Merle Travis

Sixteen tons

I was born one morning when the sun didn't shine
Picked up a shovel and I walked to the mine
I hauled sixteen tons of number 9 coal
And the straw-boss said, "Well, bless my soul!"

You haul sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store (fine)

Born one morning it was drizzle and rain
Fighting and Trouble are my middle name
I was raised in a canebrake by an old mama lion
And no high-toned woman make me walk the line.


See me coming better step aside
A lot of men didn't, and a lot of men died
I got one fist of iron and the other of steel
And if the right one don't get ya, the left one will.


da capo al fine

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