Coal

by Kathy Mattea

supported by
/
  • Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

     $9 USD  or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD)

    Includes unlimited streaming of Coal via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 10 days

     $15 USD or more

     

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
03:18
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.

about

Grammy winner and environmental activist Kathy Mattea, known for such classic hits as "18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses," has dreamed quietly about one day recording an album like COAL. Raised near Charleston, West Virginia, her childhood was steeped in the Appalachian culture and her mining heritage is thick: bother her parents grew up in coal camps, her grandfathers were miners, and her mother worked for the local UMWA. But the songs on COAL are more than just mining songs. Mattea says she wanted to pay tribute to "my place and my people."

The idea for COAL began to gel during the Sago Mine Disaster, which killed twelve WV miners in 2006. "I knew the time was right," says Mattea. COAL forced her to dig really deep to find the power to let these songs come forth. Co-producer Marty Stuart understood her core relationship to these songs, that they were "in her blood." As Mattea says, "I think there's a mystery there. Somewhere in my DNA, there's my great grandmother singing, my grandma, and my people singing through me, with me." Singer, songs, producer, and pickers have come together flawlessly to form COAL, a career record for Mattea and a great gift for music lovers.

1. The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore 4:1
2. Blue Diamond Mines 4:59
3. Red-Winged Blackbird 2:53
4. Lawrence Jones 3:04
5. Green Rolling Hills 3:46
6. Coal Tattoo 3:17
7. Sally In the Garden 0:44
8. You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive 5:03
9. Dark as a Dungeon 4:34
10. Coming of the Roads 4:38
11. Black Lung/ Coal

credits

released April 1, 2008

Captain Potato Records/R.E.D. Distribution
Produced by Marty Stuart

Personnel:
Kathy Mattea (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar)
Marty Stuart (Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Harmony Vocals- "Blue Diamond Mines")
Bill Cooley (Acoustic Guitar)
Byron House (Upright Bass, Bowed Bass)
Stuart Duncan (Fiddle, Banjo, Acoustic Guitar, Mandocello)
Eric Fritsch (B-3 Organ)
Fred Newell (Steel Guitar)
Randy Leago (Accordion, Piano)
John Catchings (Cello)
Tim O'Brien (Harmony Vocals- "Green Rolling Hills")
Mollie O'Brien (Harmony Vocals- "Green Rolling Hills")
Patty Loveless (Harmony Vocals- "Blue Diamond Mines")

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Kathy Mattea Nashville, Tennessee

Twice named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association, Kathy Mattea is among the most successful women in the genre’s history, yet her creative spirit has led her to explore musical territory well beyond its confines. Her recent recordings have intertwined Celtic, gospel, and bluegrass influences with the folk and acoustic music that have served as her artistic anchor. ... more

shows

contact / help

Contact Kathy Mattea

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Blue Diamond Mines
I REMEMBER THE WAYS IN THE BYGONE DAYS
WHEN WE WERE IN OUR PRIME
HOW US AND JOHN L. GIVE THE OLD MAN HELL
DOWN IN THE BLUE DIAMOND MINE

WELL THE WHISTLE BLOWED AND THE ROOSTER CROWED
TWO HOURS BEFORE DAYLIGHT
WHEN A MAN DONE HIS BEST AND HE EARNED HIS GOOD REST
MADE SEVENTEEN DOLLARS AT NIGHT

[Chorus]
IN THE MINES IN THE MINES
IN THE BLUE DIAMOND MINES
I 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 LUNGS
AND YOUR DUST HAS DARKENED MY HOME
AND NOW THAT WE'RE OLD YOU'RE TURNING YOUR BACK
WHERE ELSE CAN AN OLD MINER GO

WELL IT'S ALGOMA BLOCK AND BIG LEATHERWOOD
AND NOW ITS BLUE DIAMOND TOO
WELL THE PITS ARE ALL CLOSED AND IT'S GET ANOTHER JOB
WHAT ELSE CAN AN OLD MINER DO?

[Chorus]

JOHN L. HAD A DREAM BUT IT'S BROKEN IT SEEMS
MINING HAS HAD IT'S DAY
BUT THEY'RE STRIPPING OFF MY MOUNTAIN TOP
AND THEY PAY ME EIGHT DOLLARS A DAY

YOU MIGHT GET A LITTLE POKE OF WELFARE MEAL
A LITTLE POKE OF WELFARE FLOUR
BUT I TELL YOU RIGHT NOW YOU WON'T QUALIFY
'TILL YOU WORK FOR A QUARTER AN HOUR

[Chorus]
Track Name: Red-Winged Blackbird
OH CAN'T YOU SEE THAT PRETTY LITTLE BIRD
SINGING WITH ALL HIS HEART AND SOUL
HE'S GOT A BLOOD-RED SPOT ON HIS WING
AND ALL THE REST OF HIM'S BLACK AS COAL

OF ALL THE COLORS I EVER DID SEE
RED AND BLACK ARE THE ONES I DREAD
FOR WHEN A MAN SPILLS BLOOD ON THE COAL
THEY CARRY HIM DOWN FROM THE COAL MINES DEAD

OH FLY AWAY YOU RED-WINGED BIRD
LEAVE BEHIND THE MINER'S WIFE
SHE'LL DREAM ABOUT YOU WHEN YOU'RE GONE
SHE'LL DREAM ABOUT YOU ALL HER LIFE

OH CAN'T YOU SEE THAT PRETTY LITTLE BIRD
SINGING WITH ALL HIS HEART AND SOUL
HE'S GOT A BLOOD-RED SPOT ON HIS WING
AND ALL THE REST OF HIM'S BLACK AS COAL
Track Name: Lawrence Jones
WELL THE NIGHT IS THICK AS SILENCE
YOU CAN'T CUT IT WITH A KNIFE
A MAN LIES IN THE HOSPITAL
DRAININ' OUT HIS LIFE

THE TRUCKS ARE ON THE BACK ROAD
IN THE DARK THEIR HEADLIGHTS SHINE
'CAUSE THERE'S ONE MAN DEAD
ON THAT HARLAN COUNTY LINE

OH ANGER, LIKE POISON
IS EATIN' AT YOUR SOUL
YOUR THOUGHTS ARE LOUD AS GUNFIRE
YOUR FACE IS HARD AS COAL

BITTERNESS LIKE BUCKSHOT
EXPLODES INSIDE YOUR MIND
AND THERE'S ONE MAN DEAD
ON THAT HARLAN COUNTY LINE

OH A MINER'S LIFE IS FRAGILE
IT CAN SHATTER JUST LIKE ICE
BUT THOSE WHO BEAR THE STRUGGLE
HAVE ALWAYS PAID THE PRICE

THERE'S BLOOD UPON THE CONTRACT
LIKE VINEGAR IN WINE
AND THERE'S ONE MAN DEAD
ON THAT HARLAN COUNTY LINE

FROM THE RIVER BRIDGE AT HIGHSPLINT
TO THE BROOKSIDE RAILROAD TRACK
YOU CAN FEEL A LONG STRENGTH BUILDING
THAT CAN NEVER BE TURNED BACK

THE DEAD GO FORWARD WITH US
NOT ONE IS LEFT BEHIND
'CAUSE THERE'S ONE MAN DEAD
ON THAT HARLAN COUNTY LINE

WELL THE NIGHT IS COLD AS IRON
YOU CAN FEEL IT IN YOUR BONES
IT SETTLES LIKE A SHROUD UPON
THE GRAVE OF LAWRENCE JONES

THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT IS WALKIN'
FROM THE BATHHOUSE INTO THE MINE
AND THERE'S ONE MAN DEAD
ON THAT HARLAN COUNTY LINE

ONE MAN DEAD
ON THAT HARLAN COUNTY LINE

ONE MINER DEAD ON THAT HARLAN COUNTY LINE
Track Name: Green Rolling Hills
[Chorus]
OH THE GREEN ROLLING HILLS OF WEST VIRGINIA
ARE THE NEAREST THING TO HEAVEN THAT I KNOW
THOUGH THE TIMES ARE SAD AND DREAR
AND I CANNOT LINGER HERE
THEY'LL KEEP ME AND NEVER LET ME GO

MY DADDY SAID DON'T EVER BE A MINER
FOR A MINER'S GRAVE IS ALL YOU'LL EVER OWN
THERE'S HARD TIMES EVERYWHERE
I CAN'T FIND A DIME TO SPARE
THESE ARE THE WORST TIMES I'VE EVER KNOWN

[Chorus]

SO I'LL MOVE AWAY INTO SOME CROWDED CITY
IN SOME NORTHERN FACTORY TOWN YOU'LL FIND ME THERE
THOUGH I'LL LEAVE THE PAST BEHIND
I'LL NEVER CHANGE MY MIND
THESE TROUBLED TIMES ARE MORE THAN I CAN BEAR

[Chorus]

SOMEDAY I'LL GO BACK TO WEST VIRGINIA
TO THOSE GREEN ROLLING HILLS I LOVE SO WELL
OH SOMEDAY I'LL GO HOME
AND I KNOW I'LL RIGHT THE WRONG
THESE HARD TIMES WILL FOLLOW ME NO MORE

[Chorus]

THOUGH THE TIMES ARE SAD AND DREAR
AND I CANNOT LINGER HERE
THEY'LL KEEP ME AND NEVER LET ME GO
Track Name: Coal Tattoo
TRAVELIN' ON DOWN THAT COAL TOWN ROAD
LISTEN TO MY RUBBER TIRES WHINE
GOODBYE TO BUCKEYE AND WHITE SYCAMORE
I'M LEAVIN' YOU BEHIND
OH I'VE BEEN A COAL MINER ALL MY LIFE
LAYIN' DOWN TRACK IN THE HOLE
GOT A BACK LIKE IRONWOOD, BENT BY THE WIND
BLOOD VEINS AS BLUE AS THE COAL
BLOOD VEINS AS BLUE AS THE COAL

WELL, SOMEBODY SAID, "THAT'S A STRANGE TATTOO
YOU HAVE ON THE SIDE OF YOUR HEAD"
I SAID, THAT'S THE BLUE MARK LEFT BY THE COAL
A LITTLE MORE AND I'D A BEEN DEAD
OH, I LOVE THE RUMBLE AND I LOVE THE DARK
LORD I LOVE THE COOL OF THE SLATE
BUT IT'S GOING DOWN THAT NEW ROAD, LOOKIN' FOR A JOB
TRAVELIN' AND LOOKIN' I HATE
TRAVELIN' AND LOOKIN' I HATE

SOME DAY WHEN I'M DEAD AND GONE
TO HEAVEN THE LAND OF MY DREAMS
I WON'T HAVE TO WORRY 'BOUT LOSIN' MY JOB
TO BAD TIMES AND BIG MACHINES
OH I GOT NO HOUSE LORD I GOT NO JOB
JUST GOT A WORRIED SOUL
AND A BLUE TATTOO ON THE SIDE OF MY HEAD
LEFT BY THE NUMBER NINE COAL
LEFT BY THE NUMBER NINE COAL
Track Name: You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive
IN THE DEEP DARK HILLS OF EASTERN KENTUCKY
THAT'S THE PLACE WHERE I TRACE MY BLOODLINE
AND IT'S THERE I READ ON A HILLSIDE GRAVESTONE
"YOU'LL NEVER LEAVE HARLAN ALIVE"

OH MY GRANDAD'S DAD CROSSED THE CUMBERLAND MOUNTAINS
WHERE HE TOOK A PRETTY GIRL TO BE HIS BRIDE
SAID "WON'T YOU WALK WITH ME OUT THE MOUTH OF THIS HOLLER
OR WE'LL NEVER LEAVE HARLAN ALIVE"

[Chorus]
WHERE THE SUN COMES UP ABOUT TEN IN THE MORNIN'
AND THE SUN GOES DOWN ABOUT THREE IN THE DAY
AND YOU'LL FILL YOUR CUP WITH WHATEVER BITTER BREW YOU'RE DRINKIN'
AND YOU SPEND YOUR LIFE JUST THINKIN' OF HOW TO GET AWAY

NO ONE EVER KNEW THERE WAS COAL IN THEM MOUNTAINS
TILL A MAN FROM THE NORTHEAST ARRIVED
HE WAS WAVING HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS
SAID "I'LL PAY YOU FOR YOUR MINERALS"
BUT HE NEVER LEFT HARLAN ALIVE

GRANDMA SOLD OUT CHEAP AND THEY MOVED OUT WEST OF PIKEVILLE
TO A FARM WHERE BIG RICHLAND RIVER WINDS
OH I BET THEY DANCED THEM A JIG
AND THEY LAUGHED AND SANG A NEW SONG
"WHO SAID WE'D NEVER LEAVE HARLAN ALIVE"

BUT THE TIMES GOT HARD AND TOBACCO WASN'T SELLING
AND OLD GRANDAD KNEW WHAT HE'D DO TO SURVIVE
SO HE WENT AND DUG FOR HARLAN COAL
SENT THE MONEY BACK TO GRANNY
BUT HE NEVER LEFT HARLAN ALIVE

[Chorus]

THE SUN COMES UP ABOUT TEN IN THE MORNIN'
AND THE SUN GOES DOWN ABOUT THREE IN THE DAY
YOU FILL YOUR CUP WITH WHATEVER BITTER BREW YOU'RE DRINKIN'
AND YOU SPEND YOUR LIFE DIGGIN' COAL FROM THE BOTTOM OF YOUR GRAVE
Track Name: Dark as a Dungeon
COME AND LISTEN YOU FELLOWS SO YOUNG AND SO FINE
AND SEEK NOT YOUR FORTUNES IN THE DARK DREARY MINES
IT WILL FORM AS A HABIT AND SEEP IN YOUR SOUL
TILL THE STREAM OF YOUR BLOOD RUNS AS BLACK AS THE COAL

[Chorus]
WHERE IT'S DARK AS A DUNGEON AND DAMP AS THE DEW
WHERE DANGER IS DOUBLE AND PLEASURES ARE FEW
WHERE THE RAIN NEVER FALLS AND THE SUN NEVER SHINES
IT'S DARK AS A DUNGEON WAY DOWN IN THE MINES

IT'S A MANY A MAN I HAVE KNOWN IN MY DAY
WHO LIVED JUST TO LABOR HIS WHOLE LIFE AWAY
LIKE THE FIEND WITH HIS DOPE OR A DRUNKARD HIS WINE
A MAN WILL HAVE LUST FOR THE LURE OF THE MINES

[Chorus]

WELL THE MIDNIGHT OR THE MORNING OR THE MIDDLE OF DAY
IS THE SAME TO THE MINER DIGGING AWAY
WHERE THE DEMONS OF DEATH OFTEN COME BY SURPRISE
ONE FALL OF THE SLATE AND YOU'RE BURIED ALIVE

[Chorus]

WELL I HOPE WHEN I'M GONE AND THE AGES SHALL ROLL
MY BODY WILL BLACKEN AND TURN INTO COAL
THEN I'LL LOOK FROM THE DOOR OF MY HEAVENLY HOME
AND PITY THE MINER DIGGING MY BONES

[Chorus]

OH IT'S DARK AS A DUNGEON WAY DOWN IN THE MINES
Track Name: The Coming of the Roads
NOW THAT OUR MOUNTAIN IS GROWING WITH PEOPLE HUNGRY FOR WEALTH
HOW COME IT'S YOU THAT'S A-GOING
AND I'M LEFT ALL ALONE BY MYSELF?
WE USED TO HUNT THE COOL CAVERNS DEEP IN OUR FOREST OF GREEN
THEN CAME THE ROAD AND THE TAVERNS AND YOU FOUND A NEW LOVE IT SEEMS

ONCE I HAD YOU AND THE WILDWOOD, NOW IT'S JUST DUSTY ROADS
AND I CAN'T HELP BUT BLAMIN' YOUR GOING
ON THE COMING, THE COMING OF THE ROADS

LOOK HOW THEY'VE CUT ALL TO PIECES OUR ANCIENT REDWOOD AND OAK
AND THE HILLSIDES ARE STAINED WITH THE GREASES
THAT BURNED UP THE HEAVENS WITH SMOKE

YOU USED TO CURSE THE BOLD CREWMEN
WHO STRIPPED OUR EARTH OF ITS ORE
NOW YOU'VE CHANGED AND YOU'VE GONE OVER TO THEM
AND YOU'VE LEARNED TO LOVE WHAT YOU HATED BEFORE

ONCE I THANKED GOD FOR OUR TREASURE, NOW LIKE RUST IT CORRODES
AND I CAN'T HELP BUT BLAMIN' YOUR GOIN'
ON THE COMING, THE COMING OF THE ROADS.

ONCE I THANKED GOD FOR OUR TREASURE, NOW LIKE RUST IT CORRODES
AND I CAN'T HELP BUT BLAMIN' YOUR GOIN'
ON THE COMING, THE COMING OF THE ROADS.

NO I CAN'T HELP BUT BLAMIN' YOUR GOIN'
ON THE COMING, THE COMING OF THE ROADS
Track Name: Black Lung (Mandolin Intro)
HE'S HAD MORE HARD LUCK THAN MOST MEN COULD STAND
THE MINES WAS HIS FIRST LOVE BUT NEVER HIS FRIEND
HE'S LIVED A HARD LIFE AND HARD HE'LL DIE
BLACK LUNG'S DONE GOT HIM HIS TIME IS NIGH

BLACK LUNG, BLACK LUNG, OH YOU'RE JUST BIDIN' YOUR TIME
SOON ALL OF THIS SUFFERIN' I'LL LEAVE BEHIND
BUT I CAIN'T HELP BUT WONDER WHAT GOD HAD IN MIND
TO SEND SUCH A DEVIL TO CLAIM THIS SOUL OF MINE

HE WENT TO THE BOSS MAN BUT HE CLOSED THE DOOR
WELL IT SEEMS YOU'RE NOT WANTED WHEN YOU'RE SICK AND YOU'RE POOR
YOU AIN'T EVEN COVERED IN THEIR MEDICAL PLANS
AND YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON THE FAVORS OF MAN

DOWN IN THE POOR HOUSE ON STARVATION'S PLAN
WHERE PRIDE IS A STRANGER AND DOOMED IS A MAN
HIS SOUL FULL OF COAL DUST TILL HIS BODY'S DECAYED
AND EVERYONE BUT BLACK LUNG'S DONE TURNED HIM AWAY

BLACK LUNG, BLACK LUNG, OH YOUR HAND'S ICY COLD
AS YOU REACH FOR MY LIFE AND YOU TORTURE MY SOUL
COLD AS THAT WATER HOLE DOWN IN THAT DARK CAVE
WHERE I SPENT MY LIFE'S BLOOD DIGGIN' MY OWN GRAVE

DOWN AT THE GRAVEYARD THE BOSS MAN CAME
WITH HIS LITTLE BUNCH OF FLOWERS, DEAR GOD WHAT A SHAME
TAKE BACK THOSE FLOWERS DON'T YOU SING NO SAD SONGS
THE DIE HAS BEEN CAST NOW, A GOOD MAN IS GONE

HE'S HAD MORE HARD LUCK THAN MOST MEN COULD STAND
THE MINES WAS HIS FIRST LOVE BUT NEVER HIS FRIEND
HE'S LIVED A HARD LIFE AND HARD HE'LL DIE
BLACK LUNG'S DONE GOT HIM HIS TIME IS NIGH

BLACK LUNG, BLACK LUNG, OH YOU'RE JUST BIDIN' YOUR TIME
SOON ALL OF THIS SUFFERIN' I'LL LEAVE BEHIND
BUT I CAIN'T HELP BUT WONDER WHAT GOD HAD IN MIND
TO SEND SUCH A DEVIL TO CLAIM THIS SOUL OF MINE