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Mother Country

This song is by John Stewart and appears on the album California Bloodlines (1969) and on the live album The Phoenix Concerts (1974).

There was a story in the San Francisco Chronicle that I forgot to save,
But it was about a lady who lived in the good ol' days
When a century was born and a century had died,
And about those good old days, well, the old lady replied:
"You know, there was just a lot of people who were doin' the best they could."
She said that the good old days were just a lot of people doin' the best they could.
And then the lady said that they did it, pretty up and walkin' good.
Whatever happened to those faces in the old photographs?
You've seen them, the little boys... boys, hell, they were men
Who stood knee deep in the Johnstown mud.
It was during the time of that terrible flood
When they listened to the water, that awful noise,
And then they just put away the dreams that belonged to little boys.

Oh, the sun is going down for Mister Bouie,
As he's singing with his class of nineteen-two.
Oh, mother country, I do love you.
Oh, mother country, I do love you.
I knew a man named E.A. Stuart, he spelled it S-T-U-A-R-T,
And he owned some of the finest horses that I think I've ever seen;
And he had one favourite, oh, she was champion, the old Campaigner,
And he called her "Sweetheart On Parade",
And she was easily the finest looking horse that the good Lord ever made.
But old E.A. Stuart, he knew he was goin' blind,
But he said "Before I go I've got to drive her one more time."
So people came from miles around, and they stood around the ring
But no one said a word,
They just stood there and no one said a thing,
And they're opening up the gates back there, and here they come
E.A. Stuart in the wagon right behind,
And he's sittin' straight and proud,
And he's drivin' her stone blind:
And, would you look at her, ah, she never looked better or finer than today.
Yeah, it's E.A. Stuart and the old Campaigner,
Sweetheart on Parade,
And the people cheer
While I saw grown men break right down and cry.
And you know, it was just a little while later
That old E.A. Stuart died.

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