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Into the Darkness

Joe Vickers
Language: English


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[2011]
Lyrics & Music by Joe Vickers
Album: Valley Home

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In the days of open flame lamps, visibility was poor as miners could only see a couple feet from their faces. Despite the lack of proper lighting, many workers commented on the liveliness of mining shafts underground.

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They said the mine sounded like a living entity unto itself - the timber supports creaked and whispered as the tunnel roofs moaned and resettled while the hammering of pickaxes and explosives echoed in the distance.

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The first entry was a frightening experience for a new miner, but with time a familiarity with the profession developed and comfort grew with a miner's heightened sense of sound and awareness.

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Tens of thousands of men entered into the various collieries throughout the valley, some of whom never left.
I crossed the Atlantic Ocean..
As a young immigrant man..
Searching to build a better life..
Upon this foreign land..

I traveled to the western frontier
Where my new home was found
Upon the coal belt of Alberta
Pioneering the underground

Into the darkness, I go
Into the darkness, I go
Digging for coal in the mighty depths below
Into the darkness, I go

My brothers look just like me
A face darkened by the stone
Eyes hold many expressions
None of which are shown

Our courage is wrapped tightly
Underneath dirty work clothes
A kerosene lamps guides our steps
Into the darkness, we go

Into the darkness, we go
Into the darkness, we go
I am just one soldier in an army of brave souls
Into the darkness, we go..

I'm no stranger to dancing with danger
Amongst the shadows of the shaft
My shaky bones feel the wrath of the dynamite blasts
Forever fearful of the methane gas.

All throughout the pitch-black
Fires and accidents we endure the cruel conditions
All the risks that rage do not reflect upon our wage
I'd seek another if this weren't the only way..

Into the darkness, we go
Into the darkness, we go
Putting our lives on the line when we step into the mines
Into the darkness, we go

In the short winter days
It is darkness in the mornings
When my day long shift begins
And at job end it is dusk by then
No sunshine do my eyes ever see..

I hear the haunting echoes; toward them I follow
Praying not too meet disbelief..
All of my working days, I curse and I praise
My labour on my hands and knees.

On the inside of my helmet
I've scratched a list so long
A list of initials to whom belong

The names of the men
I have worked with who have fallen
Into the darkness, they have gone.

If there's light at the end of the tunnel my friends
See for me there is enough room
For just another old DrumHeller miner
Out of the darkness, I'll be coming soon.

Contributed by giorgio - 2013/4/23 - 16:01



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