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Heroes And Survivors

I’ll tell you a story
all good friends of mine
of the heroes and survivors
of a terrible time
two great peoples
separated by the sea
joined in understanding
of a great calamity
oh a great calamity

1831
it was the darkest of their years
Andrew Jackson drove the Choctaw
on the trail of tears
with the saber and the rifle
on a thousand mile drive
to the land of Oklahoma
only half would survive
only half would survive

they called it reservation
it was a cage without wire
what a hundred years later
the Germans would admire
surrounded by a state
that held the lock and key
to the vision of their future
and their free humanity
oh their free humanity

half a world away
in the emerald Irish land
famine stalked the countryside
with doom on every hand
starvation, desperation
driven to extremes
they died eating grass
their mouths stained with green
oh their mouths stained with green

and it was the British Empire
that held the lock and key
to their island reservation
and their free humanity
across the hungry countryside
they walked a trail of tears
through death and emigration
half the people disappeared
half the people disappeared

news travels fast
when it goes from hand to hand
all across the mighty ocean
to the Oklahoma land
when the Choctaw heard the story
of the Irish in their plight
they new they were related
though their skins were red and white
though their skins were red and white

and though their hands were nearly empty
and their lands were nearly bare
they collected all the money
that they thought that they could spare
and they sent it off to Ireland
to their unknown new friends
seven hundred dollars
it was a fortune to them then
it was a fortune to them then

you may wonder at my story
you may marvel at its worth
but I tell you there is goodness
in the people of the earth
and I tell you there is beauty
in the darkest of the days
and a light to come shining
blow the darkness all away
blow the darkness all away