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Tank's Poetry
united states mine rescue association
Mine Disasters in
the United States


Mining Music

Emphysema Blues
by Pete Zaharoff



Workin' in a coal mine,
singin' a coal minin' song
Workin' in a coal mine,
singin' a coal minin' song

Well, I been workin' in a coal mine,
don't wanna work there too much longer
Well, if you're trapped by an explosion,
you're all on your own

You'll either suffocate or starve,
suffocate or starve all alone
And you'll lie there rottin',
with the rats knawin' on your bones

I've got the emphysema, emphysema blues
I've got the emphysema, emphysema blues
I've got coal dust in my hair,
coal dust in my shoes

Well, the government don't give a damn
when they say they do, they speak with a lyin' tongue
And the company don't give a damn,
when they say they do, they speak with a lyin' tongue

The only reason they perform an autopsy
so they can strip mine that coal dust out your lungs
Coal miner's headache,
Excedrin headache number 10

I said a coal miner's migraine
I'd rather have any other kind instead
Than to be standin' where it falls,
and get five hundred ton 'o rock on my head

I've got the emphysema, emphysema blues
I've got the emphysema, emphysema blues
I've got coal dust in my hair,
coal dust in my shoes

Let's hear it from you coal miners!

(Bug Dust Quartet)
Cough, cough, cough, cough
cough, cough, cough, cough, cough


Well, machines like giants insects
rip, tear, bite, crunch and chew - the coal
And if you're caught in between them
they'll smash your body right in two - down in that hole

And I don't wanna be
a dismembered member of the UMW - Nooo!
Well if you hear it thunder,
you better run, you better fly

Well, if thunders down under
don't stop, don't question why
Or else you may as well bend over
pull down your pants and kiss your ass goodbye

I've got the emphysema, emphysema blues
I got the rockdust, my boss is nuts, I'm workin' 5 Butt with bad roof!
I've got coal dust in my hair,
coal dust in my shoes

I've got coal dust in my hair,
coal dust in my shoes
I've got coal dust in my hair,
coal dust in my shoes

Cough, cough



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