Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Ones I Breathe




Emma's Revolution won't let me forget the raw intensity I felt after 9/11. This song is about memory, about sadness, about justice.


If I Give Your Name

Mi esposa, my wife, worked on the 80th floor
The company had hired illegals before
She got the job by word of mouth
That's the way in the north when you're from the south

They say 3,000 but the counting's not done
Mi esposa está muerta
Three thousand and one


Chorus:
I have no papers, I have no rights
All my days end in sleepless nights
Missing you, silently
If I give your name
Will they come after me?


Mi hermano, my brother, the elevator man
A doctor in our country but you take what you can
I saw the photos in Union Square
But I could not leave his picture there

They say 3,000 but that's not true
Mi hermano no volverá
Three thousand and two


Chorus


Mi hija, my daughter, went in early that day
She had always been that way
Her daughter asks, "Where did she go?"
How to tell her, I don't know

They say 3,000 but that can't be
Perdí a mi hija
Three thousand and three


Chorus


Mi padre, my father, I have no words
I tried to find you when I heard
They gave some ashes to families
But I'll only have the ones I breathe

They say 3,000 there's so many more
Desaparecidos
Three thousand and four


Chorus


Mi esposa, my wife. Will they come after me?
Mi hermano, my brother. Will they come after me?
Mi hija, my daughter. Will they come after me?
Mi padre, my father. If I give your name,
Will they come after me?



--Sandy O & Pat Humphries



(The lyrics are powerful--and so is the music. Go have a listen!)

2 comments:

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

What powerful lyrics. Wow. It really brings light to part of the tragedy of 9/11 that so many of us never think of. What DO those people do about their missing family members? How is their mourning different from those who CAN put the persons picture up?

Very sad, very moving, so illustrative of some of the problems with inequities in our society. Thank you for posting this.

The Tell-Tale Heart said...

My sadness today came from reflecting on how this country reacted to the loss of 9/11 by striking out and creating far greater losses around the world. How different would this day of rememberance been if we had found the wisdom to build security through strengthening our local, national, and global communities? Are we any wiser today?

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