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Only a Miner Killed

John Wallace Crawford
Language: English


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[1877]
Testo trovato su Bob Dylan Roots.

Ho attribuito questa canzone all’autore del testo John Wallace Crawford detto "Captain Jack" (1847-1917), avventuriero americano che fu minatore, soldato, cacciatore di indiani, cercatore d’oro, attore nel circo di Buffalo Bill, poeta e commediografo.
Captain Jack scrisse questa poesia all’inizio del 1877 quando tutti i giornali non facevano che parlare della morte del magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. Invece, in quegli stessi giorni, delle morte sul lavoro di un anonimo minatore solo un trafiletto sul Virginia City Chronicle … “only a miner killed”…
La poesia, pubblicata nella raccolta intitolata “The Poet Scout” divenne una canzone popolare solo una decina di anni dopo e ispirò canzoni successive, come Poor Miner’s Farewell di Aunt Molly Jackson e Only A Hobo di Bob Dylan.
While in Virginia City, in 1877, a wagon passed up Main Street, with a soiled canvas thrown over it. Some curbstone brokers rushed out to investigate, and when they returned were asked what was the matter. "O," replied one, "It's only a miner killed." Old Commodore Vanderbilt died on the same day and the papers were full of accounts concerning this multi-millionaire. A paragraph in the Virginia City Chronicle, referring to the above incident, suggested the following verses:

Only a miner killed -- oh! is that all?
One of the timbers caved, great was the fall,
Crushing another one shaped like his God.
Only a miner lad -- under the sod.

Only a miner killed, just one more dead.
Who will provide for them -- who earn their bread? --
Wife and little ones: pity them, God,
Their earthly father is under the sod.

Only a miner killed, dead on the spot,
Poor hearts are breaking in yonder lone cot.
He died at his post, a hero as brave
As any who sleeps in a marble top grave.

Only a miner killed! God, if thou wilt,
Just introduce him to Vanderbilt,
Who, with his millions, if he is there,
Can't buy one interest -- even one share.

Only a miner, bury him quick;
Just write his name on a piece of a stick.
Though humble and plain be the poor miner's grave
Beyond, all are equal, the master and slave.

Contributed by Bartleby - 2010/10/19 - 11:10



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