Welcome The Stranger

by David Benjamin Blower

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1.
2.
I ain’t got no home, I’m just a wandering round Just a wandering refugee, I go from town to town And everything is hard wherever I may go And I ain’t got no home in this world anymore My brothers and my sisters are all upon this road A hot and dusty hell that a million feet have trod Armed men took my home and threw me from my door And I ain’t got no home in this world anymore They came into our town and walked in our front door Took away our children and broke my bottom jaw My wife lay down and died there on the cabin floor And I ain’t got no home in this world anymore I remember the sound of the loud American bombs And I remember the statues of the tyrants been and gone But now I worry all the time like I never did before And I ain’t got no home in this world anymore And as I wonder round this world, it seems to me That this is all a parody of what it ought to be The violent get rich and the peaceful are all poor And I ain’t got no home in this world anymore
3.
We gathered every penny that we had Threw all our belongings in a bag And left the chicken wire camp On our way to Europa’s shores We walked the soles off of our shoes Hungry tired battered and bruised And we joined the trafficker’s qeues On our way to Europa’s shores They crammed us in till we heard the starboard crack And I said “get me the hell off this death trap” But they said “cowards won’t be getting their money back” so we stayed for Europa’s shores The waves were crashing over the deck And we hit a rock and everybody leapt Soon the waters were up to our necks On our way to Europa’s shores My husband pulled me out of the boat And he gave a drowning lady his life-coat And off into the darkness did we float On our way to Europa’s shores Swam as best we could north and west Till my husband said he needed a rest And his voice drifted off into the darkness Until my ears couldn’t hear him anymore I was pulled onto a boat by a man Whose language I couldn’t understand And I stumbled down the plank onto the land And here I am on Europa’s shores
4.
In the land from which they ran, not so long ago There is a custom there among the people on death row They take a needle and a thread and they sew their mouths shut And they neither eat not speak until their time is up Because one the verdict’s given by the powers that be You ain’t no human being and you have no right to speak In the land to which we ran for to save our very lives We thought that our humanity would there be recognised But they closed their borders shut and ignored us from the start So now we live in squaller in a camp in northern France On February 29th they bulldozed half our camp After running for our lives we lost what little else we had And as the children wandered homeless in the wind and rain and mud We took a needle and a thread and we sewed our faces shut
5.
One way or another things are going to change One way or another nothing will be the same We used to roar like a lion, now we just lay in our cave Surrounded by bones, all on our own Waving the flies away But you’re still nostalgic for the empire When we used to rule the deserts and waves You can’t believe in a future without power But your power is slipping away One way or another things are going to change One way or another nothing will be the same We used to soar through the heavens, breathing a mouthful of flames Now we grow old on our pile of gold Awaiting the their at the gates But you’re stood there talking like a conqueror Putting lands we once pillaged to rights But we all know that you don’t know what you’re doing And your hope is nowhere in sight One way or another things are going to change One way or another nothing will be the same See here the fist-clenching power Pouring out fire on the earth But the disciples are armed with open palms More than conquerors
6.
There are politicians saying this is a Christian land And there are certain newspapers like to wave this around But if they had any idea what the Bible says They’d be the first to convert to about anything else It says to welcome the stranger into your home And care for the foreigner as one of your own And Jesus stands before you in this suffering If you turn away from these, then you turn away from Him Well of course, we’re being hopeful in believing the best That our leaders are just ignorant of what the Bible says But its also possible they know very well Still they invoke the name of Jesus as they build the gates of hell
7.
If you want to know what my country believes in anymore My country believes that Caesar is lord And imperial peace comes at the end of a sword And peace is for free trade and trade is all And no, we have no trouble doing business with regimes Who still practice crucifixion on dissidents and thieves Ay-ay-ay this ain’t the Good News to me There is war in heaven as British bombs fall Out of Saudi airplanes and onto Yemen’s poor And the news hardly bothers to report it anymore Because empire is empire and will always be at war Because my country believes that Caesar is lord And imperial peace comes at the end of a sword Ay-ay-ay this ain’t the Good News to me Petrarch said all history is nought but praise of Rome Where now’s the generation who will stand and prove him wrong?
8.
O ALBION 02:16
Albion, O Albion, I believe in you Albion, O Albion, I believe in you I still believe that all of we have some good to do O Albion Albion, O Albion, I’m not giving up Albion, O Albion, I’m not giving up I still think we have something to bring into the age to come O Albion Albion, O Albion, get up and make a start Albion, O Albion, get up and make a start O beautiful land, open your hands, awaken your beating heart O Albion
9.
Everything is changing People are shaving their heads and saving up food in their basements Sniffing around lost like dogs before a storm hits Everything is changing People are looking for a strongman to save them And give them all free parking spaces, and make them great again People are looking for a man of peace With an army to destroy our enemies He backstage filing his teeth, for your children Jesus Christ is at the door With the orphans of our wars saying please sir, can we have some more blood in the oil? Everybody’s under orders Refugees are camping on our OUR borders But we know we’re supposed to keep calm and carry on, right? Everybody keep it up While refugees are sewing their faces shut And dying of hunger in their tents and in their huts Everybody’s safe at home While the dwellings of orphans are bulldozed and burned but we have troubles of our own, right? Jesus Christ is at the door With the orphans of our wars saying please sir, can we have some more blood in the oil?
10.

credits

released May 23, 2016

All songs written and produced by David Benjamin Blower
© David Benjamin Blower 2016

Cover mural by Aladin / Photograph by Seven Resist
Replicated with permission under Creative Commons
Typography by David Benjamin Blower
Art Direction by David Benjamin Blower and Chris Donald

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David Benjamin Blower Birmingham, UK

David Benjamin Blower: 6-string writer, poet, theologian and podcaster from Birmingham in the UK.

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