Immigrants' Regret

from by riot nrrd

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about

Seemingly inspired by my aunt and my old friend's family, this track is really about my parents and what I noticed about them and their lives, having immigrated from then Czechoslovakia to Canada in 1968. Like many immigrants, there was this sense of ending up not actually belonging anywhere, or perhaps belonging to a space between there and here, or maybe, in some way, to both.

I am pleased to report that in the years since this song was written, my aunt now feels a good sense of belonging to her adopted city of 40 years.

lyrics

My aunt married an Austrian, moved and learned to bake
in the old Vienna style, perfect breads and cakes.
Still grannies would peer down their noses, though she worked hard and long.
They suffer her to make their food, but never to belong.

"The Viennese can tell I was not born here -
they remind me every day!"

Roots so deep, can't forget.
Roots that weep immigrants' regret.

Desi man from an island nation once fought with family
'til a friend told him about jobs in Canada and he began to dream.
Traded blazing sun and mango leaves for well-stocked shelves and frozen streets, left ancestry.
But trouble's brewing in his own family, and he cries:

"Why do my sons not live the lives I want them to?
"How did they stray so far from home?"

Roots so deep, can't forget.
Roots that weep immigrants' regret.

The fantasy of new history, a brand new home where problems cease.
But when you chase dreams through geography,
where is home?
Where is home?
Where is home?

Roots so deep, can't forget
Roots that weep immigrants' regret.

credits

from settle, released June 6, 2014
Chords and lyrics by Conrad Sichler. Performed by Conrad Sichler (lead vocal, acoustic guitar), Dan Lockwood (drums), Bob Doidge (bass guitar, accordion), Amy King (back-up vocals, piano), and Vince Rinaldo (keyboards).

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