Skip to main content

Its history presents singer/songwriters with a tapestry to lay down some of the most moving protest and labor songs. Case in point is the iconic "Paradise" (John Prine).

And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking
Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away

One that I learned a long time ago was "Springhill mining disaster (Peggy Seeger and Ewan McColl).

When the earth is restless, miners die
Bone and blood is the price of coal

Two more are "Coal Tattoo" (Billy Edd Wheeler)

Somebody said, "That's a strange tattoo you have on the side of your head."
I said, "That's the mark of the number nine coal. A little more and I'd been dead.

and "You'll never leave Harlan alive" (Darrell Scott ).

But the times got hard and tobacco wasn't selling
And old granddad knew what he'd do to survive
So he went and dug for Harlan coal, sent the money back to granny
But he never left Harlan alive

I've had "Coal Tattoo" in my set list off and on for a long time and just started learning "You'll never get out of Harlan alive".

The following videos are not by the original artists, just ones I happen to like their interpretation. Besides its my diary and I can do what I like.

Paradise - John Denver. Since JD played a Guild 12 string like I  do, he always get a vote from me.

Springhill mining  disaster - PP&M. First version I heard way back when.

Coal tattoo - Kathy Mattea. Just because she is a fierce champion against mountain top removal and she has travel the country introducing "An inconvenient truth". Her album "Coal"  combined her social activism with songs about coal-mining.

You'll never leaver Harlan alive - Kathy Mattea again (see above).

Originally posted to Protest Music on Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 07:02 AM PST.

Also republished by Team DFH and DKOMA.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site