Né en 17 a Leidenstadt :- Born in 17 in Leidenstadt

And if I were born in '17 in Leidenstadt
On the ruins of a battlefield
Would I have been better or worse than those people,
If I had been German?
Nursed with humiliation, hatred, and ignorance
Fed with dreams of revenge
Would I have been one of those improbably aware people,
Tears in a river?

Had I grown up in the docklands of Belfast
One time soldier, on one side
Would I have had the strength to betray my people,
Stretch my hand?

If I'd been born white and rich in Johannesburg
Between power and fear
Would I have heard those cries carried by the wind,
Nothing will be like before

We will never know what we really have in our guts
Hidden behind appearences
A brave's, an accomplice's, a torturer's soul?
Or the worst or the most beautiful one?
Would we be like those who resist, or the sheep following the herd,
If more than words were needed?

And if I were born in '17 in Leidenstadt
On the ruins of a battlefield
Would I have been better or worse than those people,
If I had been German?
But I would like you and me to be spared
For a long time if possible
From having to choose one side.


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