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"I Know Where I've Been" is the sixth song in Act II of Hairspray. It is performed by Motormouth Maybelle with backup from Pearl and the ensemble. It takes place as Maybelle leads a march to WYZT to demand an end to segregation.

I_Know_Were_I've_Been_-_Hairspray_(2007)

I Know Were I've Been - Hairspray (2007)

Hairspray (2007)

Unlike in other productions, "I Know Where I've Been," takes place before "Without Love." This is because Tracy is not arrested earlier in the film, therefore she and Penny do not need help escaping. Instead, Tracy gets into trouble at the protest and hides at Penny's house, where they are caught and imprisoned by her mother, Prudy.

I_Know_Where_I've_Been_-_Hairspray_Live!

I Know Where I've Been - Hairspray Live!

I_Know_Where_I've_Been_-_Hairspray_(West_End)

I Know Where I've Been - Hairspray (West End)

Lyrics

(MOTORMOUTH MAYBELLE)
There's a light
In the darkness
Though the night
Is black as my skin
There's a light
Burning bright
Showing me the way
But I know where I've been

There's a cry
In the distance
It's a voice
That comes from deep within
There's a cry
Asking why
I pray the answer's up ahead
'Cause I know where I've been

There's a road
We've been travelin'
Lost so many on the way
But the riches
Will be plenty
Worth the price we
Had to pay

There's a dream
In the future
There's a struggle
We have yet to win
And there's pride
In my heart
'Cause i know
Where I'm going
And i know where I've been

(MAYBELLE & ENSEMBLE)
There's a road
We must travel
There's a promise
We must make
'Cause the riches
Will be plenty
Worth the risk
And chances that we take
There's a dream
In the future
There's a struggle

We have yet to win
Use that pride
In our hearts
To lift us up
To tomorrow

'Cause just to sit still
Would be a sin

(ENSEMBLE)
I know it, I know it
I know where I'm going

(MAYBELLE)
And lord knows I know..
Where I've been

Trivia

  • "I Know Where I've Been" has been popularly adopted by the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly by people of color. As such it has been covered several times by LGBTQIA+ groups and artists, including the Boston Gay Men's Chorus and the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles.
  • It was covered in season six of Glee, where it was performed by Unique and the Transpeople Choir.
I_Know_Where_I've_Been_-_Glee

I Know Where I've Been - Glee

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