Blair Song Archive

The songs provided below were taught and utilized many times throughout the March to Blair Mountain 2011. These songs were a powerful and vital addition to the march. They not only kept spirits high, but served as declarations of the marcher’s determination to see the march through to the end, despite the many obstacles encountered.

Download the “Solidarity Songbook” – Compiled by Flora Bernard with input from several organizers, this collection of songs was created for the March on Blair Mountain. Several songs from the book were sung on the march, and can be heard in the recordings below.

Visit our Contemporary March Song Archive to see and hear some modern songs reflecting the history of the Mingo-Logan Wars.

#SONGMEDIADESCRIPTIONLYRICS
1Staid On Freedom (ver 1)

Staid On Freedom (ver 2)


A tune most recently of the Civil Rights Era, descended from the slave tune "Woke up this morning with my mind stayed on Jesus."Lyrics
2Swing Low, Sweet ChariotA traditional African-American hymn tune. The new verses were created by four women marchers: Juliette Wallace, Ellena Baum, Tessa Scheele Morelli, and Nissa Gustafson.
Lyrics
3Under My FeetThis song was created at the Highlander Center in 2010. The Blair marchers were one of the first groups to ever learn this song and pass it into the oral tradition. Jasper Conner leads the song in this recording.Lyrics
4We Are Marching to Blair MountainAnother variation created by Juliette Wallace, Ellena Baum, Tessa Scheele Morelli, and Nissa Gustafson, this song is to the tune of “In the Highways” by the Carter Family.Lyrics
5Nelson's Blood(audio coming soon)Lyrics
6Singing for Our Lives(audio coming soon)Lyrics
7Which Side Are You On?(audio coming soon)Lyrics
8Hold OnIn the 1800s and early 1900s this song was often called “Freedom Plow” in which it was illustrated that keeping a plow straight in the field was similar to keeping one’s life straight with JesusLyrics
9Oh You Can't Scare MeThis song was written to the tune of Woody Guthrie’s “Union Maid.” Guthrie borrowed the melody from a popular song called Red Wing, also about a young womanLyrics
10Coal TattooThis song, about an experienced coal miner looking for work, was written by Billy Edd Wheeler in 1963 and has become quite a classic. Not all the words are recalled by the singers in this recording.Lyrics
11Paradise (ver 1)

Paradise (ver 2)


Written by John Prine and recorded on a 1971 album, the song refers to an actual town called Paradise, now defunct due to lack of industry.Lyrics
12Solidarity ForeverAn old tune, popularly attached to different lyrics throughout history including “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “John Brown’s Body.”Lyrics
13Country RoadsWritten by John Denver, Taffy Nivert and William DanoffLyrics
14Have You Ever Been to Jail for Justice?Written by Anne FeeneyLyrics
15Under My Feet (Ver 2)Lyrics
16The Times They Are A ChanginWritten by Bob DylanLyrics

 

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