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I always thought our era has more in common with the late 19th century than we think. And then I read "Age of betrayal, the triumph of money in America 1865-1900" by Jack Beatty, a documented, precise, yet engaged book that explains exactly the ways and means of fierce capitalism... Eric Hobsbawm was my guide, too.


Them rascals could steal the coins off a dead man’s eyes
They stole land that weren’t theirs
Then bought it back at a cheapest price
That’s how the rail’d been built
And farmers sent farther west

They laid down the law and so did we
Robbing banks and trains
Tell me who should
Go to the gallows
‘cause them, banksters, they’d steal the coins of a dead man’s eyes

Their culture, their mansions, nothing can hide
The dark side
Of the guilded age overlords
Don’t tell me tall tales ‘bout self-made-men
‘cause back then the rich got richer
And honesty was…
Out of fashion

I’ve seen a good deal of the world
I’ve seen them scoundrels
Fooling others into the hope of…
…getting rich

We couldn’t beat steam, iron and coal
We weren’t heroes of a mythic age
Just their outlines
Standing against the blank white light
In an empty street at noon
We weren’t pure
But we never stole the coins off…
…a dead man’s eyes
The coins off a dead man’s /the coins off a dead man’s eyes


from No Human Tongue Can Tell, released August 17, 2018


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