Jerusalem Blues

Tom was a radical, Helen a Jew
They talked long and deeply of all they’d been through
Helen said Tom I love you like my hands
Let’s fly out together and live off the land
They learned a new language in June 63
They thought it was free

Belief
Come to grief
Jerusalem

Hassan Mohammed looks down at his hands
His family were farmers till they lost the land
The children are playing, the youngest one cries
He fears what he sees in the oldest one’s eyes
His grandfather’s picture is pinned to the wall
He thought he was free

Belief
Come to grief
Jerusalem

Now Helen and Tom live in five whitewashed rooms
Out where the desert is starting to bloom
Weekends the teenagers drive to the beach
Helen and Tom keep their guns within reach
They take it in turns to escort the school bus
With their guns on their knees

Belief
Come to grief
Jerusalem

On the back of a turtle a man builds his home
Thinking this is the island of his oldest dreams
And he builds it with love and he tends it with care
But one day the turtle will come up for air
And the last thing he sees is a face like his own
In the rage of the sea

Belief
Come to grief
Jerusalem

The parents look sadly across the old walls
Both trying to answer invisible calls
Hassan remembers when land was just land
But the children they’re raising will not understand
Those children will rise up again and again
Until they are free

Belief
Come to grief
Jerusalem

God speaks in riddles and we do his will
The soldier will teach and the farmer will kill
He threw us together he tears us apart
How can two bodies share the one heart?
How can two bodies share the one heart?

© Norman Lamont 1994

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