I was bringing my cousin to the campfire and discovered my brother, my cousin Zak, and two uncles making music. I sat there for hours. Below is a sonnet about that night:
Family Campfire a sonnet
Songs six beers deep, or blood and guts and war,
Of mining coal or death or love or pain,
Originals and songs we’ve heard before,
Around the fiyre, hear the songs they sang.
The strings on his guitar unite and build
With voice that sings a mix of joy and gin.
From accents here and there the night is stilled
To hear the gently riding mandolin.
A sweetly smelling pipe perfumes the air.
The woods breath cool and gentle on my skin.
The music grows: The verses of our care.
The laughter bursts: The chorus of our kin.
—-An inner silence words will not describe.
—-A silence there and there we dare abide.
This work by Nathaniel Norton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Does anyone else know any good coal mining songs? 😉
I wish I had a recording of that night for you. It was something special.
One of the sillier songs that my uncle Dennis sang was the Vasectomy song. I liked his playing it better, but here’s one groups randition.
Hey Nathaniel, if you are interested in coal mining songs, you may want to check out an artist named John Prine. He’s from coal mining country and a folk singer that has written and sung them. Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Sixteen Tons was always a favorite of mine. Loved the way he spoke about the company store owning your soul. I never understood that, but the mining companies used to pay the miners in tokens that could only be spent at……company stores on site. All of a sudden a song that I used to think was a novelty turned out to be brutally honest about their plight. By the way, my grandfather in England was a coal miner all his life. Eventually had to get out because of “black lung” disease. Have a good night. Peace, out.
thanks Harry! We actually sang Sixteen Tons that night. It’s a fun one… especially for the lower register.