Hilary Bow-Don’t See Any Lines

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People across the world flee their homes in terror, their lives threatened, facing hopelessness and  nothing to count on but the kindness of others. They traverse physical and mental hardships that for many of us would be inconceivable.

To highlight this tragedy, I released Don’t See Any Lines on World Refugee Day in 2019. It was supported by U.N.E.S.C.O, Irish Refugee Council and the Migrant Rights Centre to raise awareness of M.A.S.I. – Movement of Asylum Seekers Ireland, a grassroots organisation that grew out of the 2014 Direct Provision protests.

The song emphasises a plight: Some of these people, now finding themselves falling under the label of ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum seeker’ arrive to host countries to safety. Prior to Direct Provision, these people had a chance of gathering their strength again, living after surviving, building a new life.

Since 2000, people have been held in Direct Provision on arrival to Ireland and refugee camps across Europe – their wings clipped. Entire childhoods are spent in Direct Provision. Mothers cannot cook for their own children. Fathers cannot provide for their own families. These people have been driven to protest time and time again.

Their voice must be heard – this is what Don’t See Any Lines aims to achieve.  I hope Don’t See Any Lines can help to increase awareness of the de-humanising treatment of asylum seekers across Europe. Awareness is key. I hope this song will draw some attention to the refugee crisis and M.A.S.I. members, especially during this exacerbating pandemic.

In terms of inspiration, my life crossed paths with a group of Kurdish refugees when living in Greece in 1991. We became good friends, and we stayed in touch for many years after. This is where my attachment to the crisis  of displaced peoples was set alight. I worked with I.I.L.T. (Integrate Ireland Language & Training) for many years and here had the honour of getting to know hundreds of people who had arrived into Ireland seeking refuge. All incredibly strong individuals. Survivors.

Don’t See Any Lines
by Hilary Bow

Feather on my wing
Stay close, tuck in,
We’ve got to move.
Through grassy green
And concrete street
I know, it’s cruel.

Still the sun will rise,
And the fruit will fall.
We will find a branch of refuge –
Soil belongs to all.

And when we glance back
To trace our footpath
We will see the shadow of freedom
Catch up at last.

Do you see any fences in this garden of Eden?
I don’t see any lines.
Can you see any fences in our garden of Eden?
I don’t see any lines.

But squirrels hoppin’ tree to tree
And head-phoned pedestrians,
Overwhelming drive to live
And give and take and take and give.
Fears and tears and hearts break,
Rolling fields and open gates,
Rushing river, windmill still,
Cow a speck on graze-full hill.

Tired eyes, knots in hair,
Lights of luminous Times Square,
Flying carpets in the wash,
Picture drippin’ from paintbrush
Every pulse and every brain,
Seed to flower, harvest grain,
Plenty of it, one for all,
And a crowd of faces.

Do you see any fences in this garden of Eden?
I don’t see any lines.
Can you see any fences in our garden of Eden?
I don’t see any lines.

© Hilary Bow, 2018

Vocals:          Hilary Bow & Liam Ó’Maonlaí
Piano:           Derek Cremin
Guitar:          Drazen Derak
Bass:              Jacob Dunlop
Drums:         Faolán Collins & Dave McCune
French horn: Cormac O hAodáin
Irish harp: Liam Ó’Maonlaí
Written & produced by Hilary Bow
Assistant producer: Dave McCune
Production assistant: Derek Cremin
Animation:   Cormac Porter

Recorded by Dave McCune at The Ventry, Recording Studios, Dublin, 2018
Mixed by Dave McCune at The Ventry, Recording Studios, Dublin, 2019
Mastered by Pete Maher at Topfloor Productions Ltd, London, 2019