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Murmansk Run/Ellis Island

This song is by Al Stewart and appears on the album 24 Carrots (1980).

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Your father sailed on the Murmansk Run
To guide the flocks of the ships home one by one
Grey beneath the Arctic sun
Or the glow of Northern Lights

I see you have his photograph
His eyes are watching for dangers fore or aft
Trading days beneath the sun
For the cold and wintry nights of the Murmansk Run

He never did come home to you
It's long forgotten, a childhood dream or two
But something of the cold got through
And it lingers in your eyes

On days like these you hear the wind
And feel the chill of the ice floes closing in
Trading days beneath the sun
For the cold and wintry nights of the Murmansk Run

Save our souls, river of darkness over me
Save our souls, lost on the dark uncharted sea

Now you hide yourself from view
You seem to find it an easy thing to do
Trading days beneath the sun
For the cold and wintry nights of the Murmansk Run

Save our souls, river of darkness over me
Save our souls, lost on the dark uncharted sea

You wake up in the morning on Hester street and run to the factory
You can't afford to be late
Working every morning, every evening, every day for your money
Yet there's nothing to save

Watching your life pass by the window
Feeling it all run through your hands
Counting the thousands behind in the lines
Waiting time for their chance

From Ellis Island, day after day
From Ellis Island, dreams slip away

Meanwhile from the market come the cries of every tongue and every nation
Refuge-less refugees
Faces from the endless plains of Russia, blonde Norwegian, dark Croatian
Songs in sad minor keys

Feeling the heat inside the furnace
Trying to make that break away
Reaching their hands for a grip
On the edge just to slip back again

From Ellis Island, day after day
From Ellis Island, dreams slip away

I've heard it said if you just use your head
You can make your fortune here
One lucky break and that's all it would take
But it never seems to be near

Another day, another ship pulls into harbor and the crowd spills down the gangway
Clutching their suitcases tight
Blinking in the sunlight at the door of the new world, they hold the handrail
With all the past thrown behind

Caught in between now and forever
Wondering just what lies ahead
Each one is waiting and hoping
The door will be open to them

On Ellis Island, day after day
On Ellis Island, time slips away

From Ellis Island, day after day
From Ellis Island, dreams slip away

Save our souls, river of darkness over me
Save our souls, lost on the dark uncharted sea

Credits

Written by:

Al Stewart

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