Brian Laidlaw

Poet | Songwriter | Educator

CASEY JONES

 

Your fists are looking bloody, your face is embossed

with an image from a sermon on the Pentecost

Fighting devils and vermin, it looks like you lost

Now you’re crying out in mournful tones

You’re gonna go down swinging, Casey Jones

 

You should probably reconsider if you think you’ll be fine,

Contemplate the meaning of “undermine”

The tunnel’s overflowing with sewage and brine

and up above, the turnpike groans

Gonna go down swinging (3x) Casey Jones

 

*

Make a mountain of a molehill, make a mole out of a man

While you hollow out the country from New York to San Fran

There’s no other hero you’re unhappier than

You’re as pathetic as the cronies and the crones

Gonna go down swinging Casey Jones

 

Everyone believed you that machines have no soul

But you never should have spoke out about oil or coal

At least you made it easy by digging your own hole

They’ll announce your death on megaphones

Gonna go down swinging (3x) Casey Jones

*

 

I used to be young hand and handsome

My love songs used to be anthems

Gonna go down swinging, Casey Jones

 

*

They’ll turn a lover into a fighter, a purebred to a cur,

Manipulate your instincts and your musculature.

I can tell that they’re not perfect, but I’m pretty sure

They’re just about to start throwing stones

Gonna go down swinging Casey Jones

 

You were counting the days until the next reprieve

You’re too afraid to ask to retire or leave

I wish that you had something more up your sleeve

Than a meter of muscles and bones

Gonna go down swinging Casey Jones

*

 

Here come all the workmen, craning their necks

Come across the bones of cavemen and tyrannosaurus rex

Blessed be the laborer the employer protects

Like any other asset that he owns

Gonna go down swinging Casey Jones

 

Either work is like the mountain in its natural grace

or work is like the tunnel of empty space

or work is like the mineral silt on the face

of the hero who’s lying there prone

Gonna go down swinging Casey Jones