Item no. 24062
Collection: Henry Foner

The Dying Miner, one of three songs by Woody Guthrie published in the May, 1947 issue of People's Songs, memorializing the 1947 mine disaster at Centralia, Illinois.  In a letter to People's Songs headed "Dear People and Dear Songs," Guthrie wrote that The Dying Miner "carries on the same line of struggle and ideas that so many of our Hard Hitting Songs in our Mining Section makes plain."  The third song, not shown here, was Talking Miner which Guthrie wrote, "runs just about like all of the other talking pieces and blueses" as far as music accomp[animent] goes."  The other "talking pieces and blueses" he referred to were his own Talking Dust Bowl Blues and Pete Seeger's Talking Union. 

Guthrie went on:  "Play them over on your piano, banjo, juke boxes, false teeth, new tonsils, adenoids and run them up and around inside of your nasal chambers a few times and see if you like them.  Me, for myself, I sort of like them.  I aim to sing them from here on out at gatherings wherever I go.  I am sending them to you folks in the hopes that you will run them in our next issue of the Peoples Song Bulletin with nice page spread, just so's they don't spill over and leak down into Lee Hays's big double column."

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