Before the pioneers came all the way out here
To set up camp to farm, to hunt and mine
By the riverbanks others joined their ranks
And worked the land and forests, rain or shine
That’s how things once were there among the Douglas Fir
That blanketed the region, far and wide
It’s the story of a mountainside

Soon the situation changed, lots of lumber mills in range
And logging was the way men made their way
Such demand for wood, soon barely a tree stood
When rain fell down from skies of grey
Turns out the trees they made the hill, loose mud just won’t stay still
And pretty soon it all began to slide
It’s the story of a mountainside

Fertile hilltops turned to stone but the secondgrowth had grown
Decades passed and corporations came
Some people tried to tell this would not end well
But when profit rules it’s always the same
There’s no valley that’s too deep, there’s no hill that is too steep
No regulator’s pockets can’t be plied
It’s the story of a mountainside

Once the hill was cut and flayed there were still profits to be made
By selling land to folks to live out in the country
With the river still so pretty and there just north of the city
Go raise your kids in rural harmony
It was the last place they would go, the last home they’d ever know
When the hill collapsed and half the village died
It’s the story of a mountainside

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“Mudslide” appears on the 2014 Bandcamp album, All the News That’s Fit to Sing.

This is the background to the mudslide in the little town of Oso, Washington that killed 56 people in March, 2014.  Entirely preventable, and entirely caused by reckless corporate logging practices over the course of generations of essentially unregulated environmental destruction, which continues unabated, despite the occasional fatal disaster.