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All songs words & music © Ed Pickford PRS/MCPS

They Can’t Put Them Back

When they blast the heads off mountains just to reach the coal below

And they turn the rock to fountains and it falls to Earth like snow

Then there’s one thing to be sure of as they launch their dumb attack

They can tear the heads off mountains but they sure can’t put them back

That is what bold Larry Gibson said who fought Big Coal for years

As his spirit kept on shining through the hardship & the tears

For he faced the vested interests in defence of his own land

Larry Gibson was a hero for he made a hero’s stand


Oh they can’t put them back - no - they  can’t put them back

They can blow the tops of mountains  but they can’t put them back

Coal from West Virginia has washed down the Ohio

Rode the Mississippi to the Gulf  of  Mexico

There’s 500 headless mountains that will never speak again

For the company accountants had them liquidised for gain

They were nature’s sacred places that were carved way back in time

Now they’re scarred and bear the traces of starvation & decline

As the birds look down on craters where the trees once slept with stars

They could name & shame the traitors who have turned their land to Mars

Please remember Larry Gibson for he dared to speak his mind

While the breath was in his body he fought hard to lead the blind


Oh the coal from these proud mountains has washed down the Ohio

And it’s rode Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

Now the mountains weep for Gibson and his Kayford Mountain home

Though he was no Henrik Ibsen he made sure made his feelings known

When you peel a virgin mountain like an apple round its core

You leave baleful walls of darkness that are  monuments to war

Rest in peace now Larry Gibson Mother Nature’s favourite son

For you lie where they can’t hurt you in your Kayford Mountain home