The Immigrant

Album: Sedaka's Back (1974)
Charted: 22
  • Harbors opened their arms to the young searching foreigner
    Come to live in the light of the beacon of liberty
    Planes and open skies, billboards would advertise
    Was it anything like that when you arrived
    Dreamboats carry the future to the heart of America
    People were waiting in line for a place by the river
    It was a time when strangers were welcome here
    Music would play, they tell me the days were sweet and clear
    It was a sweeter tune and there was so much room that people could come from everywhere
    Now he arrives with his hopes and his heart set on miracles
    Come to marry his fortune with a hand full of promises
    To find they've closed the door, they don't want him anymore
    Isn't anymore to go around
    Turning away he remembers he once heard
    A legend that spoke of a mystical magical land called America
    There was a time when strangers were welcome here
    Music would play, they tell me the days were sweet and clear
    It was a sweeter tune and there was so much room that people could come from everywhere
    There was a time when strangers were welcome here
    Music would play, they tell me the days were sweet and clear
    There was a time when strangers were welcome here
    Music would play, they tell me the days were sweet and clear Writer/s: NEIL SEDAKA, PHIL CODY
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 3

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 13th 1975, Neil Sedaka recorded "The Immigrant" at the Clover Recording Studios in Hollywood, California; the song was dedicated to John Lennon and his difficulties with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service...
    Two months later on March 23rd the song would enter Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #83; seven weeks later on May 11th it would peak at #22 {for 2 weeks} and it stayed on the chart for 10 weeks..
    And on May 4th, 1975 it reached #1 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    On the day he recorded "The Immigrant" his preceding release, "Laughter in the Rain"*, was at #16 on the Top 100; just under three weeks earlier it had peaked at #1 {for 1 week}...
    "Laughter in the Rain" was the second of his three #1 records; the other two were "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" for 2 weeks in 1962 and "Bad Blood" for 3 weeks in 1975...
    * In the U.S., the B-side of "Laughter in the Rain" was "Endlessly".
  • Adrian from Johor Bahru, MalaysiaThe musical accompaniment sounds like the introductionary accompanying tune of Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now". I wonder if Peter Cetera borrowed the mindset from this song.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhI love the purity of Neil Sedaka's voice in this song. All of my grandparents immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s and this song puts me in the mind of what it may have been like for them back then, rough but adventurous.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

RamonesFact or Fiction

A band so baffling, even their names were contrived. Check your score in the Ramones version of Fact or Fiction.

Dean PitchfordSongwriter Interviews

Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."

Pam TillisSongwriter Interviews

The country sweetheart opines about the demands of touring and talks about writing songs with her famous father.

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)Songwriter Interviews

Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai were two of Graham's co-writers for some '80s rock classics.

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse PopSong Writing

Songs that seem to glorify violence against women are often misinterpreted - but not always.

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s EditionMusic Quiz

You know the scenes - Tom Cruise in his own pants-off dance off, Molly Ringwald celebrating her birthday - but do you remember what song is playing?