I was driving down Ninth Avenue As the sky was getting dark Didn't have nothin' else to do So I kept on riding to Battery Park I stepped out in the damp and misty night As the fog was rolling in Man said, "Last boat leaving tonight Is the boat for Ellis Island"
As my feet touched solid ground I felt a chill run down my spine I could almost hear the sound of thousands pushing through the lines Mothers and bewildered wives that sailed across the raging sea Others running for their lives to the land of opportunity Down on Ellis Island
"What is this strange paradise?" They must've wondered through their cries and moans After all they've sacrificed Their faith, their families, friends and homes Then on the Inspection Stairs They were counted out or counted in Frozen while the inspectors stared Down on Ellis Island
Now me I only stumbled in Just to wander around that empty hall Where someone else's fate had been Decided in no time at all And cases filled with hats and clothes And the belongings of those who journeyed far They're strange reminders I suppose Of where we're from and who we are
But as the boat pulled off the shore I could see the fog was lifting And lights I never seen before Were shining down on Ellis Island Shining down on Ellis Island