The Windrush (Black Lives Matter)





Notes on the song

This is a song about The Windrush, which was a boat which brought a large group of people (over 1,000) to the United Kingdom from Jamaica to London, just after the 2nd World War, also bringing people from other UK colonies.

As a result of the losses during the war, the British government pleaded and encouraged mass immigration from former countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth to help them fill the shortages in the labour market after the war. As encouragement and security, the British Nationality Act 1948 gave citizens of UK colonies the right of entry and settlement in the UK and gave them UK Citizenship.

Those who came on The Windrush and on later boats were known as The Windrush Generation. Despite being invited (not invading like the UK did with its colonies!), despite the help The Windrush Generation provided to the UK, and despite becoming true citizens (as promised when they left their original countries), in 2017 it was reported that the UK Government Home Office had threatened Commonwealth immigrants who arrived before 1973 with deportation if they could not prove their right to remain in the UK.

Subsequently many of The Windrush Generation, including their children who had lived in the UK all their lives, were deported from the UK because they did not have suitable paperwork and/or could not prove UK citizenship (despite it being promised, when The Windrush Generation boarded The Windrush). This disaster is know as the Windrush Scandal and it totally ignores the important message Black Lives Matter; hence the reference to that message in the song.

One of the the singers (Dennis Demille) actually has parents and elder brother that were part of that migration from the Caribbean to the UK. He said "the song definitely strikes a chord with me, as my parents and elder brother were part of that migration from the Caribbean to the UK".

I also have friends that have family affected by the Windrush Scandal and they helped me decide which of my lyrics I should use. Regarding the lyrics, the chorus line "We are here 'cause you were there" was based upon a speech from the UK Member of Parliament David Lammy.

This is my first Red Eye song with 2 lead singers. They both are fantastic vocalists, and a version with just one of them singing the song solo would have been great. But I think their vocals sound fantastic together, and since the Windrush Scandal affected both men and women, I decided that a song with male and female vocalists would help reflect on the sad situation. So I also included the equally fantastic and emotional vocals of Jenny G.

You may download the song using this direct link or from the Download Music page.




Lyrics

Intro

They trip, we fall,
The Jamaican Blues,
Yet, we came to help them,
On the forgotten cruise.


1st Verse

The crowded ship pulled out of view,
The Windrush disappeared to somewhere new.
Everyone waved, at where they knew,
The Windrush, left Jamaica, for work to do.

After the war, we came to you,
England pleaded,
Leave your home and help us through,

But they lied to all the crew.
They said forever,
You're welcome here,
That was not true.


1st Chorus

We are here, we are here,
We are here 'cause you were there,
Remember
We are here, we are here,
We are here 'cause you were there.


2nd Verse

I went to London town to stay,
Become local, I worked hard every day,
Then my baby boy was born,
Sweet Cockney,
He was called, so true to form,

He was English through and through,
Black outside,
But still red, white and blue.

He worked for years he paid his due,
Then they said you're illegal now,
Nothing he could do.


2nd Chorus

We are here, we are here,
We are here 'cause you were there,
Remember
We are here, we are here,

We are here 'cause you were there.
We are here 'cause you were there.
We are here 'cause you were there.


Mid 8

He got a job in London building.
Sending money home.
But then the signs said "No Blacks, No Irish",
And he felt so alone.


3rd Verse

I saw the plane pull out of view,
Sweet Cockney was forced to somewhere
He never knew.
He worked for years, he paid his due,
Then they told him, his papers now, were not now true,

For all our lives we helped the nation,
You rewarded us with
With deportation.

Black lives matter, but not to you.
You kicked out natives,
To a place, some never knew.


3rd Chorus

We are here, we are here,
We are here 'cause you were there,
Remember
We are here, we are here,
We are here 'cause you were there.
We are here 'cause you were there.
We are here 'cause you were there.


Outro

Remember, Remember, Remember, Remember,
Black lives matter.