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Fare Thee Well, Old Ely Branch, song lyrics

Song: Fare Thee Well, Old Ely Branch
Lyrics: Aunt Molly Jackson(1)

Music: Aunt Molly Jackson(1)
Year: n/a (2)
Genre: Folk
Country: USA


Fare ye well, old Ely Branch,
Fare ye well, I say.
I'm tired of living on dried beef and tomatoes,
And I'm a-going away.

When we had a strike in Ely this spring
Those words old Hughes did say,
"Come along, boys, go back to work,
We'll give you the two weeks pay."

So they put on their mining clothes,
Hard work again they tried,
And when old pay-day rolled around,
They found that Hughes had lied.

When Hughes thinks his mines was going to stop, A sight to see him frown,
There's gas enough in old Hughes today
To blow these mountains down.

Oh take your children out of Ely Branch
Before they cry for bread,
For when old Hughes' debts is paid,
He won't be worth a thread.
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
Hughes claims he owns more mines that these,
He says he's got money to lend,
And when old pay-day rolls around
He can't pay off his men.

I'd rather be in Pineville jail,
With my back all covered in lice
Than to be here in old Hughes coal mines,
Digging coal at Hughes price.
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
Fare ye well, old Ely Branch,
Fare ye well, I say.
I'm tired of living on dried beef and tomatoes,
And I'm a-going away.

I think John Yager's a very nice man,
He's the same old John every day,
But a man can't live on dried beef and tomatoes,
And I'm a-going away.


Notes:

1 - Aunt Molly Jackson (1880-1960), in the Encyclopedia of Appalachia, University of Tennessee Press

2 - Assumed to be 1920's or 1930's.