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Sixteen Tons
Tennessee Ernie Ford Lyrics


Some people say a man is made outta mud
A poor man's made outta muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that's a-weak and a back that's strong

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
And the straw boss said "Well, a-bless my soul"

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin', it was drizzlin' rain
Fightin' and trouble are my middle name
I was raised in the canebrake by an ol' mama lion
Can't no-a high-toned woman make me walk the line

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

If you see me comin', better step aside
A lotta men didn't, a lotta men died
One fist of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don't a-get you, then the left one will

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS
Written by: Merle Travis

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

BCfromSE

I work at Amazon and this song was played today on the speakers and I just know the person that put this in the playlist saw the South Park episode about Amazon and was trolling

TheSage1202

@Carson Slaughter I knew shit was fucky in these times but I just finished "mine wars" documentary. Good God the miners got raked over the coals they broke their backs hauling.

Jacob Irving

Not all hero’s ware capes

Mark Fisher

@Alex Gilham I just got done posting a long reply post and lost it :( Well, to be short, you're right. The capitalist industrialist established their foothold here. And, they have been brain washing, buying off$, dividing the population, rigging the system, undermining the government, and to be honest with you, it was even cheated during the founding of the constitution for the wealthy. I can provide another link. Give me a moment: https://youtu.be/hZnuc-Fv_Tc Go to the min mark of 6:40-11:00
Listen to what Madison did in regards to democracy vs the wealthy. Vs. what Aristotle suggested in his day. What do you remove? Democracy or Inequality ? This is why the United States has always had the wealthy on it's back. ( the corporate, the billionaires, oligrachs. etc)

Alex Gilham

@Mark Fisher That map is really interesting! The whole world needs socialism, I live in Scotland. I do think that Socialism and Communism is next to impossible to achieve anywhere in the world unless the USA adopts it as your country has a strange addiction to messing with other nation's affairs especially if they are Socialist. This has historically fucked up many attempts at moving away from capitalism.

Mark Fisher

@Alex Gilham If only the capitalist/military industrial complex/ post WWII Intelligence community had not post 1947, went out in a seek out and destroy mission and killed off our 2 socialist parties, our 1 communist party and Unions CIO, who worked with FDR for 4 Terms, who got us out of the 1929 catastrophe, the capitalist caused then. But, they killed out the real Socialist movement we had in this country. And, that’s what wrong with this country today.
You do know which state had the highest population of socialist in the country back then? Oklahoma!! In city government, county, state etc. Dust bowl country, Grapes of Wrath. Texas had a high one, even Idaho, I have a map: https://depts.washington.edu/moves/SP_map-members.shtml
We need Socialism back in big way in the US.

46 More Replies...

Jackson Smith

In case anyone's wondering what this song's about: In the 19th and early 20th centuries, due to the lack of transportation technology, it wasn't plausible for workers at industries in isolated areas like mines or mills to get up and get to work from home on time and back every day. This issue was solved by the creation of company towns, little villages built around such industries where the workers could live, complete with stores selling living necessities. However, many of them paid workers in scrip, which was only good at the company town stores, so the workers had to buy goods from these stores, which could gouge prices as much as they wanted. At some of the worst, buying the bare necessities costed more than a man could earn, leaving the workers there perpetually and ever-increasingly in debt to the companies. so ya

Sylvain Prigent

Great days for capitalism

Benoit Vanhees

"Plausible" should be "possible".... In the 19th century in Belgium, some companies paid the wages in cafes (saloons), which belonged to the companies. So when daddy came home, often, a large part of the wage was gone. So moms and kiddies too had to work. Capitalism at its wildest, making the ghosts of Hayek, Friedman, Tatcher and Reagan frantically wave with their chains....

bob harrison

My dad worked in the same environment in Canada. Steep rock mining, Ontario. Company store & if you took something home that belonged to the company & got caught, then you were evicted from the village even in the middle of winter. Didn't matter how cold it was or how deep the snow the whole family was put outside the gate with no transport in sight. Am so glad times have changed.

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