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Lyr ADD: Redneck War (Short & Shortridge)

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Stewie 15 Jul 18 - 10:59 PM
Joe Offer 16 Jul 18 - 12:26 AM
Joe Offer 16 Jul 18 - 12:33 AM
Joe Offer 16 Jul 18 - 12:37 AM
Stewie 16 Jul 18 - 02:10 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Redneck War
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 10:59 PM

I am seeking the lyrics for 'Redneck War' which is sung by Ron Short on 'Music of Coal: Mining Songs from the Appalachian Coalfields'.

Cheers, Stewiel


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Subject: ADD: Redneck War (Sandy Shortridge/Ron Short)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 12:26 AM

Gee, I can't believe I found this, even though it was only 15 feet away from me.


REDNECK WAR
(Sandy Shortridge and Ron Short)

(First two verses spoken with music)
In nineteen hundred and twenty one,
The “Great War” was over; peace was won.
Time to celebrate freedom in our lives,
Unless you worked in the dark coalmines.

Union men shot down in the streets.
Children hungry with nothin’ to eat.
They’d work a man until he’d break,
Then stand and laugh right in his face.

The call went out, “Coalminers, unite,
Work together, organize!”
“Come to Logan County and take a stand,
Live free or die a Union man”!

We had to steal a train to catch a ride,
I carried a “mountain rifle” by my side.
Headed for Blair Mountain where we would fight,
To make things better in a miner’s life.

CHORUS:
We wore red bandannas tied around our throats,
“Redneck!” is what a reporter wrote.
We wore it with honor and respect,
Proud to be a coalminer and a, “Redneck”!

Them “company men” wore scarves of white,
But their hearts, were black as night.
Their pockets were lined with “Judas” pay.
Sent many a poor miner to an early grave.

Ten thousand coalminers or more,
Knocking on Heaven’s door.
But we knew Death, he ain’t hard to find.
We saw his face ever’ day in the dark coalmines.
CHORUS

I wore the same uniform that I wore before,
When I went off to fight in that “Great War”!
But a “rebel army”, is what Harding said,
So they dropped them bombs upon our head.

“Rebel army, hell!”
We were pore men with nothing, but our lives to sell.

(Spoken, with music behind)
Some went to Heaven, some went to Hell,
But I’m still here, this story to tell.
You won’t read about it in no history books.
You don’t believe me; take a look!

Now, I am old and I am gray,
They say a coalminer’s life is easier today.
Remember Blair Mountain, don’t ever forget,
Stand up proud, when they call you, “Redneck”!!

I wore a red bandanna tied around my throat
“Redneck” is what a reporter wrote.
I wore it with honor and respect
Proud to be a coalminer and a,” Redneck”!
Redneck,
Redneck,
Redneeeeeccck.


©2007 by Lonesome Records & Publishing, BMI


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Subject: RE: Lyr ADD: Redneck War (Short & Shortridge)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 12:33 AM

Notes from the CD Booklet, Page 43-45, Music of Coal: Mining songs from the Appalachian Coalfields, ©Lonesome Records & Publishing.

In a photograph an unusual yard ornament rests in front of the William Blizzard home near Winfield, West Virginia. It is a relic from the largest organized armed uprising in American labor history, a war fought at Blair Mountain in Logan County, West Virginia. This “One Pounder” canon on wheels was one of the many weapons used against some 10,000 miners at the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain. The “One Pounder” serves as a symbol of the years of brutality and exploitation that forced miners like Blizzard to pick up their rifles and march against the coal company’s militia. They did battle against a smaller but better armed force of hired guns, deputies, and state police attempting to keep union organizing out of southern West Virginia. Airplanes hired by coal operators dropped bombs on the miners’ positions, and after 10 days of pitched battle the U.S. Army intervened, forcing the miners to retreat and ending the battle. A death count for either side was never established.

The coal operators’ subsequent legal assault and the prosecution of the miners dwindled the role of the UMWA in West Virginia and some miners, including Blizzard, were tried for treason. The miners’ cause seemed doomed until years later when the Roosevelt administration introduced legislation assuring more rights for the American labor force. These Blair Mountain miners considered themselves patriotic; many were World War I veterans who held tight to the American dream. They fought for what they believed was right, and though they lost the battle, their willingness to fight for their ideals eventually changed America for the better.

Ron Short is a composer, musician and songwriter born in Dickenson County, Virginia, where the culture of music and story is strong. His ancestors were German immigrants —Church of the Brethren, known as “Dunkards”—and Scots-Irish Presbyterians who became Baptist. His great-grandfather, John Calvin Swindall, was a founder of the Old Regular Baptist Church, and their ancient style of “lined-out” singing is one of the first sounds that Ron can remember.

As well as embracing the music of his cultural heritage, Short has whole-heartedly embraced and collaborated in the music of other cultures, most notably; African -American jazz of New Orleans, Puerto Rican “Cumbia” and “Bamba”, the “Rancheras” of “Tejano Conjunto” music from the Southwest and the “Indian” flute songs and religious chants of the Pueblo Zuni. He writes and plays all styles of music including rock, blues and country.

Short’s writing partner on this piece is Sandy Shortridge, one of four daughters from a coal mining family in Buchanan County, Virginia. She has been a singer for over thirty years and performs many of her own songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr ADD: Redneck War (Short & Shortridge)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 12:37 AM

You'll find lots about the Battle of Blair Mountain in this thread (click), and a bit in this thread (click).


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Subject: RE: Lyr ADD: Redneck War (Short & Shortridge)
From: Stewie
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 02:10 AM

Hi Joe,

Many thanks for the lyrics and notes. It is much appreciated. Thanks also for the personal message - I have the recording. A friend an I will be presenting a themed concert on coal mining in North American and UK at a festival in Tasmania in January next. The song is more polemic than poetic, but fairly accurate and deserves inclusion.

Thanks again, Stewie.


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