From the recording Mainline

This song came from conversations with folks that we met while on tour in Northern Ontario. We visited a number of communities that had been built around single industries, and if those industries failed or moved on, it would be devastating for all the people who depended on them. In one case, there was the possibility of a gold mine returning to a town that had lost theirs, but if it did, it would be entirely automated, and in order to build it, they would have to dig up the main road into town.
- Tim O'Reilly


Your big rush is over
And that’s why you came around
You could try to revive it
At the risk of tearing yourself down

Folks are thinner than the margins,
But they’re all as thick as thieves
With nowhere that they’re going,
Well they can’t be made to leave

Maybe you could save it,
But you’d have to cut the mainline to the heart
You’d have to stick an engine in a part of it that used to be alive,
For any of this to survive

Somewhere in the middle
Of a path you’re unlikely to choose
You can work ‘til your head spins
With all that time you’ve got to lose

And you can keep your throat wet
But the cost of fuel is high
At least there won’t be drinking and driving
Cause there’s only so much you can buy


Now most of what we’re sending
Is headed for the fields
The fugitive dust was apprehended,
And our coal only burns for the steel

And the team is getting leaner
As the lights are burning low
We’ve got the means to sustain them,
But they’ve got some better place to go