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1913 Massacre Lyrics - Singles - Arlo Guthrie

Take a trip with me in nineteen thirteen 

To Calumet, Michigan in the copper country 

I'll take you to a place called Italian Hall 

And the miners are having their big Christmas ball 


I'll take you in a door and up a high stairs 

Singing and dancing is heard everywhere 

I'll let you shake hands with the people you see 

And watch the kids dance 'round the big Christmas tree 


There's talking and laughing and songs in the air 

And the spirit of Christmas is there everywhere 

Before you know it you're friends with us all 

And you're dancing around and around in the hall 


You ask about work and you ask about pay 

They'll tell you they make less than a dollar a day 

Working their copper claims, risking their lives 

So it's fun to spend Christmas with children and wives 


A little girl sits down by the Christmas tree lights 

To play the piano so you gotta keep quiet 

To hear all this fun, you would not realize 

That the copper boss thug men are milling outside 


The copper boss thugs stuck their heads in the door 

One of them yelled and he screamed, "There's a fire" 

A lady she hollered, "There's no such a thing 

Keep on with your party, there's no such a thing" 


A few people rushed and there's only a few 

It's just the thugs and the scabs fooling you 

A man grabbed his daughter and he carried her down 

But the thugs held the door and he could not get out 


And then others followed, about a hundred or more 

But most everybody remained on the floor 

The gun thugs, they laughed at their murderous joke 

And the children were smothered on the stairs by the door 


Such a terrible sight I never did see 

We carried our children back up to their tree 

The scabs outside still laughed at their spree 

And the children that died there was seventy-three 


The piano played a slow funeral tune, 

And the town was lit up by a cold Christmas moon 

The parents, they cried and the men, they moaned 

"See what your greed for money has done?" 


Copyright: Bug Music Obo Woody Guthrie Publications Inc