Mudcat Café message #951274 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59577   Message #951274
Posted By: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
12-May-03 - 05:04 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Black Waters (Jean Ritchie)
Subject: RE: Lyr req: Black Waters' (Jean Ritchie)
Yes, there IS a Perry County. The county seat is Hazard. Both names come from one Oliver Hazard Perry. There is, however, no Hazard County, and Tom Paxton's "High Sherriff of Hazard" does not exist- he is the High Sherriff of Perry County. All clear?

There are coal mines all around this region- the Hazard coal fields, and the Harlan seam are the main ones, and many more smaller ones, Hardburly, Glowmar, Big Leatherwood, Blue Diamond, etc. "Black Waters talks about the Hazard mines, and Blue Diamond has another song all unto itself, although "Blue Diamond Mines" also mentions Big Leatherwood, and Algoma Block (Glomawr, as I recall).

Masato- the lyrics here are almost correct, but seem to have come from someone's memory rather than the original source. Just little things, but they make for a sort of clumsiness in the poetry- at least I tell myself that mine own words are better! e.g. Here are my lyrics to the second part of the third verse (to which the beginning line of that verse is, "In the rising of the springtime-" not, "the coming of the springtime.")

Then they threw down my mountains and covered my corn,
And the grave on the hillside's a mile deeper down-
And the man stands and talks with his hat in his hand
As the poisonous waters rise over my land.

Go on, say, 'Picky, picky'! But it just seems smoother, as it was writ.    Joy and greetings to all,   Jean