♫ “Black waters, black waters run down through my land”

Today our new President signed (yet another) executive order nullifying many of our old President’s carefully crafted climate change guidelines — “to revive the coal industry,” they said, and send all the coal miners “back to work.” (You have to feel sorry for those miners, because they seem to actually believe it!)

This order goes along with a Jan. 24th order reversing Obama’s “Stream Protection Rule” that prevented coal mining companies from disposing of mine waste by dumping it into the water supply. (Who needs healthy kids if you’ve got a job, right?)

So, in celebration of these two giant steps backward, I offer you this great version of Jean Ritchie’s famous song, “Black Waters.”

Here are Jean Ritchie’s haunting, new-again lyrics:

I come from the mountains, Kentucky’s my home
Where the wild deer and black bear so lately did roam
By the cool rushing waterfall the wildflowers dream
And through every green valley, there runs a clear stream
Now there’s scenes of destruction on every hand
And only black waters run down through my land
Sad scenes of destruction on every hand
Black waters, black waters, run down through my land

Well, the quail, she’s a pretty bird and she sings a sweet tongue
In the roots of tall timber she nests with her young
The the hillside explodes with the dynamites roar
And the voice of the small bird is heard there no more
And the mountain comes a sliding so awful and grand
And the flooding black waters rise over my land

In the coming of springtime we planted our corn
In the ending of springtime we buried our son
In the summer come a nice man saying everything’s fine
My employer just requires a way to his mine
Then they tore down my mountain and covered my corn
Now the grave on the hillside ‘s a mile deeper down
And the man stands a talking with his hat in his hand
While the poison black waters rise over my land

Well I ain’t got no money, not much of a home
I own my own land, but my land’s not my own
But, if I had ten million, somewheres thereabout
Well, I’d buy Perry county and throw them all out
And just sit down on the banks with my bait and my can
And watch the clear waters run down through my land

Well, wouldn’t that be just like the old promised land?
Black waters, black waters no more in my land
Black waters, black waters no more in my land

And for those of you who might like to learn it, here are the chords:

   G                           D          G
I come from the mountains, Kentucky's my home
                                       D          G
Where the wild deer and black bear so lately did roam
        C                                       G
By the cool rushing waterfall the wildflowers dream
                                       D
And through every green valley, there runs a clear stream
              G                      C
Now there's scenes of destruction on every hand
    G                      D              G
And only black waters run down through my land
      C                             G
Sad scenes of destruction on every hand
                                 D               G
Black waters, black waters, run down through my land