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Talking Centralia


I'm just a miner in a mining town
I dig like a mole in a hole in the ground
When the sun comes up til the sun goes down
I don't see much sun when I'm down in the ground

Soft coal and hard coal and lead and zinc and all other kinds of hard stuff
It's a hard living.

Got up this morning in the same old way
Dropped my hot coffee to start off my day
My wife give me breakfast in her stocking feet
And I kissed the kids in bed and then I walked down the street

Just walking along watching the sun come up, I was just thinking and wondering
Wondering and thinking.

Centralia here is a pretty little town
You can see Illinois for miles around
Can't see too good with my eyes full of sleep, though
I'm gonna quit mining someday and I'm gonna sleep 'bout a week

Just solid sleep
Hard down, hard up
Good old warm sleep

Dream myself up a lot of pretty dreams
About pretty mine holes and pretty mine bosses
And pretty mine owners and pretty women all over the place

Most men don't talk what's eatin' on their minds
About different ways of dying down here in the mines
But every morning we walk along and joke
About the mines caving in, the dust and the smoke

And one little wild spark of fire
Blowing us sky high and crooked
One little spark blowing us cross-eyed and crazy
Up to shake hands with all the Lord's little angels

Well, I knock at the gate and stand and laugh
And the elevator man drops us down his shaft
We scatter and kneel and crawl different places
With fumes in our eyes and dust on our faces

Gas on our stomach and water on our kneecap,
Aches and pains and rheumatism, all kinds of crazy pictures flying through our heads
Well, a spark did hit us in the number five
I don't know if anybody ever did come out alive
I got carried out with a busted head
The lady said there's a hundred and eleven was dead

Well, this ain't my first explosion
I come through two cave-ins and two more fires before this one
Twenty-two dead down in Ohio and thirty-six I seen in Kentucky laid up
And a hundred and eleven here in Centralia

Well, it seems like the very best men go down
And don't come back in these mining towns
Keep on a-wondering how things would be
If a cave-in had come to the senator's seat

Or a big explosion of some kind was to go off up there in them Congress walls
Wonder what sort of words and messages that they'd write on their slates
Wonder if they'd hire anybody to come down to them Senate chambers and put in some safety devices,
Nine hundred dollars worth

Think there's just about enough loose gas around that Capitol dome up there, though
To make a mighty big blow if a spark ever hits it just right

 










 
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