Coal Tattoo

Billy Edd Wheeler
Language: English

Travelin' down that coal-town road,
Listenin' to my rubber tires whine.
Goodbye to Buckeye and white Sycamore;
I'm leavin' you behind.

I've been coal miner all of my life
Layin' down track in the hole.
Gotta back like an ironwood, bit by the wind;
Blood veins blue as the coal.

Somebody said, "That's a strange tattoo
You have on the side of your head."
I said, "That's the blueprint left by the coal.
A little more and I'd been dead."

Well, I love the rumble and I love the dark.
I love the cool of the slade,
And it's on down the new road, lookin' for a job.
This travelin' nook in my head.

I stood for the union and walked in the line
And fought against the company.
I stood for the U. M. W. of A.
Now, who's gonna stand for me?

I've got no house and I got no job,
Just got a worried soul;
And a blue tattoo on the side of my head
Left by the number nine coal.

Some day when I'm dead and gone to heaven,
The land of my dreams;
I won't have to worry on losin' my job,
On bad times and big machines.

I ain't gonna pay
My money away
On dues or hospital plans.
I'm gonna pick coal
Where the blue heavens roll
And sing with the angel band…

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