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Blue Diamond Mines

from Live at the Union Club Missoula by Britt Arnesen

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Written by Jean Ritchie


I remember the ways in the bygone days
When we were in our prime
How us and John L
Give the old man hell
Down in the blue diamond mine

Where the whistle blowed
And the rooster crowed
Two hours before daylight
When a man done his best
And he earned his good rest
Made seventeen dollars at night

In the mines, in the mines
In the blue diamond mines
I worked my life away
In the mines, in the mines
In the blue diamond mines
Fall on your knees and pray

You old black gold
You've taken my lungs
And your dust has darkened my home
And now that I'm old
Your turning your back
Where else can an old miner go?

Well its Algoma Block and Big Leatherwood
And now it's Blue Diamond too
When the pits are all closed
And it's get another job
What else can an older miner do?

John L had a dream
But it is broken it seems
Mining has had its day
Now they're stripping off my mountaintop
And they pay me eight dollars a day

Might get a little poke of welfare meat
A little poke of welfare flour
But I tell you right now
You won't qualify until you work for a quarter an hour
In the mines...


from Live at the Union Club Missoula, released January 1, 2021
Acoustic guitar and vocals - Britt Arnesen
Drums - Damien Margo
Bass - Ron Meissner


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Britt Arnesen Missoula, montana

Britt K. Arnesen is a Montana folksinger, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. She plays in the longtime Missoula band Pinegrass. Britt is originally from Juneau, Alaska.

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