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The Mahoning River runs through my hometown, Youngstown, Ohio. Growing up, it was always milk chocolate brown from the waste pumped into it by all the steel mills. Their demise in the late 70's changed Y'town forever.

Lyrics

The Mahoning’s Running Clean

Old Mr. Grady’s gone.
He died on that very day.
You know the one—the day they closed down
And took all our hopes away.

Where did it all go wrong?
Please tell me who’s to blame.
I heard them say “the Man” sold us down,
Pawns in a losing game.

The Mahoning’s runnin’ cleaner now,
The town is runnin’ scared.
We thought the sons and daughters
Of the heartland would be spared.
But it turns out we were dreaming,
‘Cuz the times are gettin’ lean.
And still we can’t believe it--
The Mahoning’s runnin’ clean.

Dad did his twenty-five
And I put in almost ten.
Now all we’ve got is time on our hands
To talk about way back when.

Some folks have moved away,
But I’m not the kind to roam.
Just like the river, I’m here to stay--
The Steel Valley’s still my home.

The Mahoning’s runnin’ cleaner now
The town is runnin’ scared.
We thought the sons and daughters
Of the heartland would be spared.
But it turns out we were dreaming,
Cuz the times are gettin’ lean.
And still we can’t believe it,
Still we can’t believe it,
We just can’t believe it--
The Mahoning’s runnin’ clean.

© tom manche '15

© 2019 Tom Manche