Miner's Prayer


Feb 5 2006, 22:16

With the recent underground mine disasters in the news, and the calls for a mining safety time out, I've been thinking about the music of mining, in particualr Appalachian mining.

It's not a part of the Americana tradition I'm personally familiar with. In Montana, most of the mining has gone to open pits or been replaced by yuppie ski resorts (does anybody use the term "yuppie" anymore? I'm so '90s...) In Colorado, too, the mines are few, far between, and locked off behined tall fences. Even here in Minnesota, the few mines up on the Mesabi Iron Range are far from my everyday. I'm a wide-open plainsman, and I've not much understoon the lure of the underground to others than mystical dwarves and ground hogs.

A few old hill country songs seem to shed some light on these cold, dark hollers:
* Dwight Yoakam: Some Dark Holler
* Merle Travis: Dark As Dungeon (also by Johnny Cash and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)
* Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter
* Miner's Prayer
* Paradise
* Buddy Miller: Quecreek
* Utah Phillips: Green Rolling Hills (also by Emmylou Harris
* Steve Earle: The Mountain
* Darrell Scott: You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive (also by Patty Loveless and Brad Paisley)

Be Safe,


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