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North Country Blues

This song is by Bob Dylan and appears on the album The Times They Are a-Changin' (1964).

This song has been covered by Joan Baez under the title "North Country Blues".
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North Country Blues
Come gather 'round friends, and I'll tell you a tale
Of when the red iron ore pits ran plenty
But the cardboard-filled windows and old men on the benches
Tell you now that the whole town is empty

In the north end of town, my own children have grown
But I was raised on the other
In the wee hours of youth, my mother took sick
And I was brought up by my brother

The iron ore poured as the years passed the door
The drag lines and shovels, they was humming
'Til one day my brother failed to come home
The same as my father before him

Well, a long winter's wait from the window, I watched
My friends, they couldn't have been kinder
And my schooling was cut as I quit in the spring
To marry John Thomas, a miner

Oh, the years passed again and the givin' was good
With a lunch bucket filled every season
But with three babies born, the work was cut down
To a half a day's shift with no reason

And the shaft was soon shut and more work was cut
And the fire in the air, it felt frozen
'Til a man come to speak and he said in one week
That number eleven was closing

They complained in the east, they are paying too high
They say that your ore ain't worth diggin'
That it's much cheaper down in the South American towns
Where the miners work almost for nothin'

So the mining gates locked and the red iron rotted
And the room smelled heavy from drinkin'
And the sad silent song made the hour twice as long
As I waited for the sun to go sinkin'

I lived by the window as he talked to himself
This silence of tongues, it was building
'Til one morning's wake, the bed, it was bare
And I was left alone with three children

The summer is gone, the ground's turning cold
The stores one by one, they're a-foldin'
My children will go as soon as they grow
Well, there ain't nothin' here now to hold them


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