In a town in southernmost Sicily
Lived a family too proud to be poor
In the year that fever took father away
They hastened for American shores
Now a mother and her son are standing in line
It's a cold day on Ellis Isle
And they look to the Statue of Liberty
For the boy we have American life

Ong is a Laotian refugee
He works in the audio trade
The smoke from flux is filling his lungs
He's earning minimum wage
Spending spare time down on
San Pablo ave
Once a week gets a woman for the night
And he writes home tales of prosperity
For the boy we have American life

Bob is an unemployed veteran
Born and bred in the South Bronx
He's living off the streets down in east L.A.
Residing in a cardboard box
Now he plays a little guit and he has a small dog
Searching for aluminum cans
And he hold on tight to his dignity
He was born into American life
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American Life Lyrics