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Joe Offer Lyr Req: Denmark 1943 (Fred Small) (8) Lyr Add: DENMARK 1943 (Fred Small) 10 Jul 00


Links have a habit of expiring, so I'll post the lyrics here.
-Joe Offer-
DENMARK 1943
(Fred Small)

1. And it's Eichmann and Himmler are turning the screws.
The Führer, they say, grows impatient.
"How can it be Denmark's Jews still walk free
After three years of kind occupation?
We will take them like sheep in their beds as they sleep
On the second night of their new year.
Devoutly at home they'll be helpless alone.
When they cry out, no one will hear."

2. But Duckwitz the German tells Hedtoft the Dane:
"My friend, I have dangerous news.
In three hours the transport ships will set at anchor.
You must warn them; warn all the Jews."
Soon good Rabbi Melchior stands in the synagogue.
"There'll be no service today.
The raids come tomorrow; dwell not on your sorrow.
By nightfall we must be away."

CHORUS: And it's fire up the diesel and look out for swells.
We're leaving Espergærde behind us.
Who strike at our friends strike us as well.
We'll pray the patrol boats don't find us.
When the sirens are wailing and shouts fill the night,
Never will you stand alone.
So it's over the Øresund
Till the day we can welcome you home..

3. Sompolinski the tailor on the eve of Rosh Hashanah
Gathers his family near.
"The Lord is my light and salvation.
Whom on this earth shall I fear?"
When a young Danish gentile steps into the glow
Of the candle with tears flowing down.
"Good neighbors, flee! I pray you believe me."
And as quickly the young man is gone.

4. Christian policemen, shopkeepers, and teachers
Tell their friends of the quickening storm
While students on bicycles race through the streets
Searching for Jews to be warned.
And Katlev the foreman blurts out to the trainman:
"My family has no place to hide."
"Well, bring 'em to my house," the stranger replies,
"And we'll spit in the damn Nazis' eyes."

CHORUS

5. Ellen Nielsen the fishwife in the port of Dragør
Has no use for political views.
She'll call out the catch: "Fresh salmon! Fresh cod!"
Comes a whisper: "Please help. We are Jews."
"But if you are Jews you're not safe on the street.
I know a man with a sail."
Till moonrise they sleep in the shade of her eaves
And escape on the fisherman's keel.

6. Rabbi Melchior hires a young trawlerman
To ferry his family across.
After twelve hours afloat in a scurfy old boat,
Morning light shows the same Danish coast.
Says the skipper: "I'm afraid of the German blockade,
So we've motored in circles around."
The rabbi gives a shout, with one blow knocks him out,
And steers a straight line 'cross the sound.

7. Frozen with fright in the October night
Families huddle in basements and barns,
Mistaking each breath for the angel of death,
The Gestapo, the shot, the alarm.
Then down into the hold with the stench and the cold,
And drug all the babies with schnapps.
Someone shouts: "Välkommen till Sveriges!
You are in Swedish waters at last!"

8. Seven thousands of Jews smuggled over to Sweden
By fishermen, nurses, and priests,
Hitler sends Eichmann to hunt them down,
But his quarry have vanished like mist.
When the war's over, the Jews return.
Cheers and flowers adorn their way home.
"We're not heroes or martyrs"—so say the Danes.
"We were just looking after our own."

CHORUS [with last line:]
And today we will welcome you home,
And today we welcome you home.

© Fred Small


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