I grew up in Johnstown, PA, in the beautiful Appalachian Allegheny Mountains of Western, PA.  By the time I was a young adult, strip mining had come to my part of the country.  Draglines are the giant shovels used to gouge away the ancient rolling mountaintops.  Nowadays, it’s fracking that is wrecking a similar devastation across the mountains and the people who call those mountains home.


Draglines at my heart, they’re tearing us apart

And the mountainside where we were born

Must I weep and mourn for the land

It took ten million years to form

Now all my eyes can see are just the bleeding scars

Across the mountainside

Across the mountainside


Coalport, PA just a little town

Tucked too far away for anyone to know

But the folks born and raised

For six generations

Working day by day

Trying to keep themselves a home




Our neighbors down the road they farmed twelve acres

Worked a heavy load

Poor as dirt thought they tried

Till the coal company came through

Said, “We’ll mine the land, take the burden off of you

And we’ll see that you get by.”




First they tore down their home where their grandma

And all the kids were born

Just brushed it all away

Then came the big machines

Ripped up the trees and muddied all the streams

While the family stood and cried


Draglines at my heart they’re tearing us apart

And the mountainside where we were born

Oh take warning that the storm clouds will come

And block out the sun

That shines upon the folks who seek their fortunes off

The families who have died

Trying to survive

Across the mountainside

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