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Down in the Mine

There aren’t a lot of positive things to say about coal mining. It’s a rough life. It pollutes out streams and burning coal pollutes our air. Many years ago I stayed in a coal mining town in Pennsylvania for a few days, while looking for trout streams that weren’t destroyed by tailings. It was one of the bleakest places I’ve ever been to, a town built around a giant hole in the world.

Hard times do lead to some interesting art and music and literature though. Here are some songs related to coal mining.

Let’s start with Steve Earle performing The Mountain.

Merle Travis, performing Dark as a Dungeon.

I’d better include Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Sixteen Tons

Here’s an odd one – Lee Dorsey and Workin’ in a Coal Mine

From Cape Breton, Working Man by Men of the Deeps (wow, this one still kills me)

There are lots more, but I’m going to close this post with my favourite, Cigarette Trees by The Local Honeys. “You piss in my boots and you tell me it’s rain….”

Do you have a fave song about the extraction of natural resources? Stick them in the comments please.


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