From the recording Desperate Hands (Home)

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.

Lyrics

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