Words and music by Stan Rogers, Pro Canada, published 1981
By Fogarty's Cove Music, Inc. Source: Stan Rogers, Songs from Fogarty's Cove p102
I often take these night shift walks when the foreman's not around
I turn my back on the cooling stacks and make for open ground
Far out beyond the tankfarm fence where the gas flare makes no sound
I forget the stink and I always think back to that eastern town.
I remember back six years ago, this Western life I chose,
And every day, the news would say some factory's going to close.
Well I could have stayed to take the dole, but I'm not one of those.
I take nothing free, and that makes me an idiot, I suppose.
CHO: I bid farewell to the eastern town I never more will see
But work I must so I eat this dust and breath refinery,
Oh I miss the green and the woods and streams and I don' like cowboy clothes
But I like being free and that makes me an idiot I suppose.
So come all you fine young fellows who've been beaten to the ground.
This western life's no paradise, but its better than lying down.
Oh, the streets aren't clean, and there's nothing green, and the hills are dirty brown
But the government dole will rot your soul back there in your hometown.
CHO: So bid farewell to the eastern town you never more will see.
There's self-respect and a steady cheque in this refinery.
You will miss the green and the woods and streams and the dust will fill you nose.
But you'll be free, and just like me, an idiot, I suppose.