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Mel Green: Songs & Lyrics

Desperate Hands (Home)

(by Mel Green)
by Mel Green, © 2010 MelGreen Publishing, BMI

I came to the USA in 1970. My emigrant roots are much like many others, except for two amazing family stories... my great- great-grandfather started the first Jewish congregation in Providence, and he died in Rhode Island in the late 1890s. I visited his gravesite and marveled at how my family's history was changed by that event, because his wife and children emigrated to South Africa instead... The second marvelous story is about my 16th century ancestor, who traveled from Padua in Italy to Lithuania, becoming the right-hand man of the ruler of a small feifdom in that country. He changed many laws to prevent bloodshed and which  would also harm the Jewish populace, when his dying employer put him in charge of his Lithuanian kingdom for a day, until a worthy successor could be found. This song is dedicated to my grandparents who made that journey from Eastern Europe to South Africa in the early 1900s.

My emigrant roots are much like many others, except for two amazing family stories... my great- great-grandfather who died in Rhode Island in the 1890s... and a 16th century ancestor who changed many laws to prevent bloodshed when his dying employer put him in charge of his Lithuanian kingdom for a day, until a worthy successor could be found. Dedicated to my grandparents who made that journey of emigration from Eastern Europe to South Africa in the early 19My emigrant roots are much like many others, except for two amazing family stories... my great- great-grandfather who died in Rhode Island in the 1890s... and a 16th century ancestor who changed many laws to prevent bloodshed when his dying employer put him in charge of his Lithuanian kingdom for a day, until a worthy successor could be found. Dedicated to my grandparents who made that journey of emigration from Eastern Europe to South Africa in the early 1900s.

I have been a stranger here

This place is now my home

And the country I once came from

I remember when I’m alone

 

Generations settled here

Some with families, some alone

The plains and mountains crossed... 

Until the settlers made this land their own

 

We came from many foreign lands

We were looking for the streets of gold

So many just found shifting sands

Only the desperate hands could hold

Gathering things we carried them

Sometimes in the dead of night

Heavy hand, cruel fist and unjust deeds

We left them far from sight

 

We cannot forget them

We cannot forget our homes

We can’t ever forget the places

Or the countries that we once came from

 

Photographs are old and faded

Recollections so sublime

Everything remembered

Is tempered by the sands of time

 

I was once a stranger here

This place is now my home

And the country that I once came from 

I remember, when I’m alone

 

We came from many foreign lands

We were Looking for the streets of gold

So many just found shifting sands

Only desperate hands could hold...

Only desperate hands could hold...

Only the desperate hands could hold