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Lyr Req: Old King Coal (from Dave Webber)


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16 Sep 98 - 04:12 AM
Mike Robertson 17 Sep 98 - 06:16 PM
Barbara 17 Sep 98 - 09:54 PM
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Subject: Lyr req: King Coal sung by Dave Webber
Date: 16 Sep 98 - 04:12 AM

Heard this recently, the chorus goes:
For there's fire in the heart of old King Coal;
The -------- of centuries in his sole
There's a power in the ground where his black blood flows
[So here's?] to old King Coal.
Anyone supply me with any more? Understand that Dave Webber does it.

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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD KING COAL (John Kirkpatrick) ^^
From: Mike Robertson
Date: 17 Sep 98 - 06:16 PM

This is a song written by one of the greats in British folk music, John Kirkpatrick. You'll find it (in his version, with the ever-present button accordion) on the CD 'Earthling' from 1994 (Music and Words MWCD 4006).

A great song that is a kind of modernization of John Barleycorn, at least into the age of coal. I was fortunate enough to hear John perform this one live just this summer at a concert in Falmouth (and even have a quick chat over a pint...:-)

You get the words with the CD but in case it's difficult to get hold of here is what it says:

(John Kirkpatrick)

Under the ground lay Old King Coal
He lay most peacefully
He ruled in might and splendour
There was none so grand as he
But men came along to tunnel him out
And topple him from his throne
The tore him down to steal his crown
For the power in the old black stone

There's fire in the heart of Old King Coal
There's the strength of centuries in his soul
There's a power that grows where his black blood flows
So here's to Old King Coal

So they scratched him, hacked him, and harried him out
They ripped him from his bed
And they blasted his bones asunder
They'd sworn to see him dead
Then they carried him out to the sun's bright light
Which blinded him in the eye
And the blood did drain from every vein
Until they'd drained him dry


Then they cracked his bones on the grinding stones
How gleefully they did grind
Oh how they pulverized him
Turned him to dust so fine
Then they sprayed him into the furnace fire
And burned him in the air
With a mighty blast they burned him fast
As he prayed his final prayer


And his soul cried out with a final song
As he reached his final hour
And his heart it burst with singing
So mighty was the power
And he sang the water into steam
And the steam mnade the wheels fly round
And the song ran on both pure and strong
Till the wires hummed with its sound


Out of the darkness there comes light
Out of the earth comes fire
Out of the cold comes comfort
As his bones go blazing higher
And his soul flies out through the air we breathe
And down on the earth we tread
That humankind may not forget
That Old King Coal is dead



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Subject: RE: Lyr req: King Coal sung by Dave Webber
From: Barbara
Date: 17 Sep 98 - 09:54 PM

Many thanks Mike. I have not yet located a US source for the CD, but I'll keeep looking. He sounds like someone whose music I should know more about.

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