Uncle Leon and the Alibis

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The Trash and the Rust

Words and music copyright © Leon Chase 2007

As performed on the album Roller Derby Saved My Soul

 

I was born at the end of the empire,
when the smoke from the mills filled the sky
and my dad, and his dad,
and his dad before
poured steel every day of their grown lives

The heat burned the years off our bodies
and the hours could make you insane
But we thanked God, and the mill,
and the almighty steel
every time another check came

They say fire and iron built this city
And money and sweat built our trust
But when the factory shuts down,
and the bosses skip town
There ain’t nothing left
but the trash and the rust

I never dreamed about being a bad man
I never dreamed about breaking no rules
But when the money runs out,
and there’s no work to be found
you’d be amazed what a man learns to do

Take this bag to the house with no windows
Take the money, but don’t ask for what
And if the cops should drop by,
shut your mouth, do your time
and be grateful that no one got shot

They say fire and iron built this city
And money and sweat built our trust
But when the factory shuts down,
and the bosses skip town
There ain’t nothing left
but the trash and the rust

Now I spend my nights in a cell with no window
I spend my days pressing numbers into plates
Doing fifteen to life,
lost my kids, lost my wife
and the old man’s crying in his grave

Used to be, men like me, we had a purpose
Used to be, men like me, we did alright
In a mythical land,
where a man’s back and hands
were enough to build some kind of life

They say fire and iron built this city
And money and sweat built our trust
But when the factory shuts down,
and the bosses skip town
There ain’t nothing left
but the trash and the rust

Ain’t nothing left
but the trash and the rust

 

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