I'm not a man
You're not a wife
I can't provide so you can sleep at night
What we were was swept away when only tumbleweeds would grow
We tilled all the tricks we'd ever know

But still moved west,
with a baby in the belly of our youngest
West, with a fire in the belly of our oldest
West, a better life is coming soon
We moved west

So, brother, I'll see you at fireside,
where we'll pretend a better life:
Eleanor will have us over for a White House meal
No, I can't spare a dime
I'm just as poor as you,
poorer if you count all I lost you never had to lose

It's not a village
We don't live here
There are no children anymore who ain't been raised
They're ancient beggars with no fear,
lining streets like pockets lined with cash
Praying hard to God that that bread will last

Here in the west, with a hunger in the belly of every liar
West, with cotton picking gone like paper fliers
West, a better life is coming soon
We love the west

Painters paint murals to happier times
Young men ride the rails to happier lives,
digging ditches in the desert,
laying line that leads to never

Living paycheck to the next meal,
as they work out Franklin's New Deal,
but you can't trick the spirit
Being useless--we all fear it
And you can't convince that useless tasks
don't make the worker worth his work. Oh no.


from To Set Things Right, released February 23, 2010



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