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North Country Blues (Baez Joan)

Come gather 'round, friends And I'll tell you a tale Of when the red iron ore pits ran plenty But the cardboard filled windows And old men on the benches Tell you now that the whole town is empty In the north end of town My own children are grown But I was raised up on the other In the wee hours of youth My mother took sick And I was brought up by my brother The iron ore poured As the years passed the door The drag lines an' the shovels was a-humming Till one day my brother Failed to come home The same as my father before him Well, a long winter's wait From the window I watched My friends, they couldn't have been kinder And my schooling was cut As I quit in the spring To marry John Thomas, a miner Oh, the years passed again And the givin' was good With the lunch buckets filled every season What with three babies born The work was cut down To a half a day's shift with no reason Then the shaft was soon shut And my work, it was cut And the firing air, it felt frozen Till a man come to speak And he said in one week That number eleven was closin' They complained in the East That they are paying too high They say that your ore ain't worth digging That it's much cheaper down In South American town Where the miners work almost for nothing So the mining gates locked And the red iron rotted And the room smelled heavy from drinking Where the sad, silent song Made the hour twice as long As I waited for the sun to go sinking I lived by the window As he talked to himself This silence of tongues, it was building Then one morning's wake The bed, it was bare And I's left alone with three children The summer is gone The ground's turning cold The stars, one by one, they're a-foldin' My children will go As soon as they grow Oh, there ain't nothing here now to hold them