SCHINDLER'S CHILDREN

In August 1986 I visited Israel with my wife Nora. After a few days in this exciting country (where people dance in the street) I was troubled with a badly swollen left leg and foot. Fearing it might be another deep vein thrombosis the medical authorities rushed me into the main Tel Aviv hospital. I was kept in the corridor for two days - and to this day I don't know if this was because I was unclean, or because the hospital was full. In the female ward (at the foot of my bed) was an old lady, at least 80 years old, who constantly cried out in pain. Her words sounded like "Yi, yi, yi, mama, knew, mama knew. Oh Yi, yi, yi, mama knew, mama knew". This went on and on and on for hours. At midnight, after being given pain killers, she stopped calling out and I was just settling down to sleep when a song appeared in my head. I had been wondering earlier if she really was calling out to her mother and if so when and how her mother had died. If this lady was now 80 her mother had probably died a good few years ago. Possibly during the holocaust.

And the leg? Oh that was just an insect bite!

 

Cries in the night ring out in my ears,

The anguish of five thousand years,

A nation apart, now born anew,

With love for many, and pain for a few,

She calls to a mother she hopes to meet,

As Schindlers children dance in the street.

 

Cries in the night reach up to the stars,

Where her mother she waits behind the bars,

That were torn away in the devestation,

To leave her there in isolation,

Gassed then burnt, no winding sheet,

As Schindlers children dance in the street.

 

And from the ashes of utmost Hell,

Was born this nation Israel

Such a wisdom and strength, Such a union formed,

Together they stand to greet the dawn,

They move as one a peace to meet,

As Schindlers children dance in the street.

 

Cries in the night ring out in my ears,

The anguish of five thousand years,

Oh Yi Yi Yi, how her mama knew,

That many would rise from a pitiful few,

And when in time their souls shall meet,

They'll join the children, dance in the street.

 

©Joe Stead - Fore Lane Music - August 1996

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