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You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive cover

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Uploaded on Dec 28, 2010

Kappa fronts the vocals for this great coal miner's story song....Kristi Starr on banjo, Gary Hewitt on bass, Emma Danielson on fiddle, Halie Danielson on mandolin

This was recorded by Patty Loveless on her Mountain Soul CD...also recorded by Brad Paisley. It's a song about the plight of a coal mining family from Harlan, tucked in the hills so deep (in the holler) that the sun comes up at 10:00 and goes down at 3:00...and tied to a life in the coal mines. I know that some of you tell me that you discover new songs through my uploads...well tonight we've uploaded two fantastic American roots songs that if you've never heard before...are definately worth a listen....these are two unforgettable songs. ;)
Written by Darrel Scott

In the deep dark hills of eastern Kentucky
That's the place where I traced my bloodline
And it's there I read on a hillside gravestone
"You'll never leave Harlan alive"

Oh my grandfather's dad crossed the Cumberland Mountains
Where he took a pretty girl to be his bride
Said "Won't you walk with me out the mouth of this holler
Or we'll never leave Harlan alive"

Where the sun comes up about ten in the mornin'
And the sun goes down about three in the day
And you'll fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you're drinkin'
And you spend your life just thinkin' of how to get away

No one ever knew there was coal in them mountains
Till a man from the northeast arrived
Waving hundred dollar bills
Said "I'll pay you for your minerals"
But he never left Harlan alive

Grandma sold out cheap and they moved out west of Pikeville
To a farm where Big Richaldn River winds
And I bet they danced them a jig
And they laughed and sang a new song
"Who said we'd never leave Harlan alive"

But the times they got hard and tobacco wasn't selling
And old grandad knew what he'd do to survive
He went and dug for Harlan coal
And sent the money back to grandma
But he never left Harlan alive

Where the sun comes up about ten in the mornin'
And the sun goes down about three in the day
And you'll fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you're drinkin'
And you spend your life diggin' coal from the bottom of your grave

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