DISASTER AT THE MANNINGTON MINE (HAZEL DICKENS) (1970s)


Hazel Dickens

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Because of unsafe conditions, the Mannington Mine, Farmington, WV, was inspected by the Federal Bureau of Mines 16 times in 1968. Extensions were granted to the company 16 times.

On Nov 20, 1968, the mine exploded. Four men survived, 78 were trapped in the mine...

Manfred Helfert, info from "Harlan County U.S.A" documentary, 1970s.

Lyrics as reprinted in liner notes of "Come All You Coal Miners" (Rounder 4005, 1972).

We read in the paper and the radio tells
Us to to raise our children to be miners as well.
Oh tell them how safe the mines are today
And to be like your daddy, bring home a big pay.
Now don't you believe them, my boy,
That story's a lie.
Remember the disaster at the Mannington mine
Where seventy-eight miners were buried alive,
Because of unsafe conditions your daddy died.
They lure us with money, it sure is a sight.
When you may never live to see the daylight
With your name among the big headlines
Like that awful disaster at the Mannington mine.
So don't you believe them, my boy,
That story's a lie.
Remember the disaster at the Mannington mine
Where seventy-eight miners were buried alive,
Because of unsafe conditions your daddy died.
There's a man in a big house way up on the hill
Far, far from the shacks where the poor miners live.
He's got plenty of money, Lord, everything's fine
And he has forgotten the Mannington mine.
Yes, he has forgotten the Mannington mine.

There is a grave way down in the Mannington mine
There is a grave way down in the Mannington mine.
Oh, what were their last thoughts, what were their cries
As the flames overtook them in the Mannington mine.

So don't you believe them, my boy,
That story's a lie.
Remember the disaster at the Mannington mine
Where seventy-eight good men so uselessly died
Oh, don't follow your daddy to the Mannington mine.
How can God forgive you, you do know what you've done.
You've killed my husband, now you want my son.

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You can email me at
manfredh@mainz.netsurf.de