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Millennium Lifestyle: You Clap for Me Now - the coronavirus poem

Lifestyle

Britons with black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who are key workers during the global pandemic recite the poem ‘You Clap for Me Now’, written by Darren James Smith. The video was produced by Sachini Imbuldeniya.

The video is voiced by UK key workers from 19 nationalities: British, Kurdish, Albanian, Sri Lankan, Filipino, Barbadian, Greek Cypriot, Indian, St Lucian, Chinese, Kenyan, Montserratian, Jamaican, Pakistani, Slovenian, Bangladeshi, Kosovar, Ghanaian and Nigerian.

You Clap For Me Now

So, it’s finally happened,
That thing you were afraid of,
Something’s come from overseas,
And taken your jobs,
Made it unsafe to walk the streets,
Kept you trapped in your home.

A dirty disease,
Your proud nation, gone.
But not me. Or me.
Or me. Or me.

No, you clap for me now.

You cheer as I toil,
Bringing food to your family,
Bringing food from your soil.

Propping up your hospitals,
Not some foreign invader.
Delivery driver. Teacher. Life saver.

Don’t say ‘go home’,
Don’t say ‘not here’,
You know how it feels for home to be a prison,
You know how it feels to live in fear.

So you clap for me now.

All this love you are bringing,
But don’t forget when it’s no longer quiet,
Don’t forget when you can no longer hear the birds singing,
Or see clear waters, that I crossed for you,
To make lives filled with peace,
And bring peace to your life too.

Come all you Gretas,
You Malalas,
You immigrants,
See what we have learned.

It only takes the smallest thing,
To change the world.