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dhanners623

New song: Trash Dump Fire

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No, the song's not about politics...

When I was a kid growing up in East Central Illinois, we'd sometimes go to Terre Haute to go shopping. Before the advent of I-70, to get to Terre Haute from my hometown, you took Route 40, which took you through West Terre Haute, one of the sorriest zip codes on the planet. The place was run down and just did not project an air of success.

On the east edge of town, there was a big trash dump, and it always seemed like it was smoldering. The smell was horrible. I have no idea why, but the dump came to mind the other day and I started writing, and this song is the result. (Since filming the video, I tweaked a couple of lines, as noted in the lyrics.)

I'm playing my '16 J-35, strung with Martin Monel mediums that have been on there awhile.

Thanks for listening, and happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Trash Dump Fire

© 2019 by David Hanners

 

When I was a child we’d drive to Terre Haute

Take Route 40 then Old National Road

Right before National hit Paris Avenue

That big trash dump would come into view

 

Old tires smoldered, brown haze made you choke

Roll up the windows and hold your nose

I could not understand how people lived ‘round that

Dad’d say, “It’s West Terre Haute, they’re not aristocrats”

 

West Terre Haute had been a coal mining town

Coal played out, things spiraled down

Buildings and people had seen better days

Now it was where others threw stuff away

 

That fire burned years, land and air were corrupt

Burned ‘til the Feds came in and made them clean it up

Trucked in topsoil, Lord knows what they spent

They have flea markets there now on some weekends

 

They say hard times are just a test

But the people who say that always live someplace else

If I were rich, I would’ve bought me a boat

Slipped her into the Wabash and left West Terre Haute

 

 

Edited by dhanners623

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Great song, David! I really like the low pace, and it really helps emphasize the lyrics. 

You have posted several great songs here. I hope you don't mind me asking, but what do you do with them? Your songs deserve to be documented and given a chance to be heard by more folks. Do you plan on eventually recording your stuff in a more professional situation?

Lars

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23 hours ago, Lars68 said:

Great song, David! I really like the low pace, and it really helps emphasize the lyrics. 

You have posted several great songs here. I hope you don't mind me asking, but what do you do with them? Your songs deserve to be documented and given a chance to be heard by more folks. Do you plan on eventually recording your stuff in a more professional situation?

Lars

 

Thanks for the kind words, all. When we move back to the U.S., I may record an album or two. I don't see much use recording them in Cyprus; all the musicians I want to work with are back in the U.S., and if I released a CD here, I doubt I would sell a single copy.

I have since revised the song. Decided it needed a chorus. Haven't recorded the new version yet, but here are the revised lyrics. I'm cutting and pasting the lyrics, so I apologize for the big type.

 

 

When I was a child we’d drive to Terre Haute

Take Route 40 then Old National Road

Right before National hit Paris Avenue

That big trash dump would come into view

 

Old tires smoldered, brown haze made you choke

Roll up the windows and hold your nose

I did not understand how people lived around that

Dad’d say, “It’s West Terre Haute, they’re not aristocrats”

(Chorus)

    Women with hard eyes spoke with few words

    Their husbands bought Falstaff on the way home from work

    Some say hard times are just a test

    But the people who say that always live someplace else

 

West Terre Haute had been a coal mining town

When the coal played out, things spiraled down

Whitewashed buildings had seen better days

Now it was where others threw stuff away

 

Wives in housecoats hung wash on the line

You got the feeling they were just doing time

Serving their sentence in tumble-down homes

Near the trash dump fire in West Terre Haute

 

    (chorus)

 

That fire burned years, land and air were corrupt

Burned ‘til the Feds made them clean it all up

Trucked in topsoil, Lord knows what they spent

They have flea markets there now on summer weekends

 

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Thanks! The song is still trying to find itself. The version I'm toying with now is four verses, no chorus, but I may go back to a chorus. It takes awhile for a song to figure itself out....

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Hey, I really like it, especially the last verse. Great imagery. We don't have any coal mines were I live, but the scenes in your song hold true for so many small towns here too. Here it's the close down of small manufacturing businesses having a hard time to compete in a globalized world.

Have you heard "Cumberland Gap" by Jason Isbell? A song on the same topic as yours, but in a different style. Your way of writing lyrics reminds me very much of Isbell's.

Lars

 

 

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