The Same Old Story


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© 2007 W.A. Kostelec
Storyteller 2

Just another group of families sitting on a hill
Like so many times before red eyed hope and stubborn will
Outside the Sago Baptist Church with nothing to be heard
The press boys from the city just waiting on the word, waiting on the word

There’s coffee in a thermos and there’s more inside the church
Where the aluminum pot sits sputtering and the brew smells old an burned
The sky is grey and faceless and it rains from time
Adding to the numbing misery of waiting for word up from the mine, word up from the mine.


It doesn’t happen all that often
It doesn’t happen every day
But every time it happens it’s the miners have to pay
The miners and their families, those that get left behind
It’s the Appalachian nightmare of the men lost in the mine.

Inside that cold cadaverous darkness alone without a prayer
After coal dust fire and methane blasts leave chaos and despair
And the mind of a man grows more confused with each breath of poison air
And a weakening voice cries out again, where oh God oh where, where oh God oh where.

The mine owners get citations and they have to pay the fines
The unwarrantable failure orders of ignoring dangers in the mine
But accountants see a small price paid for the profits that are made
Profits turn the miners living into the grave digger’s trade

They say that government has fallen off of late
Foxes run the henhouse and they’ve opened up the gate
Too much regulation makes it hard to post your gains
And it’s the miners and their families that always feel the pain, always feel the pain


A crackly voice in the headphones sends up at first good new
The word spreads like a cooling breeze to the families in the pews
Tears of joy and hugging brides it must be God’s blessed will
I nearly lost my faith one cries, now there’s 12 men walking off that hill, walking off that hill

There’s singing in the Baptist church, good news races cross the wire
TV cameras focus on the talking heads while family’s spirits race like fire
And then a grim faced company man steps up to the microphone
Somebody somehow got the message wrong, only one mans coming home, one mans coming home

It’s just the same old story like so many times before
The hopeless are dispersing and the church locks the wooden doors
Press trucks drive off neath the grey sky down that muddy rutted road
Miner’s families behind the curtains left there to bear the load, there to bear the load


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