From the recording Down The Merrimack


Down the Merrimack When I was a boy in Campton, I would stand on the Mad River Bridge And watch those ice chunks rush away from the spring melt on the ridge To the bigger rivers down below To a bigger world I long to know It pulled and tugged on a young boy's soul Like the branches on the edge. So I said goodbye did not look back And I traveled down the iron tracks To the big mills on the Merrimack At the falls of the Amoskeag. Wages earned in the oil and lint 9 hours earned, and 3 hours spent Those city nights just came and went Running through the town I chased those city women all so fine and free And I married one so pretty, but a bit too wild for me. Some nights when she did not come home I'd stand on the Amoskeag bridge alone And watched the water from my home Watch the ice floes hang up, then move on Pulled into the falls One march night I watch the ice floes hang up on the piers But they always broke away then they disappearde There were northbound tracks toward long ago But unknown river still below So I turned downstream to the mills at Lowell Where I worked on the canals. With just the clothes upon my back I stood and looked at the northbound track But the river called so south I went South to the mills at lowell. I worked the locks on the Lowell canals closed those wooden gates so slow So the boats could bring the coton up against the flow We could raise those boats up through the town Like we turned that river right around But in the end it always came back down To big for us to hold. My mom and dad they passed away Then they closed the mills one day No reason now for me to stay I let the river take me down. Now I work this Rt 1 drawbridge, from high up in this tower Sometimes one little chunk of ice will make it down this far That water once so fast and clear It's so slow and dark when runs by here And I can see that river diasappear Swallowed by the sea Upstream around the bend I can almost see where I have been And down I see the river's end. Swallowed by the sea