Through Your Blood Shall You Live

They were young and looking for employment

This was Budapest in 1944

Sitting in the waiting room in the office of the Consulate

Two young people who’d never met before

The Consul claimed he’d know a cheat or scoundrel

Claimed he’d know just by looking in their eyes

Had no time for foreigners or scandals

Or the authorities giving him advice

Through your blood shall you live

Two young people struck up a conversation

Small talk in a crowded waiting room

Both trying to hide their agitation

Before they lied in their respective interviews

They were lying but there was a kind of knowing

A spark of something undefined

His name was called he approached with some foreboding

But he left the office with his permits signed

Through your blood shall you live

She looked to him to give her reassurance

“Is he the bastard he has the reputation for?”

He smiled and asked to meet her at St Stephen’s

Under the Bell Tower that afternoon at 4

She wasn’t sure why she agreed to an encounter

He was handsome but strolling with a stranger wasn’t wise

Both of them were brand new out-of-towners

But there was something so familiar in his eyes

Through your blood shall you live

He left the Polish Consulate whistling softly

He’d been running for a long time without rest

All he wanted was someone to hold him calmly

Let his guard down lay his head upon her breast

He waited in the Bell Tower Square impatiently

The clock struck 4 and then a quarter past

It wasn’t safe for him to loiter aimlessly

He was about to leave when she came at last

Through your blood shall you live

The Siege of Budapest had not begun yet

They walked the boulevard in the autumn sun

As dangerous for them as Russian roulette

The danger was what they carried in their blood

Her mother her father and her little brother

Had been taken she’d seen enough to know they were dead

Her sister had escaped somehow or other

She survived by trusting nothing no-one said

Through your blood shall you live

What he wanted most to ask was very risky

They talked of this and that and such and such

Would he be the victim of mistaking her identity

In the end temptation proved too much

Now we’re getting to the wonder

The part we’d listen to so eagerly

When your grandfather asked your grandmother

“Are you Jewish?” and her eyes flashed and she snapped,” How dare you ask me?”

But your grandfather sang to her very softly

The opening line of the Shema Yisrael

And your grandmother finished off the prayer that he had started

They fell into each other’s arms & there ends the tale

Through your blood shall you live

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