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    They came from scandinavia, the land of midnight sun
    And crossed the north atlantic when this century was young
    They'd heard that in america every man was free
    To live the way he chose to live and be who he could be

    Some of them were farmers there and tilled the frozen soil
    But all they got was poverty for all their earnest toil
    They say one was a sailor who sailed the wide world round
    Made home port, got drunk one night, walked off the pier and drowned

    My mother was of scottish blood, it's there that she was born
    They brought her to america in 1924
    They left behind the highlands and the heather-covered hills
    And came to find america with broad expectant dreams and iron wills

    My granddad worked the steel mills of central illinois
    His daughter was his jewel, his son was just his boy
    For thirty years he worked the mills and stoked the coke-fed fires
    And looked toward the day when he'd at last turn 65 and could retire

    And the sons become the fathers and their daughters will be wives
    As the torch is passed from hand to hand
    And we struggle through our lives
    Though the generations wander, the lineage survives
    And all of us, from dust to dust
    We all become forefathers by and by

    The woman and the man were wed just after the war
    And they settled in this river town and three fine sons she bore
    One became a lawyer and one fine pictures drew
    And one became this lonely soul
    Who sits here now and sings this song to you

    And the sons become the fathers and their daughters will be wives
    As the torch is passed from hand to hand
    And we struggle through our lives
    Though the generations wander, the lineage survives
    And all of us, from dust to dust
    We all become forefathers by and by

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