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Chords Req: Coal Tattoo (Billy Edd Wheeler)

09 Mar 01 - 12:50 AM (#413757)
Subject: Chords to COAL TATTOO
From: Robo

Digging for the chords to "Coal Tattoo" by Billy Edd Wheeler, which has been recently recorded by Johnny Staats as well as by John Stewart and others, I believe. Tremendous song and great tune that I'm having trouble deciphering by ear. Have searched the Web with no luck. Can anyone provide or point me to them? THANKS IN ADVANCE for the assist!

Rob-o


09 Mar 01 - 01:24 AM (#413780)
Subject: Chords Add: COAL TATTOO
From: DonMeixner

(Em) Travelin' down your (C) coaltown (Em) road,
Listen to my rub- (D) ber tires (Em) whine,
(Em) Goodbye to buckeye and (C) white syca- (Em) more
I'm leaving (D) you be- (Em) hind.
(G) I've been a coal man (D) all my (G) life
(G) Laying down a (D) track in the (C) mi- (D7) ne.
With a (Em) back like an ironwood (C) bent by the (Em) wind.
(Em) Blood vein (D) blue as the (Em) co- (D) al
(Em) Blood vein (D) blue as the (Em) coal.

Try that, Rob. I've played it for 30 years but without a guitar in my hand I may have made a mistake or two.
Good Luck
Don


09 Mar 01 - 01:30 AM (#413785)
Subject: RE: Chords to COAL TATTOO
From: ddw

Rob-o

I do the song in Bm, using a capo and an Am configuration.

Am—C—Em—Am
Am—C—Em—Am
C—G—C—G—F—G
C—F—C—G—Am

(Am)I'm going down that coal town road
(C)Listen to my (Em)rubber tires (Am)whine
(Am)Goodbye to buckeye and white sycamore
(C)I'm leaving (Em)you be(Am)hind
Now(C) I've been a coal miner (G)all of my days
(C)Layin' down (G)track in that (F)ho-(G)ole
Got a (C)back like an ironwoodBent by the wind
(C)Bloodveins as (G)blue as the (Am)coal.

Please remember I'm winging this without a guitar with me, but if I've got anything wrong it would be an Em in a place or two where I'm remembering it as a G.

david


09 Mar 01 - 07:26 AM (#413873)
Subject: RE: Chords to COAL TATTOO
From: mkebenn

Rob-o, go with Don's arrangement, with a couple of added "c"s..em travelin' down that{c} coal town {em} road, {c} listen to my {d}rubber tires{em}whine. goodbye to buckeye and {c} white scyca(em}more, {c}I'm leavin' {d}you {em}behind, {g}I've been a {d}coal man {c}all my {d}life, {g}layin' down {d}track in the {c}hooo{d}le, got a {g} back like an ironwood {c}bent by the {g}wind, {c}bloodveins {d} blue as the {em} coal. One of my favorites, good luck with it. Mike


09 Mar 01 - 08:10 AM (#413891)
Subject: RE: Chords to COAL TATTOO
From: Midchuck

I'm sure bigchuck can help. He does this, and has at least 17 alternative sets of chords, so he can switch to a different one as soon as we learn the ones he's been using.

Peter (ducking and running)


09 Mar 01 - 08:38 AM (#413919)
Subject: Chords Add: COAL TATTOO
From: Allan C.

I am looking forward to trying the other chord patterns shown so far.

I do an Am version of this song with a lot of hammering on that chord as an intro. This key also works well for me when I melody-pick in the lower register.

(Am)Travelin' down that (G)coal town (Am)road
(C)Listen to my (G)rubber tires (Am)whine
(Am)Goodbye to buckeye and (G)white syca(Am)more
(C)I'm leavin' (G)you be(Am)hind

(C)I've been a coal miner (G)all my (Am)life
(C)Layin' down (G)tracks in the (F)ho(G)-ole
Got a (Am)back like an ironwood, (G)bent by the (Am)wind
(C)Blood veins (G)blue as the (Am)coal
(F)Blood veins (G)blue as the (Am)coal

I am fairly sure (but can't guaranty) that I played it on the Mudcat Radio Show on June 21st of last year if you want to have a listen to the archive.


09 Mar 01 - 03:53 PM (#414213)
Subject: RE: Chords to COAL TATTOO
From: Robo

Man o man! Options make my spirit fly! And a sample even. THANKS everyone, thank very much!

Rob-o


09 Mar 01 - 06:30 PM (#414293)
Subject: RE: Chords to COAL TATTOO
From: GUEST

Try dropping the thirds on those C and G chords--sound a bit more atmospheric.


09 Mar 01 - 07:17 PM (#414325)
Subject: RE: Chords to COAL TATTOO
From: Allan C.

I saw that in the Judy Collins Songbook it is written using B flat/Dm etc.. All well and good for some folks, I guess. But I have always avoided B flats wherever possible and so I think the chords I use were transposed from that text into the above key. That was about forty years ago and so I don't really recall for certain; but the pattern looks to be similar.


15 Mar 01 - 10:52 PM (#418776)
Subject: RE: Chords to COAL TATTOO
From: Robo

Just wanted to say thanks again for your help. This song is a great addition to the ol' tunebag, and I couldn't have added it without y'all!

Rob-o


16 Mar 01 - 09:23 AM (#418995)
Subject: RE: Chords to COAL TATTOO
From: mkebenn

Enjoy it, Rob, after thirty years, I still love it(can't say the same for my wife, though, she's abit weary of it) Mike


15 Nov 08 - 07:03 PM (#2494808)
Subject: RE: Chords Req: Coal Tattoo (Billy Edd Wheeler)
From: GUEST,Jim dubee

Been a mainstay since 1975,( thanks Billy) have done Coal Tatoo a billion times with a trio called The Blues Mountain Band. We used D as the 2nd chord instead of C try it, it makes the sound a tad different . Give it a listen using D. and we ended it in Backyard E regular. My favorite song was [Diamonds in the Rough] sans instruments, for one hick up Loop Creek this sans, is the opposite of instrumental. I was planning to do Coal Tatoo on the mandolin as a contest entry as fast as my old broken fingers will permit. God bless new strings. Change them at least every 10 to 20 years. Billy Congrads to our state hall of fame 1st list of members. We own the Ohio river, where those white trees grow, game over--West by golly Virginia


16 Nov 08 - 12:28 PM (#2495207)
Subject: RE: Chords Req: Coal Tattoo (Billy Edd Wheeler)
From: Claymore

Have always done it in Em though thats for vocal purposes. You might add a bridge or an ending using the chords C, D, then an Em with the high E string on a guitar up at the third "G" position, while the Bass goes down those notes and the banjo up.


14 Feb 10 - 02:51 AM (#2838684)
Subject: Chords Add: COAL TATTOO (Billy Edd Wheeler)
From: GUEST,Greg Tanner_Canberra

I have been playing this version for 30 years - first heard it on Junk Food Junkie by Larry Groce. I like the way it modulates from the minor to a major. The tune and words are a little different to Billy's original version (no D7) but I prefer it.


(Em)Travelin' down that (C)coal high(Em)way,
(C)Listen to my (D)rubber tires (Em)whine;
(Em)Goodbye to Buckeye and (C)White Syca(Em)more,
(C)I'm leavin' (D)you be(Em)hind.
            

(G)I've been a (D)coal(C)miner (D)most of my days
(G)Lay down (D)track in the (C) ho(D)le,
(Em)I got a back like an ironwood (C)bent by the (Em)wind
(C)Blood veins as (D)blue as the (Em)coal.
Echo (C)Blood veins as (D)blue as the (Em)coal.