• Refugee Blues by W.H. AUDEN and its adaptations

    The Poem

    Refugee Blues by W H Auden

    Say this city has ten million souls,
    Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
    Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.

    Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
    Look in the atlas and you'll find it there:
    We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

    In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
    Every spring it blossoms anew;
    Old passports can't do that, my dear, old passports can't do that.

    The consul banged the table and said:
    'If you've got no passport, you're officially dead';
    But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

    Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
    Asked me politely to return next year:
    But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?

    Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
    'If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread';
    He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

    Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
    It was Hitler over Europe, saying: 'They must die';
    We were in his mind, my dear, we were in his mind.

    Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
    Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
    But they weren't German Jews, my dear, but they weren't German Jews.

    Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
    Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
    Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

    Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
    They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
    They weren't the human race, my dear, they weren't the human race.

    Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
    A thousand windows and a thousand doors;
    Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

    Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
    Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
    Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.

    A few ideas

    Adapted and turned into a song

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