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HOG Butcher for the World,

 Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,

 Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;

 Stormy, husky, brawling,

 City of the Big Shoulders:
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I

 have seen your painted women under the gas lamps

 luring the farm boys.

And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it

 is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to

 kill again.

And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the

 faces of women and children I have seen the marks

 of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who

 sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer

 and say to them:

Come and show me another city with lifted head singing

 so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.

Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on

 job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the

 little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning

 as a savage pitted against the wilderness,





 Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with

 white teeth,

Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young

 man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has

 never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.

 and under his ribs the heart of the people,

Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of

 Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog

 Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with

 Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.


from Carl Sandburg's Chicago Poems, released October 14, 2016
Jean Cook: violin
Therese Cox: accordion
Andrew Hall: upright bass
Kelly Hogan: vocals
Clara Kennedy: cello
Dana Lyn: violin
David Nagler: piano, vocals
Jon Natchez: clarinet, flute
Jessica Pavone: viola
Kelly Pratt: trumpet
Mike Pride: drums & percussion
“The Mob”: Jean Cook, Therese Cox, Gerald Dowd, Robbie Fulks, Kelly Hogan, Clara Kennedy, Daniel Knox, Jon Langford, Jessica Pavone

Lyrics by Carl Sandburg, Music by David Nagler


all rights reserved



David Nagler New York

David Nagler is a Brooklyn-based musician and songwriter. He is the musical director for Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders as well as the founder and frontperson for NY metropolitan area pop group Nova Social.

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