Smoke is coming from the trains
Running past the graves of our families.
Another winter coats them grey.
The Christian kids spit on our shoes.
A rootless cosmopolitan came up through the cracks
Of a dirty Warsaw sidewalk and knew all about those tracks

That carried cattle cars that weren’t filled with cattle.
Or any room for anyone to sit.
And the rumors filtered through the brick wall
And of course the papers were all full of shit.

We always lived in this city,
For as long as I remember, which isn’t long at all.
Then the Nazis moved us into the ghetto.
October 1940, the next month they built the wall.
And those putzes tried to starve us
And have us die in the streets.
But I'm not gonna bow to no occupying forces
And my life isn’t cheap.

I joined the youth movement worked the soup kitchen and the underground school.
I played a fiddle for the revolution, too.
I collected bottles in the basement,
For an inevitable engagement.
And in June, 1942 they snatched 300,000 Jews
They all caught the Zyklon B blues.
The word flew through the street
That we’re gonna die, so we might as well do it on our feet.

And we were ready when they came for the rest of us
With Kosher for Passover Molotov cocktails.
And we didn’t fill their quotas and we didn’t fill their trains
And some Nazis even caught some bullets in their brains.

The Nazis destroyed our ghetto and we never thought they wouldn’t,
But the point is we all rose up when everybody thought we couldn’t.
And all you’ve got in this world is your life, your love, your dignity.
So what you gonna do when someone takes away all three?

And I don’t have a name.
Not one that you could repeat.
I’m just a ghost of a kid you’ll never meet
Calling you to play out in the street.

Lyrics submitted by displacedfever

Ballad of the Uprising of the Rootless Cosmopolitan song meanings
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