Krościenko

“Chocolate rabbit” happened to be the prompt for Week 11 of #songaweek2022. I wasn’t thinking about that when I wrote this song. I was simply captivated by this NPR article I had come across about men working to fix an 18-mile stretch of abandoned rail line in Poland near the Ukraine border, to allow for more refugees to enter Poland. It just so happened that there was chocolate in the article which made its way into my song too.

There is something so viscerally joyful and true about good hard work. That’s what I wanted to capture with this song. I wanted to set aside any search for meaning or profound thoughts or emotional expression, and just dig into the story of these men doing this job. As I reread the article with songwriting in mind, I was struck with how many of the details were numbers, so I used those numbers to help construct the lyrics.

I suggest listening to the song in my video while scrolling through the photos in the article. (Krościenko is the name of the nearest town to where this work is happening.)

Here’s a link to the article – https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2022/03/13/1086032747/russia-ukraine-poland-refugees-train-rail-tracks

Eleven men one hour forty feet
It’s good work
Eight-inch screws and twenty-six degrees
Fix the track
One point five million refugees
Have come to us

Coffee tea and cigarettes
Pastries, smiles and chocolate
Will keep us going, yeah

There’s eighteen miles of rocks we have to dig
It’s good work
Laid down in the nineteenth century
Fix the track
One point five million refugees
Was just the start

Coffee tea and cigarettes
Pastries, smiles and chocolate
Will keep us going, yeah

To get here it takes three hours driving
It’s good work
Each new tie takes two men to be carried
Fix the track
One point five million refugees
Is not the end