come and listen you fellows so young and so fine
and seek not your fortune in the dark dreary mines
it will form as a habit and seep in your soul
till the stream of your blood is as black as the coal ...

it's many a man I have seen in my day
who lived just to labor his whole life away
like a fiend with his dope and a drunkard his wine
a man will have lust for the lure of the mines ...

I hope when I'm gone and the ages shall roll
my body will blacken and turn into coal
then I'll look from the door of my heavenly home
and pity the miner digging my bones ...

midnight or the morning or the middle of day
is the same to the miner who labors away
where the demons of death often come by surprise
one fall of the slate and you're buried alive ...

... where it's dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew
where danger is double and pleasures are few
where the rain never falls and the sun never shines
it's dark as a dungeon way down in the mine

                                        merle travis