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A Coal Miner's Life of a Well To Hell / Mining in the Mind
Back in the 1930s.....my father and grandfather worked in the coal mines of Eastern Kentucky. More than forty years later he could still smell the dust of the mines. He use to say,"The dogs got paid better because there wasn't a company store for scraps."
The company stores would let the miners run up a tab for groceries and other needs. The miners never seemed to catch up with their bill. Who was it that said,"Let us pay them and make them think they are free!" Coal was needed for industry and heating homes. The miners always came up with the short end of the stick in those days.
I could ask,"How many of you are barely getting by?" The old company store has just evolved into our very own corporate controlled government. The coal miners fueled the industrial revolution and got paid far too little for it. They were the soldiers in the trenches of progress.
Many miners died coughing up coal dust in hospital beds and their beds at home. Their families gathered around them and prayed with tears falling on the miner's bed. It was a hard, hard life and a very dangerous life.
My father learned how to use dynamite at the age of twelve. He worked in the mines long enough to realize that he had to find another way to make a living. Throughout his life..he worked in factories. Dad said,"The work wasn't as dangerous but the assholes were the same."
It humbles me to think of the courage of coal miners. What an amazing people they are!
A WELL TO HELL
I have two lousy jobs....I eat one bad meal a day
Got a pain inside my chest....that won't go away
Stuck in behind...a financial fence
When I make a dime....they want eleven cents
They put me on a bucket in a well to hell
I keep on gettin' hotter
I pull myself up and they try to tell me
They want all the water...they want all the water
My daddy told me....hard work pays off
He died at 55 with a coal miner's cough
One of these days....when goes comes around
The good Lord's hand will be crankin'
Them folks down.
To hear the song
- A Well To Hell
A song about coal miners and how their lives relate to many in the working class.