Cisco Houston Web Site

The Songs He Sang

Dark as A Dungeon: Lyrics

As performed by Cisco Houston

Merle Travis

Appears on:
Come all you young fellers, so young and so fine
And seek not your fortunes way down in the mine
It will form like a habit and seep in your soul
'Til the stream of your blood flows as black as the coal

   It's dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew
   Where the dangers are double and the pleasures are few
   Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines
   It's dark as a dungeon way down in the mines

There is many a man I have seen in my day
Who lived just to labor his whole life away
Like the fiend with his dope and the drunkard his wine
A man will have lust for the lure of the mine

   It's dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew
   Where the dangers are double and the pleasures are few
   Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines
   It's dark as a dungeon way down in the mines

I hope when I'm dead and the ages shall roll
That my body will blacken and turn into coal
I will look from the door of my heavenly home
And pity the miner a' diggin' my bones

   It's dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew
   Where the dangers are double and the pleasures are few
   Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines
   It's dark as a dungeon way down in the mines
   It's dark as a dungeon way down in the mine
   It's dark as a dungeon way down in the mine

Of note:

Cisco didn't record many "famous" songs, but when he did, as in the chilling Dark as a Dungeon, his rendition can stand next to any. Though his voice isn't the gravelly scrape we might associate with a miner, he is completely convincing.

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