Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems  

Carolina Cotton Mill Song

Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1976 Schroder Music Company, renewed 2004.

Oh I love to get into my clean bed
With its sheets so fair and white,
And when I am in my clean bed,
I sleep thru most the night,
And my dreams are hardly troubled
By the worrying of my mind
For the workers who die of the brown lung
In the mills of Caroline.

Oh the mystical people, they think they are wise,
With the smooth on their faces and stars in their eyes,
But the truths of this system are spoken and sung
By the workers who bear the brown lung.

Oh it's Burlington and Cannon
And the names we wives know well,
Who advertise the sheets and towels
And give us the old soft sell,
And they'd rather buy the government men
With promotions here and there,
Than pay out company profits
For to clean the cotton mill air.


Oh some people talk of the yin and yang
And walk in a kharma daze,
As though the influence of the stars
Could change mill owners ways,
But the people who work in the cotton mills
They know how the world is run,
And they need some help of an earthly kind
To live their time in the sun.


Oh the mystics they wear the blue jeans
But their heads are in the stars,
For they do not know how the denim is made
Nor the years of workers' wars.
And my place is not in an ivory tower
Or seeking some power divine,
But it's out on the bricks with the union folks
At the mills in Caroline.


Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
---- The Malvina Reynolds Songbook

Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
---- Mama Lion
---- Ear to the Ground
---- listen to video

Recordings by other artists on which this song is performed:
---- Rosalie Sorrels and Utah Phillips: Worker's Doxology (Cold-drill, 1992) [same material as next entry]
---- Rosalie Sorrels and Utah Phillips: The Long Memory (Red House Records RHR CD 83, 1996)
---- Joe Uehlein: Groundwork: Songs of Working People (Worker Records, 1979)

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This page copyright 2006 by Charles H. Smith and Nancy Schimmel. All rights reserved.

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