Song of the Olive Tree

Leon Rosselson
Language: English

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Album "And They All Sang RosselSonGs", poi ripresa anche in "The Last Chance – Eight Songs on Israel/Palestine" (2010)
Sung by Janet Russell

the last chance

Unapologetically challenging and provocative, "The Last Chance" weaves eight finely-crafted human stories around one of the burning issues of our times: the Israel/Palestine conflict. Songs to move the mind and the heart. (Leon Rosselson)
My father's father's father planted here,
on this now-broken earth, an olive tree.
And as a child, I sang to it my secrets,
and as i grew, I felt it part of me.

Its branches gave me shelter from the storm,
Its grey-green leaves shaded my young dreams.
The fruit it gave was like a gift of hope,
Of all the olive trees, I loved this one.

The settlers came, they beat us black and blue.
They said "next time, we shoot you...understand?"
But still we dared to come, we had no choice
We came at night, like thieves, to our own land.

Like ghosts we came there, women, children, men.
To pick the crop, as we had always done.
For centuries, we harvested in peace.
The oil we pressed was sweet, precious as gold.

Now look, this is a cemetary for trees.
Their great machines turned hope into despair.
They ripped the heart from every living tree,
except for one-my tree they chose to spare.

They dug it up, they carried it away.
My olive tree, they saw it as a prize,
for some Israeli, rich enough to pay,
five thousand dollars worth, that's what they say.

Do you believe in ghosts? Last night I dreamed
my father's father's father came to me.
He took my hand and held it in his own,
and said "take heart-here is my olive tree".

And when I woke, it was a kind of birth,
and in my hand I held an olive stone.
And in the field, where once my tree had stood,
a thousand shapes arose, out of the earth:

I saw them standing, women, children, men,
and each hand held a perfect olive stone,
And each heart held a vision of to come,
when all our olive trees will bloom again.

Contributed by The Lone Ranger - 2010/5/16 - 17:47

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