The Poor Refugee

Mile on mile, their ragged armies march, 
‘Though rain be pouring or dusty deserts parch
Line on line, they carry what they can 
Seized in panic, as from their homes they ran
Never knowing, where the journey ends
The future is uncertain, the path it twists and bends
In fear they travel, ‘midst enemy and friends


All they knew as certain, lies shattered in the past
The landscapes of the future, lie desolate and vast
They knew not where to run to, as from their homes they fled
Never knowing, if those they love are dead
Yet on they travel and into hell descend
To suffer human hardships, as for themselves they fend
Their wretched lives, on strangers now depend


Legion are the songs that tell of soldiers’ might
(And) legion are the heroes, with weapons gleaming bright
Alas for every gambit in the ‘arguments of kings’
Comes pain and sorrow that every battle brings.
But on they stumble, to lives they cannot see
Diasporas of anguish pushed forward by decree 
May their Gods protect them - the poor refugee

May their Gods protect them - the poor refugee

Music: Québécois, arr. Na-Mara, Lyrics P. McNamara

Our attempt to record the universal travails of refugees was written some years ago as a counterweight to the multiplicity of songs that glorify battles and their heroes. The words are set to the tune of traditional Québécois song, Le Vieux Cheval, as performed by Le Vent du Nord.