Sunday, January 27, 2019

Holocaust

Took this from Janis Ian

When I wrote this song, I'd been off the road and away from recording for more than a decade. I realized no one else would ever record it, and that decided me to "get back in the game." It was eventually chosen by the government of Holland to represent that country in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the end of WW II. I was presented to the (then) Queen, thanked by thousands, and congratulated by Elie Wiesel. Just goes to show, you never know where things will end up. To this day it's one of my proudest moments, writing this song.
TATTOO
(Janis Ian)
Her new name was tattooed to her wrist
It was longer than the old one
Sealed in the silence with a fist
This night will be a cold one
Centuries live in her eyes
Destiny laughs over jack-booted thighs
“Work makes us free” says the sign
Nothing leaves here alive
Tattoo
She steps out of line to the left,
and her father to the right
One sides a cold, clean death
The other is an endless night
Gold from a grandmother’s tooth
Mountains of jewelry and toys
piled in the corners, mailed across the borders
Presents for the girls and boys
Presents for the girls and boys
Tattoo
It gets darker every night
Spread-eagled out among the stars, she says
Somewhere in this tunnel lives a light
Still, my beating heart
I have never known a man
What man will want me now?
Am I still alive, somehow?
If I can survive, somehow
Tattooed
Soldiers from the other side
liberated them at dawn
Gave her water, gave her life
She still had all her clothes on
She lived until she died
Empty as the autumn leaves that fly
Surgeons took the mark
but they could not take it far
It was written on her heart
Written on her empty heart
Tattooed


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