The old miner was stooped over low,
As down the road he started to go;
Forty years he worked in that dark pit.
Now his feeble body was proof of it.
Struggling to breathe, he did his best.
Too much rock dust in his chest;
That mountain hole, three feet high.
Had bid his youth and health, goodbye.
Too much time in that black hole,
Nearly blind, just like a mole.
The bones cry out, when he moves around,
Too much time in that cold, wet ground.
Working for a meal and room,
Suddenly; natural gas, not coal is the boom.
The company and union, they are gone,
The old man and his frail body, they are alone.
Once he shoveled coal by the ton,
Just to support a wife and son.
His son is dead at age four,
The wife is gone, she couldn't take anymore.
This was to be his last painful day,
As he was walking, he quietly passed away.
Soon he will be gone back to the mountain,
His final trip without any pain.
On his tombstone, if he gets one at all,
His life trials, someone should recall.
Old Jack was a man, proud and free,
He gave his best, it was his destiny.
To coal mining families, this man is familiar,
They know this story or one very similar.
The fortunate ones slowly erode away,
The unfortunate perish on cave-in day.
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