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reports and thoughts on legal issues, music, Orthodox Christianity and/or whatever else strikes my interest

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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Mining for Gold

The discussion on silicosis in the last post reminded me of the song Mining for Gold. This is apparently an old traditional song but I am unsure of its exact origins. The lyrics are:

We are miners, hard rock miners
To the shaft house we must go
Oil bottles on our shoulders
We are marching to the slow

On the line boys, on the line boys
Drill your holes and stand in line
'til the shift boss comes to tell you
You must drill her out on time

Can't you feel the rock dust in your lungs?
It'll cut down a miner when he is still young
Two years and the silicosis takes hold
and I feel like I'm dying from mining for gold

Yes, I feel like I'm dying from mining for gold

The version of the song that I know and love is sung by Margo Timmins. Margo Timmins is the lead singer for the band Cowboy Junkies. The core unit of the band is formed of three siblings (Margo, Michael and Pete Timmins) plus Alan Anton on bass. They are often joined by other musicians on their recordings and at their concerts.

Mining for Gold is sung completely a cappella by Margo and happens to be the first track on my favorite Cowboy Junkies album "The Trinity Session". This is one of my all-time favorite albums. The album was recorded during one day at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto, Canada. Only one microphone was used and some of the songs were recorded in a single take. The entire session cost only around $250 to record. This is one of those rare recordings where every song is just magical.

It is hard to describe the style of the band although they frequently use slower tempos and softer and more acoustic settings for their music. They have a very unique sound that fits perfectly with Margo's sometimes earthy, sometimes ethereal and always angelic sounding voice.

The "Trinity Session" and other Cowboy Junkie cds can be ordered here.


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