North Country Blues

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Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan ( /ˈdɪlən/; born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, poet and artist. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an in… more »

Come gather 'round friends and I'll tell you a tale
Of when the red iron pits ran a-plenty
But the cardboard-filled windows and old men on the benches
Tell you now that the whole town is empty

In the north end of town my own children are grown
But I was raised on the other
In the wee hours of youth my mother took sick
And I was brought up by my brother

The iron ore poured as the years passed the door
The drag lines an' the shovels they was a-humming
'Till one day my brother failed to come home
The same as my father before him

Well, a long winter's wait from the window I watched
My friends they couldn't have been kinder
And my schooling was cut as I quit in the spring
To marry John Thomas, a miner

Oh, the years passed again, and the giving was good
With the lunch bucket filled every season
What with three babies born, the work was cut down
To a half a day's shift with no reason

Then the shaft was soon shut, and more work was cut
And the fire in the air, it felt frozen
'Till a man come to speak, and he said in one week
That number eleven was closing

They complained in the East, they are paying too high
They say that your ore ain't worth digging
That it's much cheaper down in the South American towns
Where the miners work almost for nothing

So the mining gates locked, and the red iron rotted
And the room smelled heavy from drinking
Where the sad, silent song made the hour twice as long
As I waited for the sun to go sinking

I lived by the window as he talked to himself
This silence of tongues it was building
'Till one morning's wake, the bed it was bare
And I was left alone with three children

The summer is gone, the ground's turning cold
The stores one by one they're all folding
My children will go as soon as they grow
Well, there ain't nothing here now to hold them

Written by: BOB DYLAN


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"North Country Blues Lyrics." STANDS4 LLC, 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016. <>.

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North Country Blues