This powerful French song is about the sadness of the French settlers who were forced to flee from Algeria during its bloody war of independence. Hundreds of thousands of these Pied Noir settlers were uprooted and lost everything. We have eaten together the bread of misery, We cried together crossing the sea, We suffered together when we found the earth, We recalled together our memories yesterday. Never has one left the other alone in boredom, Never has the other left, leaving one behind him. We had both taken the same oath, And then you fell, blows and passes the wind Of the history. Today I am here, I look at your grave, And in front of that cross which covers with its shadow The little heap of earth, the few dried flowers, I tell myself that never, never will I forget. I no longer eat the bread of misery But I suffer much more by looking at the sea For I am alone here, stranger in the city. It is cold, it is gray, in this land of exile
The position of these poor people has some similarities to that of the 100,000 Britons who were forced to leave India in 1948, some after several generations. A key difference is that there are many pictures and videos of the French who had to flee their adopted land, whereas we are unable to find a single photo showing the British families forced to leave India – if by chance you have any, please scan and send them to us. We would love to run a story about your family’s experience.