My Great Grandparents

from by David Rovics



My Great Grandparents

My great grandparents were refugees
That should be a normal thing to say
I was born in New York City
My people came from far away
They fled the generals and dictators
The warlords of Moscow and Budapest
You could be conscripted for the rest of your life Or you could head west

My great great grandparents were refugees, too
Just north and west of Brittany
Farmers in the hills somewhere On the starving side of the Irish Sea
They fled their colonial torturers They fled starvation, slavery
They fled across the Atlantic Along with millions of other refugees

My great grandparents were refugees But getting to the other side
Took such a toll it seems That my great grandfather died
So when his son was a little kid He grew up without a dad
And that's typical of the hard life So many other refugees had

My great grandparents were refugees Let me tell you what that means
They were escaping war-torn lands Ruled by tyrants, kings and queens
They did not come seeking fortune They were not pioneers
Leaving home, their hearts were broken
And all their cries fell on deaf ears

My great grandparents were refugees No one taught me that in school
It's dangerous information In the old game of divide and rule
My name is David Rovics And I know who my people are
They're on that raft upon the ocean They're in the trunk of that car


from Strangers & Friends, released December 16, 2019




David Rovics Portland, Oregon

"Absolutely brilliant. David Rovics says exactly what needs to be said."
Ian McMillan, BBC


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