I heard this incredible song on new years eve, sung by a wonderful singer, i had to find out more about it, here are the lyrics and a little about the history.
The Louisville & Nashville Railroad was born March 5, 1850. Between 1879 and 1881, through the purchase of track in Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois, the L&N gained access to the coal fields of western Kentucky. One of the L&N's most important expansions came early in the 1900s, when the railroad pushed its tracks deep into the coal fields surrounding Hazard and Harlan in eastern Kentucky. One of the coal mine served was the Hazard Hollow at Hazard, Kentucky near Viper where Jean grew up. This song marks the closing of the Hazard Hollow mine and the fact that the trains not longer stopped there to haul away coal. The L& N is still operating.
song by Jean Ritchie
When I was a curly headed baby
My daddy sat me down on his knee
He said, "son, go to school and get your letters,
Don't you be a dusty coal miner, boy, like me."
I was born and raised at the mouth of hazard hollow
The coal cars rolled and rumbled past my door
But now they stand in a rusty row all empty
Because the l & n don't stop here anymore
I used to think my daddy was a black man
With script enough to buy the company store
But now he goes to town with empty pockets
And his face is white as a February snow
I never thought I'd learn to love the coal dust
I never thought I'd pray to hear that whistle roar
Oh, god, I wish the grass would turn to money
And those green backs would fill my pockets once more
Last night I dreamed I went down to the office
To get my pay like a had done before
But them ol' kudzu vines were coverin' the door
And there were leaves and grass growin' right up through the floor
pictures of Coal towns