One More Breath

March 24, 2008 at 3:21 pm | Posted in song ideas, songs with words | 1 Comment

it seems that old-timey music from this part of the world usually touches on mining sooner or later. some of my favorite modern ones are Gillian’s Miner’s Refrain and the Miller’s Quecreek (scroll to the bottom). since I’ve been in that kinda mode lately, I figured I’d write a mining song myself, so I looked up some info and found quite a few tragic stories. one that struck me was the Coal Creek mine disaster, which happened in 1902, about 130 miles from where I’m sitting. particularly heart-rending was the notes some of the miners left behind (about the middle of the page) as they slowly died, as well as the incredible numbers of family members who died together. so here’s an ode to them:

here’s a draft mp3. this one is unique in that I’m on the octave mandolin instead of the guitar. 

One More Breath (tune: Portland Waltz)

In the Coal Creek Mine
there’s 200 lives
come to dig for one more day
could they have known
going down the hole
they would all be carried away?
a fire in the hole
and only 10 souls
were spared an instant demise
those who remained
seven hours they prayed
to God to spare their lives
the air was thick
they realized real quick
they were moments from meeting their death
so they wrote to their loves
pleading Jesus to trust
praying “Oh God, for one more breath”


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  1. Hey again Bob… I really like the way you used an existing tune (though I don’t recognize the Portland Waltz) in this one–it makes a strong song.

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