Words and Music Tell a West Virginia Story That Reverbrates!

by Duane Nichols on November 26, 2023

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“Life Without Me” by Chris Haddox

A song about the truths — good and bad — of West Virginia’s coal-based economy.



I fed you, I clothed you, I sent you to school,

I provided for nearly all of your needs,

Built your highways, Built your ballfields, Built your parks and your pools.

Ain’t it time you lived life without me?


Life without me you’re gonna find, Gonna take up every muscle in your mind,

Once the future was too far away to see,

Now it’s here and it’s clear you’re nowhere near prepared,

For life without me.


​I bent you, I broke you, Took your breath away,

Wrapped your dead in my darkness for keeps,

Still you sit there, Reminiscing, About the good ‘ol days.

Can’t wrap your head around life without me.


Careful where you draw your water — I done my business there,

Say a pray for your sons and daughters every time they breathe the air,

I have friends, you may have heard, don’t you listen to a word they have to say.

I’m just a dirty rotten killer on the cleanest of my days ……


Look around you, All the places, Where I carried out my reign,

Ah, the kingdom’s crumbling everywhere I see,

No promise, No wishful thinking, Gonna bring it back again.

Go on — get on to life without me!

CREDITS ~ Released March 18, 2022 with Johnny Staats, Mandolin; Clint Lewis, Bass; Ron Sowell; Rhythm Guitar; Julie Adams, BG vocals; Ammed Solomon, Drums; Chris Stockwell, Dobro; Jesse Milnes, Fiddle; Chris Haddox, lead guitar and vocals.

CR: license ~ all rights reserved.


SEE ALSO: Doubled mortality risk from coal-fired power plants | Science Magazine, School of Public Health, Harvard University, November 23, 2023

Examining Medicare and emissions data in the U.S. from 1999 to 2020, the researchers also found that 460,000 deaths were attributable to coal PM2.5 during the study period — most of them occurring between 1999 and 2007, when coal PM2.5 levels were highest.


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