Well, this is one worthy of consideration and by someone quite unexpected. Neil Sedaka’s parents were Turkish (father’s side) and Polish/Russian (mother’s side) so he felt strongly about the whole concept of being an immigrant. Sedaka was inspired to write the song after the U.S. government’s refusal to grant Lennon resident alien status.
The lyrics are brilliant.
Harbours opened their arms to the young searching foreigners.
Come to live in the light of the beacon of liberty,
Planes and open skies, billboards would advertise.
Was it anything like that when you arrived?
Dreamboats carry the future to the heart of America.
People were waiting in line for a place by the river.
It was a time when strangers were welcome here.
Music would play, they tell me the days were sweet and clear.
It was a sweeter tune and there was so much room that people could come from everywhere.
Now he arrives with his hopes and his heart set on miracles.
Come to marry his fortune with a hand full of promises to find they’ve closed the door, they don’t want him anymore isn’t anymore to go around.
Turning away he remembers he once heard a legend that spoke of a mystical magical land called America.
There was a time when strangers were welcome here.
‘The Immigrant’ was written in the 70s during Sedaka’s comeback years. His songwriting talent has often gone overlooked as he writes pop songs – not something that warrants much attention as an art form. In actual fact, it is probably the most appreciated art form in the world. The words to The Immigrant are by Phil Cody. Probably someone you’ve never heard of.