Song Of The Olive Tree - Leon Rosselson
recorded by Janet Russell, video

My father's father's father planted here,
On this now-broken earth, an olive tree.
And as a child, I sang to it my secrets,
And as I grew, I felt it part of me.

Its branches gave me shelter from the sun,
Its grey-green leaves shaded my young dreams.
The fruit it bore was like a gift of hope,
Of all the olive trees, I loved this one.

The settlers came, they beat us black and blue.
They said "next time, we shoot you...understand?"
But still we dared to come, we had no choice
We came at night, like thieves, to our own land.

Like ghosts we came then, women, children, men.
And picked the crop, as we had always done.
For centuries, we harvested in peace.
The oil we pressed was sweet, precious as gold.

Now look, this is a cemetery for trees.
Their great machines turned hope into despair.
They ripped the heart from every living tree,
Except for one-my tree they chose to spare.

They dug it up, they smuggled it away.
This ancient tree, they saw it as a prize,
For some Israeli, rich enough to pay,
Five thousand dollars worth, that's what they say.

Do you believe in ghosts? Last night I dreamed
My father's father's father came to me.
He took my hand and held it in his own,
And said "take heart-here is my olive tree".

And when I woke, it was a kind of birth,
And in my hand I held an olive stone.
And in the field, where once my tree had grown,
A thousand shapes arose, out of the earth:

I saw their faces, women, children, men,
And each hand held a perfect olive stone,
And each heart held a vision of to come,
When all our olive trees will rise again.

“A beautiful song about the Palestinian lands by folk singer Leon Rosselson. Born Jewish, his songs of protest have travelled worldwide and have been sung by many great singers. Rosselson has been singing his songs for fifty years appearing all over the world where songs of conscience are sung.” Holly Tree Blogspot