3rd Place | “Smokestack People”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

3rd Place
“Smokestack People”
Rick Hales
London, Ontario

Another empty morning, in a string of wasted days.
You’ve given up on hope, and lost the urge to pray.
The world you knew has vanished, and now you’ve lost your way.
You’re pulling back inside, there’s nothing left to say.

Times have changed
You’re on your own
Curtain’s down
On the world you’ve known
Welcome to the world of

Smokestack People
Too old to work
Too young to die
Watching the future
Pass them by
Smokestack People
Too old to work
Too young to die

The yellow bricks led, to the factory gate.
Trading hours for dollars, resigned to your fate.
Working for weekends, life wouldn’t wait.
The seasons drift by, it’s too soon too late.

Smokestack People
Too old to work
Too young to die
Watching the future
Pass them by
Smokestack People
Too old to work
Too young to die

Finding yourself, when you’re crossed from the list.
Is a far harder thing, than you’d ever have guessed.
A lifetime of work, never prepared you for this.
As the truth hits home, you’ll never be missed.

Smokestack People
Too old to work
Too young to die
Watching the future
Pass them by
Smokestack People
Too old to work
Too young to die

Downsized globalized
Traumatized demoralized
Trouble enough just staying alive
How do you mend a broken life?

Smokestack People
Too much pride
to sit aside
while the world leaves them behind

Smokestack People
Calling it quits is not your style
Hide your pain behind a smile

Smokestack People
Take a look at your life, it’s time to take stock.
Recover the fire you lost to the clock.

Smokestack People
The world’s not ending, no need for despair.
Start the next chapter, take the captain’s chair

Smokestack People
Life’s an adventure, it’s there for you
Your future awaits, down a new avenue

Smokestack People
It’s a changing world
Nothing’s written in stone.
Reach on out and
Make it your own.
Welcome to the world of

Smokestack People
Learning to fly
Trying their wings out
In the sky
Smokestack People
Learning to fly
Trying their wings out
In the sky

6 Comments

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  1. Sort of a hard lyric for a hard time…and very nicely done. It has a sort of Billy Joel “Allentown” feel, updated (please pardon the pop reference), and infused with a little hope with the “learning to fly” line coupled thematically with the recurring “too young to die” line.

    Good stuff. I really like the “Trying their wings out” image.

    Best,
    Dave

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