jason tyler burton

High Road to Harlan

Kentuckian


Lyrics

"High Road to Harlan"

I remember when the floodgates came to Pineville
They keep out the water but another flood came
Poisoning all our sons and daughters
With pills that kill the pain but the misery remains
Oh pills kill the pain but the misery remains

So I took a drive up to Mary Helen
To see the old coal tipple, the names on my family graves
At 85 I’m not making many new memories
Just trying hard not to let these old ones fade
Oh, don’t let the old ones fade

So I’m gonna take the high road to Harlan
Climb up on Pine Mountain boys
I’m gonna cut that chain
And watch the rocks come roll on down through this town
Maybe that’s the only way things’ll ever change (x2)

They say that coal ain’t ever gonna come back
That soon they’ll be no jobs and no work for this whole damned town
We’ll sit and watch the Cumberland River as it carries away
The mountains that the coal company tore down
Oh, that the coal company tore down

So I’m gonna take the high road to Harlan
Climb up on Pine Mountain boys
And breathe that rarefied air
I don’t know how to fix a thing that’s this broken
I only know that the outside world don’t care (x2)

I keep a loaded shotgun by the night stand
I don’t have the pills they want but I’m old and folks might surmise
I don’t have any family left worth counting
And they’re just waiting around for me to die (x2)

So soon I’ll take the high road to Harlan
Climb up on Pine Mountain boys
See the old growth that remains
Reminding me there are things that I still love here
Reminding me there are things we still might save