Greg MacPherson

Wide Turn

I never figured us to get so far
All feel and no skin
We had a long run of bad luck, bad scenery
And the worst three seasons this town’s ever seen
I had my brother’s car and we drove out to the rolling hills
We work so hard, let’s just get out for tonight
To live so middle of the road, so watered down, I’m watered down
I don’t want to waste any more time
Tomorrow’s not far away
I got fired up about the city and the factory
A lower middle class catholic boy out looking for a prize
7 hours away from working our dead end jobs
Eyes on the floor watching the world go by
“I’m no good I’ve got a cold heart,” I said.
“I’m only sorry when it lets me get my way”
We took a wide turn rolled down our windows
And let the hot summer air rush in
Tomorrow’s not far away

Slow Stroke

your mama look like carol channing
she watch the sunset on an 8″ black and white tv
she’s got a sister in Toronto
you got an old man out in “call me when you’re drunk b.c.”
he was the king of corona
dark glasses and a reason not to go back home
she fell in love with the night time
she fell in love with his fists and his cheap cologne

your mama watch through the window
she see the trouble through the eyes looking back from the street
completely out of proportion
too old, too faint, too grey, too weak
she sits somewhere over the highway on the edge of town
looking back into the noise for the slightest sound
between the leather and the artificial lights
nothing much new down here tonight

she says, “I wanna run away and wanna see the world but I probably never will… but I don’t wanna know.
some nights I can sink like a stone, look around me and completely understand… and some nights I don’t.”

your mama stood in the hallway
the cigarette smoke, slow stroke, nerves like steel
she tell you all about the old times
when everything was new more than it was real
she said, “I never had a friend that would put me down
I never knew where all the money’d go until it was gone”
between the leather and the artificial lungs
blowing smoke over the things she’d done

The Company Store

I slammed the door at quarter to four
I was headed for the company store
“I’ll watch my children starve no more
Tonight I’m going to feed them”

“I haven’t worked in 40 days
For 23 I’ve had no pay
In a week I’ll have no place to stay
In an hour they’ll have to kill me”

On the way I met big Johnny Hines
The strongest man in Sydney Mines
I told big Johnny of my plight
His voice grew loud with anger
“Todays as good a day to die
As any that’ll come to mind
I have at home a sickly wife
And I haven’t worked since Easter”
We hadn’t worked since easter

Half the town’ll die from the mining of the coal
The other half’ll leave when the mine decides to close
The people who are left will starve to death at the hands of the company store
And they’ll bring the army in on us when the union gets too close to them

BURN IT DOWN BOYS!
BURN IT DOWN BOYS!
BURN IT DOWN I SAID, TO THE HEAD!
They’ll shoot us down like our fathers but like them we’re already dead and down.

Our anger built and tightly wound
We walked the coal road through the town
“The store,” I yelled, “We’ll burn it down, Burn it to a cynder!”
As I spoke these words before my eyes
Their doors and windows opened wide
And 10 more miners joined my side
Beaten, starved and angered
We were beaten, starved and angered

Half the town’ll die from the mining of the coal
The other half’ll leave when the mine decides to close
The people who are left will starve to death at the hands of the company store
And they’ll bring the army in on us when the union
gets to close to them

BURN IT DOWN BOYS!
BURN IT DOWN BOYS!
BURN IT DOWN I SAID, TO THE HEAD!
They’ll shoot us down like our mothers but like them we’re already dead and down.

I slammed the door at quarter to four
I was headed for the company store
“I’ll watch my children starve no more
Tonight I’m going to feed them”

“I haven’t worked in 40 days
For 23 I’ve had no pay
In a week I’ll have no place to stay
In an hour they’ll have to kill me”

Half the town’ll die from the mining of the coal
The other half’ll leave when the mine decides to close
The people who are left will starve to death at the hands of the company store
And they’ll bring the army in on us when the union gets to close to them

BURN IT DOWN BOYS!
BURN IT DOWN BOYS!
BURN IT DOWN I SAID, TO THE HEAD!
They’ll shoot us down like our fathers but like them we’re already dead and down.

Good Times

good times coming back again
I seen them touch down on the runway
I seen that old face staring back, pressed against the glass
I heard a brass band wailing

middleman got caught out of his skin
it’s on a bus across the boarder
he’s got legs spread, head cracked, his hands against the wall
he says, ‘”I’m just a fucking reporter!!”

good times coming back again

I heard the girl upstairs singing
she sang all night
I turned the stereo on
I went out for the evening
I couldn’t get that song out of my mind

good times coming back
I seen them on the shoulder with their hood up
through a vaselined lens
they got their bags packed tight
the key to every city
I heard they’re bringing all of their friends

there’s something dead out in the field behind our house
the wind’s changing direction
I seen the local man dressing up in the latest style
he says, “It’s only natural selection…”

good times coming back again

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