March 29, 2015 · Led Zeppelin Chicago Stalin coffee

Immigrant Blues

My parents came from the land of ice and snow and AK47s
They settled down in Chicago in a four-room place in Rogers Park

Teacher said for Halloween, we could dress up like our favorite hero
I was the only kid in the second grade who looked like Joseph Stalin[1] that day

Teacher asked me why I did it?
I looked up and I admitted
I'm an immigrant[2], I didn't know

In college I tried flirting with an older girl named Julie Bevan
She was nearly twenty-one, with abs of steel and thighs of milk and perfect grades

One day after Chemistry, she invited me upstairs for coffee
I told her I don't drink the stuff, saddled up my bike and rode away[3]

My roommate asked me why I did it?
I looked down and I admitted
I'm an immigrant, I didn't know

A boy is easily confused
In a land that's filled with double-v's[4]
But double-u is what the natives say

Woe is to the boy who's lost
When 'w' and 'o' are crossed
And women work in wonderbras
And wooly wolves and wobbly cars[5]
All sound so different, written all same

In the land of AK 47's, leaders change with generations
In '88 the news announcer said we'd picked George Herbert Walker Bush
The only president I'd ever known was Rappin' Ronnie Reagan[6]
My civics teacher asked the class, "why is it good to change the president?"

Teacher asked me, "don't you get it?"
I looked around and I admitted
I'm an immigrant, I didn't know


  1. Stalin was only awarded Hero of the Soviet Union (Герой Советского Союза) once. Brezhnev: four times. They were really just giving them away at the end, there. ↩︎

  2. Pro tip: if you're going to use the most famous chord in rock and roll, try not to bury it two thirds of the way into the chorus (like I did right here). ↩︎

  3. All true, except her first name wasn't Julie. ↩︎

  4. A 'v' and a double-'v'. ↩︎

  5. My hat goes off to Trenité - The Chaos takes this little bridge section and blows it out to heights and depths I couldn't muster the patience to achieve. ↩︎

  6. This was an actual thing.
    ↩︎