Babies in these Mountains
by Tom Neilson
Babies In These Mountains
Grandfather lost his leg in the Leslie County mines
My uncle Sam had a coal tattoo on his cheek bone for all time
All of us been branded in our bones, our skin, & lungs
But we’re proud to be coal miners in these mountains where we’re from.
Then over in Knott County, they blew off a mountain top
The redbuds gone forever & the running water stopped.
We’ve lost 100,000 acres, as our mountains are blown away
Water runnin red as blood from toxic sludge decay
Little Jeremy Davidson with dreams inside his head
Had a boulder blown off a mountaintop crush him in his bed.
Company dug up the coffin of Bidge Ritchie’s infant son
Pitched him down the mountain side into oblivion
Bush’s law says it’s ok to dump waste into our streams.
As smoke fills up the holler from Bill Caylor’s profit schemes.
Well I wonder if Bill Caylor ever had a place he loved
Then watch it disappear under a flood of tons of mud.
Jim Gooch of Kentucky is on the company dole.
& Obama in the white house likes to talk about clean coal
Over 40 years of presidents say strip mining is ok
But none of them ever had clean coal dig their home away.
We’ve made babies in these mountains, on our ancestral ground
Gone to church & slept in peace for generations on
Coal companies got their thugs, and cops, and politicians they own
We got families, farms, and history that make this holler home.