Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears

A beautiful song about Annie Moore, the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island to the United States, on January 1, 1892. Below is a well made YouTube video of the song with lyrics; and here is another one showing live performance by the Celtic Woman. Enjoy.

New Grounds – Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears
by Brendan Graham

On the first day of January,
Eighteen ninety-two,
They opened Ellis Island and they let
The people through.
And the first to cross that threshold
Of the isle of hope and tears,
Was Annie Moore from Ireland
Who was all of fifteen years.

CHORUS:
Isle of hope, isle of tears,
Isle of freedom, isle of fears,
But it’s not the isle you left behind.
That isle of hunger, isle of pain,
Isle you’ll never see again,
But the isle of home is always on your mind.

In her little bag she carried
All her past and history,
And her dreams for the future
In the land of liberty.
The courage is the passport
When your old world disappears,
But there’s no future in the past
When you’re fifteen years.

CHORUS:
Isle of hope, isle of tears,
Isle of freedom, isle of fears,
But it’s not the isle you left behind.
That isle of hunger, isle of pain,
Isle you’ll never see again,
But the isle of home is always on your mind.

When they closed down Ellis Island
In nineteen forty-three,
Seventeen million people
Had come there for sanctuary.
And in Springtime when I came here
And I stepped onto its piers,
I thought of how it must have been
When you’re only fifteen years.

CHORUS:
Isle of hope, isle of tears,
Isle of freedom, isle of fears,
But it’s not the isle you left behind.
That isle of hunger, isle of pain,
Isle you’ll never see again,
But the isle of home is always on your mind.

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