Sticks and Stones

Still working on recording this one.

Image and caption: Abandoned factory, Minneapolis, Minnesota , 1939, Farm Security Information/Office of War Information, LC-USF33-T01-001464-M4


Some days in the mornings when you ached deep in your bones

The factory whistle’s echoes would hit like sticks and stones

Or the ringing in your ears when you’ve been punched down to the ground

Or the bell that calls a fighter back to go another round


But nothing stings like silence at the break of each new day

Since they shut the factory doors and shipped the jobs away

Twenty thousand men or more all listening for a sign

But hearing crickets five years on since the boss shut down the line

This town once had a heartbeat, a rhythm you could feel

In the pounding of the pistons and hammers striking steel

Once high school bands would play, Homecoming Day to mark a generation grown

Now there’s no cause for cheer ‘cause every year to find  work the kids are leaving home

Leaving something about the silence that hollows out your gut

In a thousand days of idle hands since those factory doors got shut


But sometimes in the evening when the air is warm and still

You hear the sounds of a spring cotillion from up on Banker’s Hill

The tinkling of the ivories, the clink of Lenox plates

And syncopated laughter drifting from behind their iron gates

They’ll soiree in the evening and carry on deep into the night

Thinking they’ll sleep late in the morning—and how nice it’ll be so quiet