My Song of Emigration

 

They bow their heads like praying

When they speak of Erin’s shore

Their tears fall like their grey hair

On their coats so old and worn

They speak in tongues that disappear

Like the work that brought them here

But their proud eyes hold their memories

Through the smoky atmosphere

 

They left their rainbows far behind

With news of finding work

They miss the grass beneath their feet

On this concrete where now they walk

They’ve worked the mines, they’ve dug the roads

It was so hard to have no trade

They’ve spent the greenback hard-earned grade

In the bars down memory’s lane

 

And they’d sing for me their precious songs

Come on, take me home again

Their songs of emigration

That would leave your heart in pain

They’d sing for me their songs of love

And speak their loved ones’ names

And how their hearts were aching

Just to see them once again.

 

In London’s town, I was feeling down

When I heard them singing clear

They awoke me from my dreaming

And my drunken sleepy stare

I arose to see a smiling face

As the phone call split the air

An old man said, ‘son, it’s for you

It’s long distance not so clear.’

 

And they’d sing for me their precious songs

Come on, take me home again

Their songs of emigration

That would leave your heart in pain

They’d sing for me their songs of love

And speak their loved ones names

And how their hearts were aching

Just to see them once again.

 

I heard a soft voice calling

It said, your poor old ma she’sgone

She’s in heaven now, a better place

Where she’ll never be alone

I bowed my head, I put down that phone

And I let my salt tears flow

And joined the lonely hearts’ club there

So many years ago.

 

Now let me sing for you my precious songs

Come on, take me home again

My song of emigration

That will leave your heart in pain

Let me sing for you my song of love

And I’ll speak my loved one’s name

And how my heart is aching

Just to see her once again.

 

And how my heart it’s breaking

Just to see her once again.

 

©Finbar Furey 1997

 

My Song of Emigration

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