Union Songs

The Mountain Miners

A song by Jack Warshaw©Jack Warshaw 1972

Way down in the land of the hills and hollers
Way down in the land of the lonesome pines
Way down where the land is scarred and blasted
Live the men who work in the mountain mines

There’s lots of dog holes right in this county
Where none of the men are organized
They’re told they’re lucky to work at all
And most believe the bosses’ lies

We drill and blast in a three foot seam
Then the scoop moves in through the narrow hole
Under your feet is coal black water
The only roof is tons of coal

We go to the meetins at the union local
But they ain’t done much since John L died
Every once in awhile the government man
Sends another report to the Bureau of Mines

Those big bulldozers they roar like thunder
They strip the land and then move on
They take our topsoil and mountain forest
And leave the dead and broken land

Them little dog holes in every hillside
They work ‘em out till the coal is gone
They take our strong and healthy miners
And leave the dead and broken men

Down in Kentucky and West Virginia
Across the land we love so dear
The operators lay down the law
Just like they done for forty years

Oh the years have come and the years have gone
But the time has come to tell the man
We’ve dug our graves for long enough
You take your hole – we’ll take our land


Many thanks to Jack Warshaw for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection

Jack writes:
'From reports of a union organiser and song collector I met from the area and research in journals'

See more of Jack Warshaw's work in this collection.

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