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Richard Shindell - Sparrows Point lyrics

My name is william taylor
I was born in '24
too late to know the Great Fallen
in time to know the great fall

When my father died of money
my mother lived in spite
we laughed when nothing was funny
and how we wept when nothing was left

So I left there in boomtown
when I reached fifteen years
and I travelled mostly northeast
with my head held mostly down

'Cause they said there was more in Baltimore
where those shipyards never close
you can sell the Man your labor
and send the money home

Broadway found me penniless
and the mission found me last
they gave me a coat and three days rest
and when I awoke and left
a shroud of steam surrounded me
and I was borne away
and I found myself at Sparrows Point
with a slingshot in my hand.

And standing around me
two thousand idle hands
their heads bowed low, their hopes not high
their hearts weaned of their homes
and their pockets full of photographs
and their eyes full of goodbyes
I took my place among my kind
and I held my place in line

Now I'm twenty one and well employed
and I send home most of my pay
which leaves plenty left for cigarrettes
to help me pass the days
with beloved friends surrounding me
the cold streets so far away
three days west of Normandy
a rifle in my hand.