Tank's Poetry
united states mine rescue association
Mine Disasters in the United States

Mining Music

Nothing in Centralia
by Raven Hill

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A small town in the hills, northeastern Pennsylvania,
Forty years ago this May
An ember burned, out in the trash,
somebody from the town throw’d away.

That fire burned for several days and nights,
Down at the local garbage hole,
Who’d a-ever thought, they’d put a town dump,
Above a rich seam of anthracite coal


And it burned and smoldered,
The fire got hotter,
the children they grew older and they all moved away
Above the mine, their lives were forsaken
There’s nothing in Centralia today

Back in nineteen eighty-one, a young boy went out walkin’
through the town when the ground below gave way
He grabbed hold of a root, from a big old oak tree
And that boy lived to see another day


Now the EPA come in and gathered up their data
an they dug a trench for the fire to contain
But that mountaintop got hotter and the poison gas and smoke,
Rose up from the ground when it rained


Composed by Pete Smith and performed by Raven Hill

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