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Smoke on the Prairie

from Songs of the Iron Men by Christian Williams

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The smoke is gone from the prairie, and the boys from the cook shack door the whistle is silenced forever and its call is heard no more.
No more in the summers darkness will the engineer rise at three and crawl in a sooty fireboxes black as black could be.

No more on sunlit mornings will we load the racks with sheaves and across the fields go trailing to some old faithful Reeves.
No more we'll wash together in the dishpans rimmed with dirt and dry on a towel wet and grimy or the tail of our sweaty shirt.

No more we'll lay in the, hay loft and listen to the rain drops beat while the hoboes told of the charmers 'mong the girls on Tremont Street.
No more we'll hear their lusty songs or the thrumm of the old guitar as a coyote wailed his troubles to the points of a lonely star.

No more we'll sit in the moonlight when all was quiet and still and list to the farm girls singing the songs that gave a thrill.
No more we'll follow the threshing from the place where hot winds blow to the far fields of Canada the land of the North light's glow.

No more we'll eat the cook shack grub herring, beans and punk java, tomatoes, lovely spuds sow bacon by the chunk.
The coffee'd come in on crutches The butter'd walk in alone. The cake they baked was soggy the bread was heavy as stone.

No more we'll tail from sun to sun but know the joy of rest we grieve the threshermen’s passing and yet we know its best.
The smoke is gone from the prairie and the boys from the cook shack door the whistle is silenced forever and its call is heard no more.


from Songs of the Iron Men, released April 1, 2009
Words by Chas. L. Genter; 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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