Sixteen Tons

Merle Travis



Sixteen Tons - Merle Travis

Some people say a man is made outa mud 
A poor man’s made outa muscle ‘n blood... 
Muscle an’ blood an’ skin an’ bone 
A mind that’s weak and a back that’s strong 

You load sixteen tons an’ whaddya get? 
Another day older an’ deeper in debt 
Saint Peter doncha call me ‘cause I can’t go 
I owe my soul to the company sto’ 

If ya hear me a-comin’ ya better step aside 
A lotta men din’t an’ a lotta men died 
With one fist of iron an’ the other of steel 
If the right one don’ getcha then the left one will. 

I was born one mornin’ when the sun didn’t shine 
Picked up my shovel and I went to the mine 
Loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal 
And the straw boss said, “Well, Bless my soul!” 

I was born one morning in the drizzlin’ rain 
Fightin’ and trouble are my middle name 
I was raised in the canebrake by an’ ol’ mama hound 
Ain’t no high-tone woman gonna push me around.