Mudcat Café message #1596752 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #85261   Message #1596752
Posted By: Joe Offer
03-Nov-05 - 04:58 PM
Thread Name: DTStudy: Songs of Jean Ritchie
Subject: DTStudy: Blue Diamond Mines
BLUE DIAMOND MINES
(Jean Ritchie [writing as 'Than Hall])

I remember the ways in the bygone days
When we was all in our prime
How us and John L. gave the old man hell
Down in the Blue Diamond mines
Where the whistle would blow 'fore the rooster crowed
Full two hours before daylight
When a man done his best, and he earned his good rest
And had seventeen dollars at night

You old black gold, you've taken my soul
Your dust has darkened my home
And now that I'm old, you're turning your back
Where else can an old miner go
Well, first it's Big Block and then Leatherwood
And now it's Blue Diamond too
The pits are all closed, and it's "go find a job"
What else can an old miner do

Your union is dead and you're shaking your head
They say mining's had its day
But you're stripping off my mountain top
And you pay me three dollars a day
Well, you might get a poke of welfare meat
A little poke of welfare flour
But I tell you right now, you won't qualify
Less you work for a quarter an hour

John L. had a dream but it's broken, it seems
Our union is letting us down
Last week they took away my hospital card
And it's "why don't you leave this old town"
Well, you go downtown and you hang around
Well, maybe it ain't so bad
Then you come back home and they meet you at the door
And it's "what did you bring me, dad"

Copyright Geordie Music
First heard from Ringer & McCaslin. They did it well. JN
@mining @work @union
filename[ BLUDIAM
TUNE FILE: BLUDIAM
CLICK TO PLAY
JN



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Corrected Version:



BLUE DIAMOND MINES
(Jean Ritchie [writing as 'Than Hall])

I remember the ways, in the bygone days
When we was all in our prime;
How us and John L., we give the Old Man hell
Down in the Blue Diamond Mines.
When the whistle would blow 'fore the rooster crow,
Full two hours before daylight;
When a man done his best, and he earned his good rest
Had seventeen dollars at night

You old black gold, you have taken my soul,
Your dust has darkened my home.
And now I am old, and you turn your back,
Where else can an old miner go?
It's Big Leatherwood, Algoma Block, and now it's Blue Diamond too,
Well, the pits are closed, get another job -
What work can an old miner do?

Now your union is dead, and they shake their heads,
Well minin' has had its day.
But they're strippin' off my mountain top
And they pay me three dollars a day.
O you might get a littel poke of welfare meal, (meat??)
Get a little poke of welfare flour,
But I tell you right now, you won't qualify
Till you work for a quarter an hour.

John L. had a dream, but it's broken it seems,
Now the Union's a-lettin' us down;
Last week they took away my hospital card,
Said, "Why don't you leave this old town?"
Come on downtown, boys, we'll hang around,
Well, maybe it ain't so bad.
Go on back home and they meet you at the door,
And it's "what did you bring me, Dad?"

Copyright Geordie Music, 1964, 1971
from Jean Ritchie - Celebration of Life: her songs...her poems (1971, Geordie Music Publishing)


This is a "scratch-written" song by Jean Ritchie.

And now, Jean, over to you...