. But our people will keep your secret.

AIDA
No. You must not tell anyone who I am. From now on, I am nothing but a gift
from an Egyptian captain to his Princess.

MEREB
Just so you know, Amneris is more than that to Radames. She's his betrothed.

AIDA
He's to be married? When?

MEREB
The day his ship sinks and the royal builders refuse to make him another.
Come; let's get you to the Princess.

ACT ONE
Scene Five
THE BATHS

Steam begins to fill the stage. WOMEN OF THE PALACE enter wrapped in sheets.
SLAVES stand by with trays of fruit, oils and cosmetics. We see two girls
swimming.

AMNERIS
(Climbing out of the pool and changing into robe)
It is such hard work maintaining perfection. But worth the effort, don't you think?

WOMEN
Oh, yes. Definitely worth it! You're perfect.

AMNERIS
Really? Perfect? Really? Then maybe one of you can explain to me why Radames,
the man destined to be my one and only, is neglecting me?
(AIDA and MEREB enter unseen.)
He's been to see my father. I hear he's spent time with his father. In fact,
he's probably chummed it up with every withered old man in Egypt. But
clearly, the thought of visiting a ripe young princess, with fabulous hair,
leaves him cold.

(AMERNIS powders herself.)

MEREB
(Bowing low.)
Princess Amneris - first in beauty, wisdom, and accessories. Captain Radames
has not forgotten you. He knows you will be at the feast tonight in all your
extravagant finery. And he can hardly wait. But for now, he sends you this
gift.

AMNERIS
(Turns to see AIDA.)
Another handmaiden? I don't need another handmaiden. Does this gift have a
name?

AIDA
Aida.

AMNERIS
Did you just speak?

AIDA
My name is Aida, Princess. And I think you might wish to know...

AMNERIS
How dare you! You do not lower your eyes. You do not tremble. Are you not
afraid of me?

AIDA
Would it please you if I were?

AMNERIS
Not so much.

AIDA
Then I am doing as you please.

AMNERIS
True. Well that's true. You started to say something about...

AIDA
Captain Radames.

AMNERIS
What do you know of the captain?

AIDA
Only that he is well. He suffered no injuries in battle. I thought you might
want to know that.

AMNERIS
I did. You see I've been so...You're very astute, aren't you, Aida?

AIDA
Only on occasion. But my true talent lies with a needle. And if you will
allow me, Princess, I will make you a robe in a shade closer to that of
your eyes. There's a dyeing process I use that makes fabrics glow. It's a
secret that was passed down by the handmaidens of Queen Neferteti.

AMNERIS
A slave who knows her fabrics? I'm keeping her! Oh Radames, he knows me. He
really, really knows me. Go, Mereb, show Aida the sewing room.
(AIDA and MEREB exit.)
All right ladies, let's polish this gem.

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