Dark As A Dungeon

Merle Travis
Lingua: Inglese

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(Merle Travis)

Album: Folk Songs of the Hills [1947]

"The saddest songs are written when a person is happy. I was driving home after a date with a beautiful girl in Redondo Beach, California. I had a recording session to do the next morning and needed some material. I parked my car under a street light and wrote the verses to "Dark As A Dungeon." I got the idea from growing up around the coal mines in Kentucky. My father and brothers were coal miners…

I have known the fruits of strikes. The bitter and the sweet. Hunger and music... Who deserves more credit than the wife of a coal miner? Mother was one. She never complained about the hardships that were hers in abundance. Lighting the coal-oil lamp long before daylight, and cooking breakfast for her children and husband.
Taylor, my oldest brother, would come home and get 'washed up.' How well I remember the galvanized tub set in the middle of the floor – the big black pot of water poured in -- the steam -- and then enough cold water to make it just right. When I'd watch him wash the black coal dust from a little rose tattoo on his arm I longed for the day when I could work in the mine and have a tattoo... He practically broke every rib in his body in a mine accident and it changed his whole life... "
It's as dark as a dungeon way down in the mine...

[SPOKEN:] I never will forget one time when I was on a little visit down home in Ebenezer, Kentucky. I was a-talkin' to an old man that had known me ever since the day I was born, and an old friend of the family. He says, "Son, you don't know how lucky you are to have a nice job like you've got and don't have to dig out a livin' from under these old hills and hollers like me and your pappy used to." When I asked him why he never had left and tried some other kind of work, he says, "Naw sir, you just won't do that. If ever you get this old coal dust in your blood, you're just gonna be a plain old coal miner as long as you live." He went on to say, "It's a habit [CHUCKLE] sorta like chewin' tobaccer."

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 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.

It's a-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 a-diggin' my bones.

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...

inviata da giorgio - 21/4/2010 - 12:31

Lingua: Inglese

Additional stanza rarely performed by Merle Travis:
The midnight, 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.

inviata da giorgio - 22/4/2010 - 08:49

Lingua: Italiano

Traduzione italiana della versione di Bob Dylan come offerta nel 1975 durante i concerti della ‎Rolling Thunder Revue insieme a Joan Baez.‎
Testo trovato su Maggie’s Farm

Venite qui voi tutti ragazzi così giovani e belli
E non cercate la vostra fortuna nella scura e tetra miniera
Vi diventerà un'abitudine e colerà nella vostra anima
finchè il sangue delle vostre vene scorrerà nero come il carbone ‎

Dove è scuro come un cunicolo ed umido come la rugiada
Dove i rischi sono molti ed i piaceri pochi
Dove la pioggia non cade mai ed il sole mai risplende
E' scuro come un cunicolo giù nelle miniere ‎

Ai miei tempi ho visto molti uomini
che vivevano solo per lavorare tutta la loro vita
Come un tossicomane con la sua droga o un alcolizzato con il suo vino
Un uomo deve essere avido per essere allettato dalla miniera ‎

Spero che quando sarò morto e passati i secoli
Il mio corpo si annerirà e si fonderà col carbone
Allora guarderò giù dalla porta della mia casa in Paradiso
e compatirò il minatore che scaverà le mie ossa ‎

La notte, il giorno, l'alba
sono tutti la stessa cosa per il minatore che si ammazza di lavoro
Dove i demoni della morte spesso giungono di sorpresa
Una frana di ardesia e sei sepolto vivo ‎

inviata da Bartleby - 22/3/2012 - 10:24

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