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Bob Dylan – I Pity The Poor Immigrant lyrics

I pity the poor immigrant
Who wishes he would've stayed home
Who uses all his power to do evil
But in the end is always left so alone
That man whom with his fingers cheats
And who lies with ev'ry breath
Who passionately hates his life
And likewise fears his death

I pity the poor immigrant
Whose strength is spent in vain
Whose heaven is like Ironsides
Whose tears are like rain
Who eats but is not satisfied
Who hears but does not see
Who falls in love with wealth itself
And turns his back on me.

I pity the poor immigrant
Who tramples through the mud
Who fills his mouth with laughing
And who builds his town with blood
Whose visions in the final end
Must shatter like the glass

I pity the poor immigrant
When his gladness comes to pass.

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    Roger Hawcroft
    I think that the immigrant in this song is you or I. The "I" doing the singing is "God". There really is no pity here or, if so, it is somewhat sarcastic pity for the immigrant (person) who travels through life without conforming to God's instructions will suffer a terrible fate - "...when his gladness comes to pass." i.e. at the end of his or her life at the time of final judgment.

    On another level, however, it seems to me to simply express a real compassion for all human beings who by the very nature of being alive must face the many complications of life and continual choices about how to make a good life for themselves whilst still caring for and respecting others. To me, in that sense, the song is a metaphor highlighting the helplessness and relative impotence of human beings as compared with the natural universe and sympathising with their lot, yet acknowledging that each person does have choices about how to live and cautioning that fulfillment will come from following true values rather than superficial, venal and material ones.
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