Used To Be A City

I was young once
It was a long time ago
Things were different then
I thought that you should know
This old building
Was once a factory
We made Stetsons
Your grandpa and me
It wasn’t easy but at least
Life was going down
There used to be a city in this town

This rusted railyard
Had a hotel and a couple of stores
We had good times here
Between the wars
It wasn’t paradise
But there was music in the street
Right there is where your grandparents
First had a chance to meet
They got married in that church
I can still see her wedding gown
There used to be a city in this town

When the change came
It started one by one
First the layoffs
Then the factory was gone
Then came the highways
The suburbs and Wal-Mart
That was the final blow
That tore this place apart
But it seems like just last year
When there were people all around
There used to be a city in this town

The census says there’s people here
But I think someone’s confused
Just look out at these sidewalks
They’re not being used
You know when a city dies
It doesn’t die with grace
It just becomes a ruin
Shouting this was once the place
Guess it’s time to leave
But I don’t know where I’d be bound

There used to be a city in this town

Sheet music to this song may be found in Songbook Vol I (1997-2004).

If you travel around much of the US, especially the northeast and midwest, you’ll find dilapidated, post-industrial towns just like the one in Connecticut I describe in this song.