I have to agree with all the things
Loretta wrote about and sang in her song
A coal miner’s work is deadly and rough
Money often short and shifts too long

My Daddy was a Kentucky coal miner
The dreaded dust attacked him in his prime
Filling his lungs with the deadly disease
Black lung took him ‘way before his time

So many times, Daddy worked two shifts
Doubling back when he should have been in bed
Always eager to make an extra dollar or two
To keep a family of nine clothed and fed

Often we were hungry, but we never starved
As our Daddy worked hard to make a living
We wore hand-me-downs and homemade clothes
That Mother spent a lot of time stitching

We all worked in our spring and summer garden
Weeding and hoeing long hours of the day
Eating all we could and canning what we couldn’t
To keep the gnawing hunger of winter at bay

Drawing his meager script every other week
Already owing most of it to the company store
Never a day late but always several dollars short
Daddy must have hated poverty to the core

I often think of the rough life our parents led
Always scrimping and just plain doing without
Working themselves to death and never getting ahead
Kids too young to know what life was really about

Though things have changed since I was young
 Coal mining is still a dangerous job today
We had it better than some and worse than others
Daddy and Mother always managed some way

Daddy told me not long before his death
That smothering is a rough way to go
He was a decent, honest, hard-working man
A shortened life with a tough row to hoe

Kathleen McCoy Eldridge©
July 31, 2007
All Rights Reserved

"I'm Just An Old Chunk Of Coal"
Sequencer Unknown To Me