Who dug the holes for your cities?
Through clay, dirt and rock
The railroad lines, the old brick homes
The textile mills, the ports, the dock

Immigrants, slaves, the poor
American History's dirty war
Keep the rifles-aimed
Make the victim take the blame

And who plowed these fields of native trees
To grow these export crops
The cotton and tobacco leaves
That bought the guns with which you fought

Five hundred years of war
The Frontiersman, the Conquistador
The Slave Boat, the Merchant Ship
The Pinkerton and the President

And who runs your towns today?
The underpaid excess
Over-worked, invisible,
Survivors of the process

Wealth unseen in history
Alongside hopeless poverty
The more it grows the more it hurts
The mighty dollar's curse


Lyrics submitted by concreteblues

The Slave Boat and the Merchant Ship song meanings
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