That plant's first two units went online in 1963 and were then the largest in the world, each at more than 700 megawatts. With U.S. coal giant Peabody Energy filing for bankruptcy - the latest in a line of coal companies to go broke - my thoughts immediately turned to none other than legendary singer-songwriter John Prine. Down by the Green River where Paradise lay Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal … You know that song, Paradise, about coal trains and the Green River and strip mining. To the abandoned old prison down by Adrian's Hill Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away" Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovel And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man "And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County The song is also about what happened to the area around the Green River in Kentucky because of strip mining. No longer the world's largest, and replaced by drag lines, the famous shovel uncovered 80 million tons of coal in over two decades. And there's a backwards old town that's often remembered. Mister Peabody's coal train just hauled it away. The Courier-Journal was there to cover the Western Kentucky strip mining story in all its angles. The C-J was there also at the end for Big Hog. And daddy, won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County, down by the Green River where paradise lay? Amazingly, it had been powered by electricity from the nearby Paradise plant. Five miles away from where ever I am. Mister Peabody's coal train done hauled it away, And the coal company came with the world's largest shovel Reporter James Bruggers writes this Watchdog Earth blog. And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County. I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in asking I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in asking Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovel. Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man. Down by the Green River where Paradise lay Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Including the giant shovel, known as Big Hog. Well, I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in asking. The song is about the devastating impact of strip mining for coal, whereby the top layers of soil are blasted off with dynamite or dug away with steam shovels to reach the coal seam below. ALSO READ | Ky. slow to act on radioactive waste dumping, TVA, the story began, "long a shining example of Federal government functioning at its all out best, finds itself in a strange, disquieting position. TVA is getting tarred and feathered with strip-mine criticism, and it smarts. "Paradise" is a song written by John Prine for his father, and recorded for his 1971 debut album, John Prine. Staff writer Jim Morrissey took a close look at the Tennessee Valley Authority and its Paradise power plant, in a story that reminds us of just how long we've been fighting over coal and mining. let my soul roll on up to the Rochester Dam Mister Peabody's coal train just hauled it away. "It looks like a shame to put her under," Bill Carver of Greensville, who ran the shovel for 15 years and was in charge of its last shift a few months earlier, told the newspaper. Staff writer Tim Roberts in April 1986 wrote a front page story under the headline: "Immense coal shovel scooped out its place in history, then its grave.". The next month, columnist Joe Creason noted that it had taken 120 years, but Muhlenberg County, where coal mining started in 1820, had finally become the nation's top coal producing county. Down to Western Kentucky where my parents were born. I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in asking Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. ", A Kentucky river is one of 10 most endangered. Down by the Green River where Paradise lay When I was a child my family would travel. Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Ky. slow to act on radioactive waste dumping, Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. Roberts in 1986 noted that Muhlenberg County had run out of large tracks of land containing coal easily scooped from the surface. Then they wrote it all down to the progress of man, Oh daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County. Copyright: Writer(s): John Prine Lyrics Terms of Use, Daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Morrissey noted that a "superhighway," that would be the Western Kentucky Parkway, was responsible for a lot of the criticism because people witnessed the devastation from their cars. So many times that my mem'ries are worn, And sometimes we'd travel right down the Green River And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land. Prine also re-recorded the song for his 1986 album, German Afternoons. They stripped all the timber and tortured the land I'll be halfway to Heaven with Paradise waitin' ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The song references the Peabody Coal … Reach him at (502) 582-4645 and at jbruggers@courier-journal.com. All rights reserved. So daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train done hauled it away. "This shovel weighs as much as a Navy cruiser, stands 20 stories high, and can pick up 300 tons of dirt and rocks, deliver it 450 feet away, and be ready for the next cut in 50 seconds," Creason wrote. And that, mind you, with only one man at the controls.". The story explained how Peabody was going to bury it in its tracks, as part of reclamation. © 2020 METROLYRICS, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. Peabody Energy spun off its Kentucky coal assets in 2007 to Patriot Coal, which has also fallen into bankruptcy. That was pretty much Prine's assessment, too. Mister Peabody's coal train done hauled it away, When I was a child, my family would travel Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken. To a backwards old town that I've often remembered And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County ... "Mr Peabody's coal train has hauled it away" "Well sometimes we'd travel right down the Green River" "To the abandoned old prison down by Airdrie Hill Where the air smelled like snakes and we'd shoot with our pistols But empty pop bottles was all … NEW SONG: AC/DC - "Shot In The Dark" - LYRICS, HOT SONG: 21 Savage x Metro Boomin - "My Dawg​" - LYRICS, NEW SONG: Rod Wave - POP SMOKE - "MOOD SWINGS" ft. Lil Tjay - LYRICS, 23 One Hit Wonders You Still Can't Get Out Of Your Head, NEW SONG: Shawn Mendes - "Wonder" - LYRICS, Match These Taylor Swift Songs to Her Ex-Boyfriends. they dug for the coal till the land was forsaken Much of the credit went to Peabody's giant shovel, which could strip away 200 cubic yards of overburden in a single bite. “Paradise” is a town in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, where Tennessee Valley Authority operates a coal-fired plant. It could have moved all the dirt in the Panama Canal in three years - "a job that required thousands of men using lesser machines nearly 20 years to complete. © 2020 www.courier-journal.com. There was that giant shovel. But empty pop bottles was all we would kill, So daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County John Prine’s song, “Paradise” is also known by some as “Take Me Back To Muhlenberg County,” or “Mr. "People see the torn up land and our plant, and say: 'TVA's at it again, ruining the country,' and unnamed TVA officials was quoted as saying. Mister Peabody's coal train done hauled it away, When i die let my ashes float down the Green River Where the air smelled like snakes and we'd shoot with our pistols Down to western Kentucky where my parents were born “Paradise”, the Story. So many times that my memories are worn. There was more than just the coal trains. Big Hog was featured in C-J Sunday magazine in August 1965, back when I was just starting elementary school in Michigan. And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County G7 C Down by the Green River where Paradise lay F C Well I'm sorry my son but you're too late in asking G7 C Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away Well sometimes we'd travel right down the Green River To …

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