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Words & music

 Ed Pickford © prs

They Can’t Put it Back

Iwas raised in East Kentucky

Loved the mountains-loved the hills

Its beauty has been stolen

For strip-mining rapes & kills

When they peel a virgin mountain

Like an apple round its core

They leave high walls of darkness

Baleful monuments of war


Appalachian mountains bleed from coal strip-mining scars

Birds look down on craters where the trees slept under  stars

Guts of once proud mountains have washed down the Ohio

Rode the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

They can’t put it back - they can’t put it back

All strip-mining’s coal-black silt - they can’t put it back

It left East Kentucky - riding on the waterway

In the Gulf of Mexico - it’s lying there today 

Surly rain takes mud from mountains

To the valleys far below

The streams then keep it moving

To the Gulf of Mexico

While there’s breath still in my body

Then my Words won’t be confined

Strip-mining may be cheaper

But offensive to my mind