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San Sebastian Strings - The Day They Built The Road

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Uploaded on Dec 28, 2010

"The Earth" is one of several collaboration albums between Rod McKuen and Anita Kerr that Warner Brothers stubbornly refuses to re-release on CD.

This particular track had a significant meaning for me as a child. Rumors had been floating around that a new freeway would be built that would have possibly cut through my parents' 14-acre property (it didn't happen), and this song made me imagine how that would have impacted my life.

All day we saw them coming,
the trucks and truckers,
the caterpillars and the cat-skinners.
The foremen and the workmen,
the asphalt spreaders
with their dirty black trucks.

They'd cut
straight through
the northeast field
a month before.
The steam shovel harvest
lay there still, bent up cornstalks
boulders with their shins skinned.

And now they'd come
to finish off the job
to cut our lives up too.

And suddenly thinking about
the dogs I'd chased
down through the yellow corn,
the girls I'd walked
home along the fence,
mostly the smell of the field
the song of the crows
the rattle of the field mice on the ground.

Tomorrow
we'd start smelling gasoline
and diesel smoke
as the road
came crashing through.

Tomorrow and tomorrow.

Mama said
It's just a road.
But she knew too
that with the coming of the road
our lives would change,
it wouldn't be the same.
And it wasn't.

- from the album, "The Earth", 1971

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