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My Old Steam Engine

from Songs of the Iron Men by Christian Williams

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The Iron Horse now silent stands among the towering forest trees, like an aged man whose tired hands enjoy the days of rest and ease.
Its days of youth and manhood past; its beauty and its glamour gone, its fiery nostrils cold at last, no more is heard the whistle's tone.

(chorus) When the Great Recorder comes at last to check our deeds against our name, He will not ask “Have you won or lost?” but “How have you played the game?”

In bygone days its handsome form with matchless energy endowed, has trodden fields and highways long and labored honestly and proud.
Around it now the children play without a thought of pain or harm, the birds and squirrels feel no dismay nor view it with undue alarm.

The boiler shell is old and weak, the fire sheets are patched and frail, the aged flues are full of leaks, the furnace crown is decked with scale.
Its ragged coat has lost its shine, the iron feet are red with rust, the massive gears no longer whine, the wooden parts have gone to dust.

For those of us who loved to feel the marvelous power these engines gave, fond memories around us steal that will not cease this side the grave.
May we who drove these faithful steeds prove true as they were in their day. When Time and conscience test our deeds we need not fear the light of day.


from Songs of the Iron Men, released April 1, 2009
Words by O.H. Nieman; Music by Christian Williams


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Christian Williams Lawrence

Christian Williams is a self-taught musician, experimental composer, and visual artist. His passion for expression has led him to dabble in a wide variety of music styles, ranging from dark acoustic folk music inspired by the American prairie to abstract sound art utilizing acoustic loops and field recordings. ... more

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