Refugee With An iPhone

Safer to be where the bombs come from than the city on which they're falling
A short walk in another man's shoes

Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)

Refugee with an iPhone, where are you all coming from?  
I've a sneaking suspicion you're pulling some kind of con  
Refugee with an iPhone, iPhone that's newer than mine  
Would you jump the queue while I'm stuck here standing in line? 

I had a house and a car and a job  
Before the secret police, the riots and bombs  
But it's safer to be where the bombs all come from  
Than the city on which they are falling  
So I gave a man all the money I had  
In exchange for a space in the back of a van  
And all that I had in a bag on my back  
Was my phone and a few bits of clothing 

Refugee with an iPhone, where are you all coming from?  
I've a sneaking suspicion something's gone horribly wrong  
Refugee with an iPhone, they say you have terrorist links  
There's no room on the lifeboats, if we take anymore then we'll sink 

Is it a sign that I'm radicalised  
If I don't want my wife and my daughter to die?  
I've seen the fear in a little one's eyes  
That her daddy soon will be taken  
So I call her now at the end of most days  
To tell her I love her, tell her I'm safe  
And we both send pictures of our scariest face  
And she holds the phone while she's sleeping 

Refugee with an iPhone, exposing uncomfortable truth  
We can't bail out the bankers and afford to look after you too  
Cos bankers have friends so high they own the Sun and the Sky  
And refugees just like iPhones never take too long to die 

In January '48 Steffie arrived  
From the wreckage of Austria to build a new life  
Practiced her english late into the night  
Reading out loud from the papers  
Married a soldier, a practical man  
He built a home for them with his own hands  
Raised children and chickens and took any job  
And one of her children is singing this song 

Refugee with an iPhone, how can I deny you the chance,  
Deny you the same opportunity my mother had?  
Deny you the basic compassion I hope I would find  
If the fire that fell on your country was falling on mine  
Refugee with an iPhone, a symbol, as two worlds collide  
Let's take a selfie and you can 'friend' me if you like... 


I can't remember who it was (probably just as well) or where it was, but I remember seeing the news reports and someone said to me “if they're poor refugees, how come they all have iPhones?” I've had some contact with refugees so I tried to answer their question. But I think I've answered it better here. Verse 3 is true though it's hard to be totally literal in summing up a life in 8 lines.

Here's another take on the issue from The Independent

Leave a comment

Add comment