Your Passion, Our Purpose

Burn Down the Mission

You tell me there’s an angel in your tree.
Did he say he’d come to call on me.
For things are getting desperate in our home.
Living in the parish of the restless folks I know.
Everybody now bring your family down to the riverside.
Look to the east to see where the fat stock hide.
Behind four walls of stone the rich man sleeps.
It’s time we put the flame torch to their keep.
Burn down the mission If we’re gonna stay alive.
Watch the black smoke fly to heaven.
See the red flame light the sky.
Burn down the mission.
Burn it down to stay alive.
It’s our only chance of living.
Take all you need to live inside.
Deep in the woods the squirrels are out today.
My wife cried when they came to take me away.
But what more could I do just to keep her warm.
Than burn burn burn burn down the mission walls.
Now everybody bring your family down to the riverside.
Look to the east to see where the fat stock hide/
Behind four walls of stone the rich man sleeps.
It’s time we put the flame torch to their keep.
Burn down the mission If we’re gonna stay alive.
Watch the black smoke fly to heaven.
See the red flame light the sky.
Burn down the mission.
Burn it down to stay alive.
It’s our only chance of living.
Take all you need to live inside.

Burn Down the Mission (1970) by Elton John

QUICK FACTS

While the lyrics refer to action for change and the need to burn down the current system, it does so in an allegory to the forced conversion by certain Christian missionaries.
These missionaries often used coercion and force to convert indigenous people to Christianity and exploiting the vulnerable circumstances of indigenous communities.
Hear the Lyrics!
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