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(Jean Ritchie [writing as 'Than Hall])

I remember the ways in the bygone days
When we was all in our prime
How us and John L. gave the old man hell
Down in the Blue Diamond mines
Where the whistle would blow 'fore the rooster crowed
Full two hours before daylight
When a man done his best, and he earned his good rest
And had seventeen dollars at night

In the mines, in the mines, in the Blue Diamond mines
I have worked my life away
In the mines, in the mines, in the Blue Diamond mines
Oh, fall on your knees and pray

You old black gold, you've taken my soul
Your dust has darkened my home
And now that I'm old, you're turning your back
Where else can an old miner go
Well, first it's Big Block and then Leatherwood
And now it's Blue Diamond too
The pits are all closed, and it's "go find a job"
What else can an old miner do

Your union is dead and you're shaking your head
They say mining's had its day
But you're stripping off my mountain top
And you pay me three dollars a day
Well, you might get a poke of welfare meat
A little poke of welfare flour
But I tell you right now, you won't qualify
Less you work for a quarter an hour

John L. had a dream but it's broken, it seems
Our union is letting us down
Last week they took away my hospital card
And it's "why don't you leave this old town"
Well, you go downtown and you hang around
Well, maybe it ain't so bad
Then you come back home and they meet you at the door
And it's "what did you bring me, dad"

Copyright Geordie Music
First heard from Ringer & McCaslin. They did it well. JN
@mining @work @union
filename[ BLUDIAM

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