American Old Time Song Lyrics: 16 The Miners Life

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 16

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Tune- "Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane."

I am getting old and feeble now, and I can work no home.
I have laid my rusty mining tools away;
For forty years and over I have toiled about the mines.
But now I'm getting feeble, old and gray.
I started in the breaker, and came back to " it again.
But now my work is over for all time;
And the only place that's left me is the alms-house for my home,
And I there must lay this weary head of mine.

Where are the boys that worked with me in the breaker long ago?
Many of them now have gone to rest;
Their days of toil are over, they have left this world of woe,
And their spirits now are roaming with the blest.

At eight years of age to the breaker first I went.
There to learn the occupation of a slave;
Boy-like in it I gloried, and on picking slate was bent,
My ambition then was noble, strong and brave.
In the schutes I graduated, instead of in the schools.
Remember, friends, my parents they were poor;
When a boy had left the cradle then it always was the rule,
He must help to keep starvation from the door.-Chorus.

At eleven years of age I bought myself a lamp,
And the boss he sent me down the mines to trap;
I stood there in the water, in the powder smoke and damp,
My leisure time I spent in killing rats.
One day I got promoted, to what they call a patch.
Or a lackey to the man that drives a team;
I carried sprags and stretchers, and I had to fix the latch,
I was going through my exercise it seems.-Chorus.

I next was sent at driving, and I thought myself a man,
The boss he raised my pay as I advanced;
As I went along the gangway with a team at my command,
I was prouder than the President of France.
But now that pride is weakened, and I am weakened, too,
I tremble 'till I'm scarcely fit to stand;
If I'd been taught book-learning instead of driving team,
To-day, my friends, I'd be a richer man.-Chorus.

I next became a miner and a laborer combined,
For to earn my daily bread beneath the ground;
I performed the acts of labor that come in a miner's line,
To cut my coal and load it I was bound.
And so I toiled through many years when I was young and strong,
And I never turned the hungry from my door;
For we were not on half time then, nor was our pay a song,
And our poor were cared for well on every floor.-Chorus.

"Tis not so now, alas, 'tis not, the times is changed since then,
And our masters grind us down into the dust;
On low wages and 3 days a week you must live, my humble friend,
And in heaven put your faith and firm trust.
But now that I can work no more, my race of life is run,
I am waiting for the signal at the door;
When the angels gently whisper, poor old miner, you may come,
And we'll row you to that bright celestial shore.-Chorus.
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