Coal Mining Top Ten: Working in the Coal Mine (#8)

@FourWalls (15292)
United States
June 22, 2018 8:41am CST
I continue on with my countdown of favorites dealing with the subject of coal mining, which was inspired by a trip to the coal mining region of eastern Kentucky last week. Here's one of the most obvious songs to make the countdown, and I'm sure everyone was waiting for this one. #8: Working in the Coal Mine - Lee Dorsey I'm looking for this one on @teamfreak16 's "Play It Again, Sam" series thanks to the Devo cover. But here I'm going with the 1967 original by Lee Dorsey. Let's face it, this song certainly doesn't depict the horrors of coal mining the way some of these other songs do. There's a good reason for that, too: according to Picky Wedia, neither singer Lee Dorsey nor songwriter Allen Toussaint had ever seen a coal mine, let alone worked in one. Then again, Sam Cooke made "the sound of the men working on the chain gang" sound far more pleasant than that was. Still, the things that make coal mining a hard life are there, from getting up at 5 AM to the fact that when "Saturday rolls around I'm too tired to have any fun." The fact that an African-American wrote this and another black man sang it brings to light another thing about coal mining: while the mines were integrated long before the rest of the nation, the coal mining communities were not. One of the historical markers in Kentucky shows the "Colored School" in eastern Kentucky, where the children of the African-American workers -- who were down in the mine, working shoulder to shoulder with their Caucasian brothers -- had to go to school because they couldn't attend the "whites only" school. I'll bet you never thought this happy, upbeat song would lead you to discover such misery, huh? Working in the Coal Mine Written by Allen Toussaint Recorded by Lee Dorsey Released as a single, 1967 How long can this go on:
Please like: https://www.facebook.com/pages/aadcramanl/1418895138365416 on Facebook. Canaries were once regularly used in coal mining as an early warning sys...
4 people like this
3 responses
@dgobucks226 (13839)
24 Jun
Always liked this one and the hooks in the song were infectious. "Workin' in a coal mine, oops, about to slip down." Dorsey's enthusiastic delivery really did make this unpleasant job seem upbeat as you stated!
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@JohnRoberts (63313)
• Los Angeles, California
22 Jun
This song speaks to all people and colors about the drudgery of work.
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@teamfreak16 (41526)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
23 Jun
"Lord, I am so tired!" I figured that since, at pace I'm going, it'll take me about six years to actually get to this, I'd chime in now. Such a great song. A classic, as far as I'm concerned.
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@FourWalls (15292)
• United States
24 Jun
Plus, you’re probably thinking, “man, how did I forget this song in my ‘play it again, Sam’ countdown????”
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41526)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
25 Jun
@FourWalls - Actually, you are on the right track with Devo, I did actually forget about this one, but I am using them for another, which you probably already can guess which one.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (15292)
• United States
25 Jun
@teamfreak16 -- well, I've tried, and I've tried, and I've tried, and I've tried, I can't get me no.....song to come to mind.
1 person likes this