Francis Cheever

Francis Cheever was a logger and a woodsman by his trade
and he worked the fields and forests for the money that me made
around the miles of Whidbey Island in the waters of the Puget Sound
he worked till he could work no more, he was buried in the ground

used to be a man could work a job for independent pay
and bring home a good day’s wages at the closing of the day
ah but now the companies ride heavy on their backs
and what isn’t stolen outright is taken by the tax

Francis had a wife and family and a house that he called his home
and monthly bills that had to be met to pay off on his loans
and with his young sons to help him he would make his logging haul
and he would work both rain and shine whether he had any help at all

work is good an healthy if you use the proper touch
but it is quick to become dangerous if you push yourself too much
friends would try to warn him but he did not seem to hear
he would shake his head and walk away, say “maybe next year”

prices rose and profits fell and hit upon him hard
at the mercy of the bankers who held the upper cards
strung out on the red line of society’s disease
that weighed upon his shoulders till it brought him to his knees

it was late one night by the midnight light on a backwoods logging road
with his young son to help him on his last and fatal load
when a misplaced log slipped and made a deadly sound
fell squarely down upon him and crushed him to the ground

oh the people all were stunned when the news was finally told
how Francis Cheever died that night at thirty-eight years old
all except the IRS who notified his next of kin
that they must take over the payments and keep the money rolling in

Francis Cheever was a young man one of many just the same
strangled by the greedy hands that play the money game
murdered by a way of life gone far beyond control
that values a human life only so far as it can be sold

how many more must have to die how many families and friends
how many graves must be dug before we bring it to an end
how much money do we have to make before we find out what it’s for
before a song like this won’t have to be sung anymore