Canadian Railroad Trilogy Lyrics by Gordon Lightfoot


Gordon Lightfoot Lyrics

Canadian Railroad Trilogy Lyrics
There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run.
When the wild, majestic mountains stood alone against the sun,
Long before the white man, and long before the wheel,
When the green, dark forest was too silent to be real.

But time has no beginnings, and the history has no bounds,
As to this burdened country they came from all around.
They sailed upon her waterways, and they walked the forests tall,
Built the mines, the mills, and the factories for the good of us all.

And when the young man stands, he had turned into the spring,
The railroad men grew restless for to hear the hammers ring.
Their minds were overflowing with the visions of their day,
With many a fortune won and lost, and many a debt to pay.

For they looked in the future,
And what did they see?
They saw an iron road running
From the sea to the sea.
Bringing the goods to a young, growing land
All up from the seaboards and into their hands.

"Look away," said they, "Across this mighty land,
From the eastern shore, to the western strand.
Bring in the workers, and bring up the rails,
We gotta lay down the tracks
And tear up the trails.
Open her heart, let the lifeblood flow,
Gotta get on our way, coz' we're moving too slow.
Bring in the workers, and bring up the rails,
We gotta lay down the tracks
And tear up the trails.
Open her heart, let the lifeblood flow,
Gotta get on our way, coz' we're moving too slow.
Get on our way, coz' we're moving too slow.

Behind the blue Rockies, the sun is declinin'
The stars, they come stealin' at the close of the day.
Across the wide prairie, our loved ones lie sleeping,
Beyond the dark oceans, in a place far away.

We are the navvies who work upon the railway.
Swingin' our hammers in the bright, blazin' sun.
Livin' on stew, and drinking bad whiskey,
Bending our backs, till the long days are done.
We are the navvies who work upon the railway.
Swingin' our hammers in the bright, blazin' sun.
Layin' down track, and building the bridges,
Bending our backs, till the railroad is done.

So, over the mountains and over the plains,
Into the moskeg and into the rain,
Up the St. Lawrence, all the way to Gaspee,
Swingin' our hammers, and drawing our pay.
Drivin' 'em in and tyin' 'em down,
Away to the boathouse, and into the town.
A dollar a day, and a place for my head
A drink to the living, a toast to the dead.
Oh, the song of the future have been sung,
All the battles have been won.
On the mountaintops we stand,
All the world at our command.
We have opened up the soil,
With our teardrops and our toil.

There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run.
When the wild, majestic mountains stood alone against the sun,
Long before the white man, and long before the wheel,
When the green, dark forest was too silent to be real.
When the green, dark forest was too silent to be real.
And many are the dead men too silent to be real.


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