Janis Ian - Searching For America Lyrics

They herded us like so much meat
Up from the sewers to the street
Where concrete canyons stretched their walls
So high it made us want to crawl
Past proverbs writ on subway cars
And inbetween the window bars
We walked until the pavement bled
And not a curse was left unsaid

Into a place that knows no spring
Where only steel and silver sing
They made us dance until we dropped
And the music of the jackhammers finally stopped

I caught a cinder in my eye
Searching for a patch of sky
But the shadows drizzed down like in Pompeii
That's how I spent my yesterday

Searching for America
In the rivets and the rust
Searching for America
Finding only dust

What did you see that made you cry
And left these trackmarks on your eye
What did you find while you were there
That sucks the light out of the morning air

They gave us each a cropper's shack
And land so hard it broke the back
Then fed us 'til our bellies burst
On promises that died at birth
So I lay the baby out each dawn
Inbetween the tender corn
With sunrise for her bonnet
And flies her only blanket

We harvested until we bled
'Til every single root ran red
And when the work was finally done
They gave our names to immigration

I did not know how bad it hurt
Until I lay there eating dirt
And the cold seeped in between my bones
That's where I was when I left home

Searching for America
All her dreams and hopes
Searching for America
Finding only ghosts

Who are these people you have seen
To dream this dark and distant dream
To tell the stories you have told
To leave these bruises on your soul

They are the flesh, they are the bone
They are the very cornerstone
They leave their mansions and their shacks
To hide here inbetween the cracks
Their hope is tattooed on my lips
Bleeding from my fingertips
They are crawling toward the promised land
Hand over hand

To walk until they run no more
And wash up on some distant shore
Where truth is not the enemy
And whatever does not kill us, sets us free

Somewhere out there
Are millions just like me
Homesick for Eden
Heartsick at the memory

Searching for America
In every stick and stone
Searching for America
Going home
Searching for America
Going home

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