Teresaís  Song

Lorcan Otway
© 2003 Lorcan Otway

Iíll tell you all a story, from just the other day
concerning a young Romni, a Gypsy, you would say
In Czechoslovakia, she lived a workerís life
but in the Czech Republic, just another Gypsy wife

The  mother of four children, she struggled every day
for the first day of democracy was the last day of her pay
Revolution once had promised her, bread and roses and a home
but the return to democracy, excluded all the Rom

We knew Bread and Roses, once in a workerís state
But the velvet revolution brought us only hate

Her Grandmother told her, hard changes she did see
as women we could not stay home, the way it used to be
Gypsy women treasured, raising children in the home
but Communism meant new rules, even for we Rom

But though we had to labor, at last we settled down
Before the red state we were, chased from town to town
Still we felt that it wasnít fair,  to forswear our ancient ways 
but compared to the traveling, these were better days

We knew Bread and Roses

One day the system crumbled, freedom swept the land
But the wolves of hatred,  followed close at hand
We were again  like storks and,  driven out just like before
Again we heard their hateful taunts, get out you gypsy whore

The Nazi gangs of Prague,  driven down by blood red might
rose again  like ghouls of hate,  returning us to night
And now, we must be careful, and be watchful every day
avoid  the  gadje, grand daughter she did say

We knew Bread and Roses

But caution was impossible,  hate was everywhere
a skinhead gang surrounded her, cursing her black hair
They threw her from a bridge into,  the river running fast
another racist murder, as in the Nazi past

The court then tried her killers, for this was a land of law
But justice was blind now,  as ever it was before
They ruled it was the river, that had caused this wretched strife
The gang that threw her from the bridge, didnít take her life,

We knew Bread and Roses

She finally got her bread and rose like every worker brave
the bread at her funeral feast, and roses for her grave
A friend returned from Prague, and told me that they now are free
I can only wonder, at what price liberty

For freedom for the smallest is the freedom worth a damn
While freedom for the powerful, is just a fascist sham
And in the Czech Republic, Gypsies wonder every day
why the dreadful cost of  freedom, is theirs alone to pay


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