Thursday, 6 June 2013

Coalminers - Uncle Tupelo

Coalminers, by Uncle Tupelo, is just a great earthy song written about the plight of coalminers in the last century. Conditions have generally improved but it still acounts for 8% of industrial fatalities across the world; which is a huge figure when you consider that only 1% of the global workforce are employed in mines. Many of the deaths occur in China and Russia and although nominally blamed on a failure to follow safety procedures could be a result of economic pressure to produce more for less.

Coalminers  by Uncle Tupelo

come, all you coalminers
wherever you may be
and listen to the story
that I relate to thee
my name is nothing extra
but the truth to you I tell
I am a coalminer
and I'm sure I wish you well

I was born in old Kentucky
in a coal camp, born and bred
I know about old beans
bulldog gravy and cornbread
I know how the miners work and slave
in the coalmines every day
for a dollar in the company store
for that is all they pay

mining is the most dangerous work
in our land today
plenty of dirty, slaving work
for very little pay
coalminers, won't you wake up
and open your eyes and see
what this dirty capitalist system
has done to you and me

dear miners, they will slave you
until you can't work no more
and what will you get for your laborbut a dollar in the company store
a tumbledown shack to live in
snow and rain pouring through the topand you have to pay the company rentand your payments will never stop

they take our very lifeblood
they take our children's lives
take fathers away from children
take husbands away from wivescoalminers, won't you organize
wherever you may be
and make this a land of freedom
for workers, like you and me

I am a coalminer
and I'm sure I wish you well
let's sink this capitalist system
to the darkest pits of hell

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