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Patrick Russell

This song is by Tom Russell and appears on the album The Man From God Knows Where (1998).

My name is Patrick Russell, I've led a Christian life
I speak of family history as it's transcribed by my wife
I sit here in New Hampton, the year is nineteen ten
Looking back from Iowa towards mother Ireland

I was born in Templemore in eighteen twenty-five
Recalled a happy boyhood until my mother died
Starvation crept across the land, America's our dream
Six cruel weeks on stormy seas aboard the ship Tyrene

American primitive man
In an American primitive land
I washed my face in a frying pan
American primitive man

At last we docked in old Quebec, the English offered farming ground
But we'd lived too long under English rule, to United States we're bound
By train and then by cattle boat, ah, the filth down in that hold
We landed in Milwaukee, trekked two hundred miles or more

A sack of new potatoes was carried by each man
Four spades for cultivation, we'd brought from Ireland
We worked at splitting railroad ties, bought one old milking cow
A quarter section uncleared land, two oxen and a plough

At night we heard the wolves howl on our newly purchased farm
And starving lads from the civil war took shelter in our barn
The Larsens and the Cooneys, the Russells, the Molloys
We tilled the soil of Iowa and grew a spate of girls and boys

American primitive man
In an American primitive land
A whiskey still in an oatmeal can
American primitive man
I'm an American primitive man

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