49. 2011 – Ministerial 1

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda, You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me!

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26.10.12 – Hon. Minister

CHILDREN OF WINTER 1973   

We are the children of winter 1973  
You dreamt us first at dawn at the end of the battles  
You were tired men that thanked their good luck  
You were worried young women and you wanted so much to love
When you conceived us with love in winter 1973
You wanted to fill up with your bodies that what the war finished
And we were born the country was wounded and sad
You looked at us you hugged us you were trying to find comfort
When we were born the elders blessed with tears in their eyes
They said:” we wish those kids will not have to go to the army”
And your faces in the old picture prove
That you said it form the bottom of your hearts
When you promised to do every thing for us
To make an enemy into a loved one
You promised a dove, an olive tree leaf, you promised peace
You promised spring at home and blossoms
You promised to fulfill promises, you promised a dove

We are the children of winter 1973
We grew up and now in the army
with our weapon and helmet on our heads
We know how to make love to laugh and cry
We are men we are women
and we too dream about babies
This is why we will not pressure you we will demand of you
And we will not threaten you
When we were young you said promises need to be kept
We will give you strength if that is what you need
We will not hold back
We just wanted to whisper
We are the children of that winter in the year 1973

You promised a dove, an olive tree leaf,
you promised peace
You promised spring at home and blossoms
You promised to fulfill promises,
you promised a dove

About the song:

A very famous Israeli poem, written by Shmuel Hasfari, called ‘The Children of Winter 1973’ describes the   process by which the children who were conceived during the 1973 Yom Kippur War become disillusioned with   the promises of the old generation of a peaceful future with no wars. One line in the poem says: ‘You promised to   do everything for us, to turn an enemy into a loved one’; it remained the echoing unfulfilled promise for the   following generations.   

This poem became the pledge taken by one of Israel’s most loved prime ministers, Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by an Israeli citizen fourteen years ago. Rabin, who maintained for most of his public life the image   of a handsome, brave and much admired soldier, decided to abandon the path of hate and dedicated his later   years to keeping the promise ‘to turn an enemy into a loved one’.

He used Hasfari’s poem as a source of inspiration, and in times of great grief allowed its words to fill him with the patience, strength and hope necessary to shed off the heavy armour of a warrior and wear the uniform of peace.