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Harlan County Boys

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Lyrics

5. Harlan County Boys



High on this ridge

Where the pines reach up and touch the slate-grey sky

My granddaddy lived

Till this cold black mountain swallowed him alive

And his willful young bride

She buried her grief like coal deep inside



chorus

She said, I’ve had a heap of sorrow

And just a scrap of joy

And I’ll miss with every breath

My Harlan County boy



We lost my daddy too

In the great union struggles of '72

When blood and anger roiled this land

And grandma held back a crowd

With one raised hand



chorus



She said, I’ve had a heap of sorrow

And just a scrap of joy

And I fear I’ve lost another

Of my Harlan County boys



bridge

And though I am my father’s son

I did not work the mines

I left this mountain

I had other ones to climb

But I can hear my grandma’s voice through the city noise

Remember that you’ll always be a Harlan County boy



Now standing in this shade

Beneath this spreading pine near grandma’s grave

They’re all gathered 'round

In their Sunday best

'Neath this hallowed ground



chorus

And though she had a heap of sorrow

And just a scrap of joy

Now she’ll be forever

With her Harlan County boys



Ernest Troost, vocals, guitars, mandolin, pump organ

Nicole Gordon, harmony vocals

Dave Stone, upright bass