How I wish I could bring Tenderness, leavening,
And to bare the fact Of each heinous act To which I’ve been a part
Oh my black American heart
What I’d give and unlearn Should some peace and concern
Fill this empty dread Along the wire we tread Between fear and disgrace
Oh my red American face
Would my life be in vain If in strife - or some small pain -
I gave up my right To this greed and spite Then, what might begin?
Oh my white American skin
Endlessly journeying Yet to hear freedom ring
Must we all be tossed On our nation’s cross For Truth to be whole?
Oh my lost American soul No More
Much like songbird Edith Piaf, Madeleine Peyroux spent her teenage years busking the busy streets of Paris. Just like the ‘little sparrow’, Madeleine befriended the city’s street musicians and made its Latin quarter her first performing stage. Years later, Peyroux would cite iconic Piaf as an influence on her music and record a rendition of the classic La Vie En Rose, soulfully capturing the tune’s romanticism and melancholy.