The Gypsy’s Daughter Enters the Third Reich Lryics

About The Gypsy’s Daughter Enters the Third Reich

Sometimes overlooked in discussions of the Holocaust are the conditions of the Gypsies, or Roma, who were subjected to the same attempt at genocide by the Nazi. Over 200,000 Gypsies lost their lives in the Holocaust. This song is the story of a Gypsy father and his nine year old daughter, as they are led towards the ovens in Auschwitz. The lyricist, the poet Ward Kelley, says, “these lyrics came from the saddest poem I ever published, but I thought it important the story of this small family was told. The poem, named the same as the song, was later nominated for the Pushcart award, and became one of my most reprinted poems. Still, I must admit, it’s difficult for me to read or contemplate this story.”

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The Gypsy’s Daughter Enters the Third Reich Lyrics

(Whitaker/Kelley 2015)

Verse 1

In this heartless dry air, she’s so brave,

her eyes say it’s me she just forgave,

her nose flexes from the arid scent,

they mean to kill us, they won’t relent,

to kill a child, it’s most deprave,

in this heartless dry air, she’s so brave,

 

Chorus

Nothing I can do,

I know we’re through,

wish I knew

what to do.

 

Verse 2

God, this dark world, such volumes of hate

her life must be exchanged to equate

this Nazi formula: lives for greed,

I can only hold her hand, a feckless deed,

And on my lungs, a relentless weight

in this dark world, such volumes of hate.

Instrumental

 

 

Chorus

Nothing I can do,

I know we’re through,

wish I knew

what to do.

 

Ending

 

And so I lift her little finger

with my callused hand,

a humble wave goodbye

to our sinful world,

 

 

and I pray this is the proper response

to this horror . . .

to meet it bravely

with the smallest act of beauty.

 

Chorus

Nothing I can do,

I know we’re through,

wish I knew

what to do.

 

to meet it bravely

with the smallest act of beauty.

Don Whitaker Singles

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