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An Anonymous Worker

"The Chain Gang" (karaoke)

"The Chain Gang" (sheet music)


The sun o’er the steppes now is setting

And far off is gilding the grass,

And naught now is heard but the clanking

Of chains as the prisoners pass.

 

Cling, clang, cling, clang, pris’ners’ chains are dragging;

Cling, clang, cling, clang, weary steps are lagging;

Cling, clang, cling, clang, tolls the hopeless knell,

As they lead our bravest comrades to Siberia’s hell.

 

They walk, heads all shaven and hatless,

As thousands before them have marched,

With brows that are furrowed in anguish,

With sore hearts and lips that are parched.

 

Cling, clang, cling, clang, pris’ners’ chains are dragging;

Cling, clang, cling, clang, weary steps are lagging;

Cling, clang, cling, clang, tolls the hopeless knell,

As they lead our bravest comrades to Siberia’s hell.

 

The shadows are lengthening ever.

In darkness are wagon and horse,

And only the guards can be heard now,

Whose hearts feel no pain nor remorse.

 

Cling, clang, cling, clang, pris’ners’ chains are dragging;

Cling, clang, cling, clang, weary steps are lagging;

Cling, clang, cling, clang, tolls the hopeless knell,

As they lead our bravest comrades to Siberia’s hell.

 

A voice then is heard in the darkness,

“Brave brothers betray not your gloom.

The brave show self-mastery always

And never are crushed by their doom.”

 

Cling, clang, cling, clang, pris’ners’ chains are dragging;

Cling, clang, cling, clang, weary steps are lagging;

Cling, clang, cling, clang, tolls the hopeless knell,

As they lead our bravest comrades to Siberia’s hell.

 

They sing of their Great Mother Volga,

A mighty and gladdening tune

Of days when they yet had their freedom

And vow, “We’ll be free again soon!”

 

Cling, clang, cling, clang, pris’ners’ chains are dragging;

Cling, clang, cling, clang, weary steps are lagging;

Cling, clang, cling, clang, tolls the hopeless knell,

As they lead our bravest comrades to Siberia’s hell.

 

They sing of the steppes and their vastness,

Of freedom in deed and in word,

Till darkness has hidden their anguish

And only the chains can be heard.

 

Cling, clang, cling, clang, pris’ners’ chains are dragging;

Cling, clang, cling, clang, weary steps are lagging;

Cling, clang, cling, clang, tolls the hopeless knell,

As they lead our bravest comrades to Siberia’s hell.


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