Driving the Last Spike

Genesis

About Driving the Last Spike

"Driving the Last Spike" is the third track on the Genesis album We Can't Dance, released in 1991. The song's lyrics were written by Phil Collins. They are about the Navvies—railway workers of the 19th century—many of whom died constructing Britain's railways. The song narrates the thoughts and feelings of an unnamed railway worker in the form of a soliloquy or internal monologue. The title is a phrase meaning the completion of a major railway project—placing the "last spike" is often a momentous occasion. The original idea came from a book that actor Dennis Waterman gave to Collins. Despite not being released as a single, "Driving the Last Spike" charted in Canada and the United States, peaking at number 51 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart and number 25 on the US Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. 


Year:
1993
10:17
72 

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Leaving my family behind me
Not knowing what lay ahead
Waving goodbye, as I left them in tears
Remembering all we'd said

I looked to the sky, I offered my prayers
I asked Him for guidance and strength
But the simple beliefs of a simple man
Lay in His hands, and on my head
My head

I gave everything that they wanted
But still they wanted more
We sweat and we toiled
Good men lost their lives
I don't think they knew what for

I sold them my heart
I sold them my soul
I gave everything I had
But they couldn't break my spirit
My dignity fought back
Fightback
Just fightback

Can you hear me
Can you see
Don't you hear me
Don't you see

We worked in gangs for all we were worth
The young boys pulling the wagons
We were digging the tunnels, shifting the earth
It was then that it happened

No-one knew how the cracks appeared
But as it fell they all disappeared
Stone fell like rain

Can you hear me
Can you see
Don't you hear me
Can you breathe

The smoke cleared, the dust it settled
No one knew how many had died
All around there were broken men
They'd said it was safe, and they'd lied
You could hear the cries, you could smell the fear
But good fortune that day was mine
And it occurred to me that the heart of a good man
It seems is hard to find

Can you hear me
Can you see
Don't you hear me
Don't you see
How we worked, how we worked like
The devil for our pay
Through the wind, through the snow
And through the rain

Blasting and cutting through Gods country like a knife
Sweat stinging my eyes, there has to be a better life

But I can hear my children's cry
I can see the tears in their eyes
Memories of those I've left behind
Oh just still ringing in my ears
Will I ever go back again
Will I ever see her face again
'cause I'll always remember that night
As they waved goodbye to their fathers

We came from the North
And we came from the South
With picks and with spades
And a new kind of order
Showing no fear of what lies up ahead
They'll never see the likes of us again

Driving the last spike
Lifting and laying the track
With blistering hands
And the sun burning your back

But I can hear my children's cry
I can see the tears in their eyes
Oh memories of those I've left behind
Still ringing in my ears
'cause I'll always remember that night
As they waved goodbye to their fathers

We followed the rail, we slept under the stars
Digging in darkness and living with danger
Showing no fear of what lies up ahead
They'll never see the likes of us again

Can you hear me
Can you see
Don't you hear me
Don't you see

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Genesis

Genesis are an English rock band that formed in 1967. The band currently consists of its three longest-tenured members - Tony Banks (keyboards) and Mike Rutherford (bass, guitar), who were founder members; and Phil Collins (vocals, drums), who first joined in 1970. Past members Peter Gabriel (vocals, flute), Steve Hackett (guitar) and Anthony Phillips (guitar), also played major roles in the band in its early years. Genesis are among the top 30 highest-selling recording artists of all time, with approximately 150 million albums sold worldwide. more »

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Written by: ANTHONY GEORGE BANKS, PHILLIP DAVID CHARLES COLLINS, MICHAEL RUTHERFORD

Lyrics © CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

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