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The Humboldt Desert


When the last tree falls in California
Will anyone hear it crash
Or will it be drowned out by the registers
Ringing up that cold hard cash?
Clear cut an entire redwood forest
To pay off your old junk bond debts
A fantasy-based economy
Makes you foul your mama’s nest

Another family for the timber industry
The signs on the houses read
You just don’t know how utterly moved I am
By your well-planned lives and your needs
Man, your boss is in a frenzy
He acts like a man on a terminal cocaine run
So what exactly do you plan to do for a living
When your renewable resources are gone?

Oh pity the poor buffalo hunter
Who just can’t hunt no more
Oh pity the poor whaler
Deprived of his rightful public support
And pity the poor logger of the future
With nothing left top cut down
Sawing telephone poles with a chainsaw
While the timber company clears out of town
Bye bye, next stop Siberia.

Oh the Humboldt Desert will be a wonder
The tourists will come to stare
You’d think they might have spared just a couple of the big ones
But no, they didn’t really care.
But it’s all right, we’ve planned for the future
The redwoods will grow back eventually
We’re all gearing up for a big logging boom
In the thirtieth century.
Chop it. Chop it good.

© 1991 Undulant Rhetoric (BMI)