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Custodians:

July 24, 2009, 1 e-mail

L. P. wrote:

Not much activity on the group lately, though the pile drivers certainly haven't gone away. Four are visible from my backyard today, two of which are within a hundred yards. The soil of my backyard has shifted so that the gate (which fitted perfectly well for 40 years) will no longer close far enough to latch. The THUD!ometer stands at 1000; only 1800 left to go!

So here's a little something I cobbled together a few weeks back. Maybe it will help keep our spirits up. Most of you should know the tune; if you don't, go look up the original Gordon Lightfoot song online. It's a Canadian classic, and well worth hearing in its own right.

WEST TORONTO RAILROAD TRILOGY

(with apologies to Gordon Lightfoot)

There was a time in Junction land when pile drivers did not run
When the old and thriving neighbourhood was calm beneath the sun
Long before expansion and long before the Plan
When just the normal noises through our railway ya-ards ran.

But neighbours have no recourse and rail lands have no bounds
And to our aged railway yard they came from all around
They pounded the pile drivers and dieseled up their wheels
And our peace and quiet proved too fragile to stay real.

And when the CN people got started before spring
Their construction folk grew restless for to hear pile drivers ring
Their minds were overflowing with their plans for our railway
With many a savings in their cost, but we're the ones to pay.

For they looked in their blueprints and what did they plan
They saw the rail tunnels building so close to our land
Bringing the passengers through our great town
Into the suburbs, and out and around.

Look away said they across this busy land
From the north of town to the Lakeshore strand.
Bring in the drivers and bring in the piles
We gotta build the new tunnels and stretch them for miles.
Beat on our land, let the decibels flow
Gotta get on our way 'cause we're pounding too slow.
Get on our way 'cause we're pounding too slow.

Behind the pile drivers the sun is declining
The silence comes stealing at the close of the day
Beside the dark railyards we briefly are sleeping
Until the THUD! starts at the rise of the day.

We are the neighbours who live beside the railway
Hearing pile drivers in the rain and the sun
Living on Tylenol, gulping down Aspirin
Hoping we'll last till the piling is done.

We are the businesses set beside the railway
Losing our cli-ents one by one
Watching the plaster fall from our ceilings
Fearing they'll break 'fore the piling is done.

So past the old houses and past the new homes
Rattling their windows and shaking their bones
Spoiling folks' real estate, wrecking their lives
Deafening the children, the men and the wives.

Banging them in and whacking them down
Making them vibrate and making them pound.
Hammer all day and a throb for your heads
If this goes much longer, you'll wish you were dead.

Oh the song of our future has been sung
All our battles must be won
'Gainst the CN folks we stand
All the cards are in their hand
We must find a way to foil
The vibrations in our soil.

For there was a time in Junction land when pile drivers did not run
When the old and thriving neighbourhood was calm beneath the sun
Long before expansion and long before the Plan
When just the normal noises through our railway ya-ards ran.
And there's got to be a quieter way to carry out their plan.\\


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Content last modified on July 27, 2009, at 08:15 PM EST