Down in the Mine: American Coal Miners and Their Songs, 1890-1960
A Road Scholar Program by Bucky Halker
May 13, 2024
Coal miners in Illinois and the rest of the US have a long tradition of writing poetry and music related to their occupation. This program brings that tradition to the forefront. “Down in the Mine” combines music performance (guitar and vocal) and spoken commentary.
The presentation features songs and poems by coal miners, including Illinois miners. The commentary places this important folk tradition in a broader historical context and offers details on coal mining, coal-miner bards and songwriters, early country music, and individual songs.