Dark as a Dungeon parody (advice to Senator Manchin of W. Virginia – repeat from 2016 and still true!)

Dark as a Dungeon (parody to ‘Dark As A Dungeon’ by Merle Travis, 1946)


Come all you young fellas, so fair and so fine

And seek not your fortune deep down in the mine.

It will form as a habit and seep in your soul

‘Til the streams of your blood run as black as the coal


Where it’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew,

Where the dangers are double and the pleasures are few,

Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines,

Yes, it’s dark as a dungeon way down in the mines.


Now, the coal came from creatures back ages ago

And digging it out has been all that we know.

But the frackers release natural gas that they find

And it’s cheaper to burn than the coal that we mined.


So, it’s dark as a dungeon.  What are we to do?

Technology’s ending the life we once knew.

But the rain will still fall and the sun will still shine

If we give up forever the life of the mine.


We powered the country by digging for coal.

We’ll power it again, climbing out of that hole.

There’ll be no black lung, no more death underground,

In the new life we’ll live, in the life where we’re bound.


No more dark as a dungeon; let’s stand and demand

To build solar panels to power our land.

And we’ll see the rain fall and we’ll see the sun shine.

As we harness the sunlight, not dig in the mine.


The planet is warming; we all know it’s true.

We have to let go of the life that we knew.

But the new life we’ll live will be brighter by far

When we capture the power of our life-giving star.


It was dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew.

The dangers were double and the pleasures were few.

Now we’ll feel the rain fall and we’ll feel the sun shine

As we all leave forever the life of the mine.


Stephen Baird, May, 2016