Rats! I was hoping I'd be first on Industrial Disease! I reckon I've got to get up pretty early in the morning to beat y'all!
I also like John Prine's "Paradise," especially:
The coal company came with the world's largest shovel
And the tortured the timber and they stripped all the land
And they dug for the coal till the land was forsaken
And wrote it all down as the progess of man
Last year I was inspired to write a song after an old home was torn down in our neighborhood. They took it down bit by bit, and underneath the white clapboard was -- guess what -- a square-log cabin. A log cabin! Here was a home that had sat on the main road between Nashville and Murfreesboro for who knows how many years, and they turned it into - guess what - a parking lot for the airport shuttle service. It really broke my heart - but I guess that's where a lot of songs come from.