Friday, 29 January 2016

Refugees (Van Der Graaf Generator, 1970)

"Refugees", tahken from the album "The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other", is no doubt one of progressive rock brightest pearls, with its deep sweetness and sadness. And of course its lyrics about migrants are so modern and so full of sense today... It's a slow, profound ballad à la VDGG, also including a short and effective instrumental bridge. But Peter Hammill's voice is the most moving and dreaming feature of "Refugees": thanks to it, the listener can actually experience the quest for a better life this unknown people are carrying on.

"Refugees" was released as a 7" single b/w "The Boat of Millions of Years".

And if they're distressed by their trip, they surely are full of hope and their march towards a mythical West seems to be an unavoidable omen, driven by something like a natural instinct. When prog rock artists can enhance their musical dreams with strong emotions, there's nothing as powerful as their songs. This is exactly the case with this song. Shivers run up and down my spine when I hear this:
We're refugees, walking away from the life
that we've known and loved;
nothing to do or say, nowhere to stay;
now we are alone.

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