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oor Minik was scooped up by Admiral Peary from his native Greenland and deposited with his father and some other Greenlanders in New York City when he was just a boy. Most of the transplant—including his father—died quickly from the exposure to new germs. He found himself stranded in New York City.
Eventually he discovered that Museum of Natural History had faked his father’s burial and put the skeleton on display; he tried (unsuccessfully) to get it returned for burial.
When he was finally able to travel back to Greenland he found that he had forgotten his native language; he would never feel a sense of belonging in either place.
Collectibles in boxes in basements where no one ever goes
Or skeletons in glass display cases with endless daily shows
If lies were miles I’d travel far but they would travel farther
And all the ice and the snow would never feel like home
Millionaires, explorers and scientists plunder what they see
They take the tent, the dog, the woman. Then they take you and me
And if I’d been older I’d be dead and take my place beside you
Inside the warmth, inside the crowds, inside the city lights
If ice were warm and soft like silk I’d wrap myself inside it
But I’d miss the warmth, I’d miss the crowds, I’d miss the city lights
An artifact, a fish out of water, a sad pathetic case
A handicap, a hunter an outlaw that no one wants to chase
And lies have helped me travel far but they have traveled farther
From New York City, ‘round the world and back again
Their bags all full
They come back bags all full
from Songs for the Forgotten Future Vol. 2,
released August 8, 2008
David Wechsler—vocals, piano, keyboards and accordion
Doug Stone—backing vocals