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Leon Russell – Stranger In A Strange Land lyrics

How many days has it been
Since I was born?
How many days
'Til I die?

Do I know any ways?
That I can make you laugh
Or do I only know how
To make you cry?

When the baby looks around him
It's such a sight to see
He shares a simple secret
With the wise

He's a stranger
In a strange land
Just a stranger
In a strange land
Tell me why?

He's a stranger
In a strange land
Just a stranger
In a strange land

How many miles will it take
To see the sun?
And how many years
'Til it's done?

Kiss my confusion
Away in the night
Lay by side
When the morning comes

And the baby looks around him
And shares his bed of hay
With the burrow
In the palace of the king

He's a stranger
In a strange land
Tell me why?

He's a stranger
In a strange land
Just a stranger
In a strange land
Just a stranger
In a strange land

Well, I don't exactly know
What's going on in the world today
Don't know what there is to say
About the way the people are treating
Each other, not like brothers

Leaders take us far
Away from ecology
With mythology
And astrology

Has got some words to say
About the way we live today
Why can't we learn
To love each other

It's time to turn a new face
To the whole world
Wide human race

Stop the money chase
Lay back, relax
Get back on the human track
Stop racing toward oblivion

Oh, such a sad
Sad state we're in
And that's a thing

Do you recognize the bells of truth
When you hear them ring?
Won't you stop and listen
To the children sing?
Won't you come on and sing it children?

Stranger in a strange land
Stranger in a strange land
Stranger in a strange land
Stranger in a strange land
Stranger in a strange land

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  • t
    The title likely comes from the book "Stranger in a Strange Land" published in 1961 about an alien from another planet growing up on earth. Much of the lyrics draw similarities to Jesus being born into a world of Roman occupation & the brutal puppet government in place at the time.

    "When the baby looks around him, it's such a sight to see, he shares a simple secret with the wiseman"
    Referring to the wisemen who came to see Jesus. The secret they shared was that Jesus was the Messiah. Also both the wisemen and Jesus could see the hypocrisy of those times just as Leon is singing about the hypocrisy of the late 60's.

    "When the baby looks around him, he shares his bed of hay with the burro in the palace of the King"
    Refers to the story of Jesus being born in a manger with the barn animals because there were no accommodations in the town at the time. The lyric, "in the palace of the King" may be talking about the manger itself with Jesus, the future 'king' of the Jewish people sent down from heaven to deliver them from the persecution they were enduring.

    I believe the last verses of the song are a cry against the turbulent events of the times. The Vietnam war was in it's crescendo. Government oppression was widespread. Thousands of nuclear weapons threatened our very existence. The deaths at Kent State had just occurred the previous year, rampant pollution, greed and corruption were everywhere.
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  • j
    John Gary Messer
    The title comes from the I-Ching, hexagram # 56 "The Wanderer". The image for this hexagram is a fire on top of a mountain, which also provided the title and song by the same name by The Grateful Dead. This hexagram has been a major theme of my life since 1977 when my life turned increasingly nomadic and it has remained so ever since. I have always heard Leon's lyrics as my own truth accurately expressed in that from the age of five, when I first saw footage pf a "A" bomb, that we were in deep trouble. It seemed as if every dream I can remember ended either with a mushroom cloud, or with a bomb in slow mo' coming to almost touch the ground, at which point I would wake up, frightened. When Leon first sang this I looked a lot like him without knowing of him at the time. Ever since he feels like a very close brother in spirit, and I carry him deep I my heart. So Pleased to see him recognized now. Don't need no stinking karma points, FYI. Namaste.
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