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CANADIAN RAILROAD TRILOGY (Gordon Lightfoot) Gordon Lightfoot - 1967 Rankin File - 1994 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 beginnings and hist'ry has no bounds As to this verdant country they came from all around They sailed upon her waterways and they walked the forests tall Built the mines the mills and the factories for the good of us all And when the young man's fancy was turnin' in the spring The railroad men grew restless for to hear the hammers ring Their minds were overflowing with the visions of their day And 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 runnin' from sea to the sea Bringin' the goods to a young growin' land All up through the seaports 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 gotta lay down the tracks and tear up the trails Open 'er heart let the life blood flow Gotta get on our way 'cause we're movin' too slow Bring in the workers and bring up the rails We're gonna lay down the tracks and tear up the trails Open 'er heart let the life blood flow Gotta get on our way 'cause we're movin' too slow Get on our way 'cause we're movin' too slow Behind the blue Rockies the sun is declinin' The stars, they come stealin' at the close 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 upon the railway Swingin' our hammers in the bright blazin' sun Livin' on stew and drinkin' bad whiskey Bendin' our old backs 'til the long days are done We are the navvies who work upon the railway Swingin' our hammers in the bright blazin' sun Layin' down track and buildin' the bridges Bendin' our old 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 Swingin' our hammers and drawin' our pay Drivin' 'em in and tyin' 'em down Away to the bunkhouse and into the town A dollar a day and a place for my head A drink to the livin' and a toast to the dead Oh the song of the future has been sung All the battles have been won O'er the mountain tops we stand All the world at our command We have opened up the soil With our teardrops and our toil For 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

    


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