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Gypsy

Gypsy came from Texas, blown in on the breeze
to Northern California and the redwood trees
and he saw the deep green rollin’ of the mighty coastal range
and something deep inside began to change

Gypsy heard the chainsaw, the helicopter squall
saw the angry clear cuts where the big trees had to fall
and he knew it was the marking of the dollar’s bad design
he said, “if there’s a worthy fight out there, well I guess this one’s mine”

tensions they were risin’ in the lumber country towns
there were rumors of layoffs and millwork shuttin’ down
fear that led to anger and anger that led to rage
and the big timber bosses set the stage

the big timber bosses ran a billion dollar scam
with a slash and burn mentality and a company called Maxxam
if you could fly up like a bird and you could look down from the air
anywhere you saw a clear cut you’d know Maxxam was there

Gypsy found his family there on the north California shore
and he became a soldier in the timber wars
and he placed himself between the big trees and the chain saw blades
and he learned to find his courage and how not to be afraid

if you ask them they will tell you of the danger of those times
threats and intimidation with violence close behind
and they will talk of law enforcement, how they use the pepper spray
and how justice isn’t blind, it just looks the other way

it was one September morning when the final straw was laid
and some one had to break I guess, that’s just how the game was played
he only meant to scare them, that’s what the logger later said
but he cut that tree and he aimed it, and Gypsy Chain was dead

such a dreadful silence, no music can relate
some one radioed for help but by then it was too late
a martyr for the redwoods, he was only flesh and bone
some one would have to tell his family he was never coming home

some said it was an accident, some said it was a crime
some said it was unavoidable, it was just a matter of time
some said to leave it up to the authorities and the facts they would compile
there was bound to be an investigation, it would just take a little while

well, I’ve been thinkin’ about it and the way it seems to me
it’s really pretty simple if you want to make a tragedy
use the fear that turns to anger and the anger that turns to rage
and they’ll play it out for real on that puppet master stage

if you want a way to look at it, for me this is the one
that the big tree was the bullet and the chain saw was the gun
and the logger was the trigger but you have to understand
that the finger that pulled the trigger, that was Maxxam