The Greenchain Song
1. You who live a life of leisure, you who live a life of ease
In your mansion in the country or your yacht upon the seas
Does your conscience ever picture on the tablet of your brain
The sad thought of men in misery pullin' lumber off the chain?
2. When the pond is full of timber, the jackladders runnin' wild,
And the sawyer in his carriage has the bandsaw set and filed,
From the headrig to the trimsaw through the planer moves the train
Of that endless pile of lumber out upon the long greenchain.
3. Now the pondmen think they're Bunyans and the scaler thinks he's God
And the sawyer thinks that each of them's a lazy, useless sod
But if the truth was ever looked for in the lies that pour like rain
You'd discover that the heroes are the workers on the chain.
4. When the shift-boss hits that button, then you'd better look alive
'Cause the lumber comes a-rollin' like the bees out of a hive
And you'll fell that sweat come pourin' as each muscle screams with
And you'll wonder if it's worth it workin' on the long greenchain.
5. See the grader eye the lumber as it moves along the chain,
With his keel he marks the grading, marks it down for knot and grain,
These salutes to profiteering we treat with complete disdain,
For what's it mean to we who work out on that long greenchain?
6. When I go to meet my maker there is just one thing I hold
That St Peter at the Golden Gate won't leave me in the cold
But if he sends me down below, This truth to you I'll tell,
I still won't be unhappy, 'cause that greenchain's worse than hell!
From PJ Thomas, Songs of the Pacific Northwest. Lyn McGown made a new
tune for it. JB