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Railroad Trilogy

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By Gordon Lightfoot





@TITLE: RAILROAD TRILOGY



There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run

When the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun

Long before the white man, and long before the wheel

When the green dark forest was too silent to be real



But time has no beginning and history has no bound

As to this verdant country they came from all around

They sailed upon her waterways and they walked her forests tall

Built the mines, the mills and the factories for the good of us all



And when the young man's fancy had turned into his brain

The railroad men grew restless for to hear their hammers ring

Their minds were overflowing with the visions of their day

With many a fortune won and lost and many a debt to pay



For they looked in the future and what did they see?

They saw an iron road running from the sea to the sea

Bringing the goods to a young growing land

All up on the seaboards and into their hands



Look away, said they

Across this mighty land

From the eastern shore

To the western strand



Bring in the workers and bring up the rails

We've gotta lay down the tracks and tear up the trails

Open her heart, let the lifeblood flow

Gotta get on our way 'cause we're moving too slow



Bring in the workers and bring up the rails

We've gotta lay down the tracks and tear up the trails

Open her heart, let the lifeblood flow

Gotta get on our way 'cause we're moving too slow

Get on our way 'cause we're moving too slow



Behind the blue Rockies the sun is declining

The stars they come stealing like the blows of the day

Across the wide prairie our loved ones lie sleeping

Beyond the dark oceans in a place far away



We are the navvies who work on the railway

Swinging our hammers in the bright blazing sun

Living on stew and drinkin' bad whiskey

Bending our backs 'til the long days are done



We are the navvies who work upon the railway

Swinging our hammers in the bright blazing sun

Laying down track, and building the bridges

Bending our backs 'til the railroad is done



So over the mountains and over the plains

Into the muskeg and into the rain

Up the St Lawrence all the way to Gaspe

Swinging our hammers and drawin' our pay



Driving 'em in and tying 'em down

Away to the bulkhouse and into the town

A dollar a day and a place for my head

A drink to the living, a toast to the dead



Oh the song, ah the future has been sung

All the battles have been won

On the mountain tops we stand

All the world at our command

We have opened up the soil

With our teardrops and our toil



Oh there was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run

When the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun

Long before the white man, and long before the wheel

When the green dark forest was too silent to be real

When the green dark forest was too silent to be real

And many are the dead men... too silent to be real

Railroad Trilogy /

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