Coal Tattoo Lyrics - Jim Croce

Jim Croce Facets cover art
Release information
Release Date: 1966
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Acoustic
length: 2:18
composer: Billy Edd Wheeler
lyricist: Billy Edd Wheeler

Travelin' down that coal town road
Listen to my rubber tires whine;
Goodbye to buckeye and white sycamore
I'm leavin' you behind
Oh I've been a coal man all my life
Layin' down tracks in the hole
Got a back like an ironwood
Bent by the wind
Blood veins blue as the coal
Blood veins blue as the coal

Somebody said "That's a strange tattoo
You have on the side of your head."
I said "That's a blue print, left by the coal
Just a little more and I'd be dead"
And I love the rumble and I love the dark
I love the cool of the slate
But it's on down the new road lookin' for a job
It's the travelin' and lookin' I hate

I've stood for the union, walkin' the line
Fought against the company;
Stood for the U. M. W. of A
Now who's gonna stand for me?
I got no house and I got no pay
Just got a worried soul;
And this blue tattoo on the side of my head
Left by the number nine coal

Someday when I'm dead and gone
To Heaven, the land of my dreams
I won't have to worry on losin' my job
To bad times 'n big machines
I ain't gonna pay my money away
For pensions and hospital plans
I'm gonna pick coal where the blue heavens roll
And sing with the angel bands

Lyrics licensed by
12" Vinyl 1
  • 1 Steel Rail Blues
  • 2 Coal Tattoo
  • 3 Texas Rodeo
  • 4 Charley Green
  • 5 Gunga Din
  • 6 Hard Hearted Hanna
  • 7 Sun Come Up
  • 8 The Blizzard
  • 9 Running Maggie
  • 10 Until It's Time For Me To Go
  • 11 Big Fat Woman