DOWN, DOWN, DOWN
With your kind attention, a song I will trill, all ye who must
toil with the pick and the drill and sweat for your bread in that
hole in Oak Hill, that goes down, down, down.
When I was a boy my Daddy said to me, "Stay out of the mines, take
my warning", said he, "Or with dust you'll bechoked and a pauper
you'll be, broken down, down, down.
But I went to Oak Hill and I asked for a job, a mule for to drive,
or a gangway to rob. The boss said, "Come out, Bill, and follow the
mob, that goes down, down, down.
Said Pete McAvoy, "Here's Bill Keatin' the scamp." Just back, Pete
suggested, from a million mile tramp. Then he showed me a windle
where I#d get a lamp to go down, down, down.
The lamp man he squints through the windle at me, "What's your
name and your age and your number?" said he. "Bill Keatin', I'm
thirty, number twenty-three, mark that down, down, down.
With a frown for disfavor, my joke it was met. For an argument
plainly, Jim Griffiths was set. For he told me that divil a lamp
would I get to go down, down, down.
With an old greasy apron he polished his speck, he declared of the
rules he'd be makin' a wreck, if he'd give me a lamp without a brass
check to go down, down, down.
A contraption he gave me, a hose on a box, 'twas so heavy I
thought it was loaded with rocks. If a car jumped the road, you could
use it for blocks while you're down, down, down.
I asked him what tools would I need in the place. "Very few," said
the boss with a grin on his face. "One number-six shovel and darn
little space while you're down, down, down.
When you're drivin' the gangway you needs lots of tools, and you
bring them yourself, it's the anthracite rules, but a laggin'
suffices to drive balky mules, when you're down, down, down.
At drivin' a mule I'm not overly slick but the plugs in Oak Hill
I showed many's a trick, when I hollered, "Yah," if they started to
kick, they went down, down, down.
Then up to the head of the shaft I made haste, I saluted the top
man and stood on my place. I says, "Give me a cage for I've no time
to waste, let me down, down, down.
"All aboard for the bottom!" the top man did yell, we stepped on
the cage, and we gave her the bell. Then from under our feet, like a
bat out o'hell, she went down, down, down.