ORPHANS OF THE EMPIRE

 

In ships they came from Europe, across the salt sea

Come for the build and raise a colony

And in the jungle green their citadels did gleam

In tribute and homage to the old country

And soon their children grew and promised to be true

Orphans of an Empire their destiny

 

Chorus:

Hold me close Africa

Fill my soul Africa

Let me grow old, Africa

Let me in

Fill my soul Africa

Don’t let me go, Africa

Let me grow old, Africa

And remember me

 

Imperial gentlemen, he built mighty walls

And in the jungle afternoon he plays polo when he’s bored

He sips a gin and tonic and tells you confidentially

He wishes he understood the indiginies

But the shadows they are lengthening and the sun it must set

bewildered and confused he scurries home to his bed

 

Chorus

 

He cannot understand the soldiers all at hand

For with guns you cannot fight a foe that dwells within

But the battle had begun and a soldier he’s become

Who can sing his litany?

It’s a beggarman’s prayer or a string on the wind

Will that be all that lingers on the memory?

 

And who will remember that African December?

When he knelt before the colors and swore to do or die?

And he kissed his frightened lover, beneath the glowing embers

Of that dark, strange, heaven, that ancient sky

Now he’s gone to dust, just like all good soldiers must

But the mournful mutter of the battlefields still lingers in the air

 

So it’s farewell sweet Caroline, farewell Elizabeth

Goodbye gentle ladies of the old order

And farewell to your islands carved upon this continent

Some England, some France and some Germany

Soon you will return to that dream across the sea

cause her is no more honey left for tea

 

Chorus

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