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​Down On The Dole

This song is by Spirit Of The West and appears on the album Spirit Of The West (1984) and on the album Old Material (1989).

The lorries roll through St. John Street
And stir up the dust
It never seems to settle nowadays
There's a young man on the corner
Just watch the rigs roll by
He doesn't know how to drive
And he can't afford to learn
And he collects his money every week
And turns the other cheek
It's not easy, when you're down on the dole

His sisters up in Glasgow
At the Boarding School
She's planning to become a teacher
Nick, he dropped out early
He never cared too much for school
He left to go and labor at the quarry
And the crushers are all closed down
And there is no work to be found
And that's the reason
He's down on the dole

He's not the only one who's unemployed
It seems half his friends these days are out of work
And this towns felt their frustration
Their anger and their shame
It's left them with an emptiness inside
Well the dole boys have broken all the rules
All the windows in their old high school
Well there is always time
When you're down on the dole

Home life become uneasy
It seems all they do is talk
Of how well Annie is doing up in Glasgow
Well his folks are sympathetic
But they just don't understand
A young man still trying to find his way
He dreams of places he has never been
Somewhere other than his own back green
They are only dreams
When you are down on the dole

He looks forward to springtime
Lend the farmers a hand'
Building dykes and mending broken gates
They can't afford to pay much
But he doesn't mind
You see it satisfies him knowing
That he's needed
Cause there has been no work for so long
And soon his spirit will be gone
And there's no future
When you're down on the dole