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Red Star Line

Late October in a blistering cold

Antwerp shore, i’m ready to board.

tell mamma I love her, tell sister goodnight.

As I prat for lost souls in the morning light

Red Star Line, take me far away

Goodbye Eloise, I’m leaving today

Whenever I may go. Where ever I may roam

Home is where i’m born. Home is where I’m born.

I’m mailing away to foreign shores

Red Star Line I’m far from home.

Suitcase of clothes, sold silver & gold

Pocket full of dreads and high hopes.

Red Star Line, take me far away

Goodbye Eloise, I’m leaving today

Whenever I may go. Where ever I may roam

Home is where i’m born. Home is where I’m born.

Docked at Ellis Island, no strenght to fight.

All alone and frightened, holdin’ on to pride

Red Star Line, take me far away

Goodbye Eloise, I’m leaving today

Whenever I may go. Where ever I may roam

Home is where i’m born. Home is where I’m born.

 

People are searching for a better life, it was an issue in the late 1800 and the early 1900, it’s still an issue today. Trying to make yourself a home. You can say it’s kind of a political song.

The story behind it:

Again New York is the main driver for this song too. The same year I met those two girls, I also discovered a little piece of Antwerp in New York.
While walking around the Southstreet Seaport area, my eyes caught a flag with Antwerp printed on it. I decided to go and have a closer look.

There was an exhibition on the Red Star Line, the Antwerp – New York line from the early 1900. All of the sudden New York felt a little like home so I decided to visit the exhibition. A couple of days later I went to Ellis Island. I walked around for hours, drifted through the halls and dreamed about how it must have felt like emigrating to a foreign country.
I tried writing a song about it, but the words just didn’t came to me. But yet, the European emigration kept fascinating me. What would life be like on a boat, drifting further and further from your home, having to face the ordeal whether to be accepted or to be send back. Those people had little, gave away everything to cross the Atlantic and to return back to nothing. It must have been a devastating time. It’s a song about the past, but it can very well be a actual song too.

Like stated earlier, songwriters minds work a little differently… . Those stories keep haunting your mind until I wrote down the first lines of the song five years later: “Late October in a blistering cold…”

I tried to capture the life of an emigrant on board of the Red Star Line and I think I kinda succeeded.