Leila and Majnun

from by David Rovics

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From Ballad of a Wobbly.

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When Leila met Majnun it was at a traffic light
He handed her his number at first sight
It all happened very quickly, soon both of them were aware
That life can be so good when it's shared

When Leila met Majnun it was convenient, it would seem
That both of them were living in the city of their dreams
They had no plan to leave and lots of plans to stay
But one day that all changed and they had to go away

So Leila and Majnun together left the country
They got on a crowded boat, sailed the Pacific Sea
They were headed to Australia, a place they thought they knew
Then the Australian Navy took them to Nauru

Where Leila and Majnun were kept there in detention
On a tiny little island run just like a prison
Where they were told by Immigration, dream all that you can
But your only pathway off this island is on a boat back to Iran

Leila and Majnun, amid the heat and damp
Tried to make the best of life in a prison camp
But the strongest of foundations eventually will shake
And the strongest of hearts eventually will break

Leila and Majnun were on the island when
One day there came some visitors from the UN
The next thing Leila knew, she was witness to the scene
Of her beloved doused in gasoline

Leila saw Majnun in a state no one should be in
Bright flames rising, burning off his skin
Sometimes you can reach a point – so beaten down, so tired
The only option that seems left is to set yourself on fire

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from Historic Times, released May 1, 2019

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David Rovics Portland, Oregon

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