Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Coal Tattoo

NOTE: Again I remind those who use Firefox as your browser: I am finding that Firefox will not play embedded videos and audios. However, my other browsers (IE and Opera) work fine.

When I viewed the outcome of the following project, I felt a hesitancy to post it. Looking at videos of one’s self, even more than photographs, can shock one into having to admit that one is not what one once thought one’s self to be. That’s a rather polished way of saying: Shit! Do I really look and sound like that!

The video is the proof. I have changed in the past few years. Still, I am who I am and if folks can risk HNT posts, I certainly can risk this one (which, like the Muffin Walk video, is one shot filming—no retakes!) :

The song is Billy Edd Wheeler’s Coal Tattoo. I have sung it frequently over the past 30 or so years. It speaks to me of the reality faced by the coal minors in West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, and eastern Kentucky have faced for at least 150 years.

To hear a music professional, Kathy Mattea, singing Coal Tattoo, you may want to go HERE.

And for some really good music, please return tomorrow for Nick’s Bytes Wednesday Coffee House.


P.S. ~ Alex asked me to invite you by his blog to see his latest LOL Cat creation.


  1. You know Nick, one of the best parts about blogging is when people allow themselves to be a bit vulnerable. I thoroughly enjoyed the video!

  2. I like the video! Please do more.

  3. Thanks for letting us hear you sing and play. How fun!!! Yes, please do more!

    And you look very dapper in that hat!

  4. I really enjoyed your video Nick and your voice ain't half bad m'dear. :)

  5. I enjoyed the video, it was a great introduction to you. (Saw you post on Enola's site.) Your voice has a nice timbre to it, to my ears.

  6. Fantastic, I loved watching and listening. You are quite a guitar player! (and a good singer too of course!) x

  7. Great piece, Nick! (Did you catch my "self-portrait" the other day? My gold standard for art, music, writing is: "tell me who you are." You put it out there. Good for you!

  8. That was great Nick.

    Good song about some hard times for a lot o'folk.

    Yah twern't half bad thah mistah,[Maine woods accent] sing us somora,.... more when ya git a hankerin.

  9. That brings back lots of memories, Nick.

  10. I have been meaning to tell you since I saw the history video, that you have a very nice voice and I would have been in the front row to listen to your sermons. Peace


    That was spectacularly enjoyable!

    Thank you for sharing that.

  12. P.S. I had to download I.E. so I could see it...

    ...totally worth it.

  13. It is good to hear you singing again, Rev Saint.

  14. I like your singing and playing. Please made some more like this one.

  15. you sound good! love that deep south twang in your voice ...

  16. This is great! I haven’t heard you sing or play guitar since you left Cannelton. Do you thing maybe you could record that TEACH US TO PRAY song?

  17. DANA: I agree. Vulnerability is good; it is also inevitable if we are to live life to the fullest. They told us that over and over many times in seminary!

    PUSSIWILLOW: Thank you. I’ll probably do more singing gigs; I am a ham at heart.

    CAROL: Thank you. I wish I had videos of when I was “in my prime.”

  18. AKELAMALU: Thank you. As I seem to be saying a lot, my voice was better at one time.

    ANGEL: Thank you for the compliment—and for dropping by Nick’s Bytes. I hope that you return.

    DAFFY: Thank you! What may be most fantastic is that I actually made the video. I’ve been thinking about it for a while.

  19. PETER AT LARGE: Thank you. Yep; I caught your “self-portrait.” “Putting it out there” reminds me of the masks people so often wear. I hope that I have done away with all of mine!

    MICKEY-T: Thank you. For some reason I know a lot of songs about hard times.

    YBM: Yes, it does bring back a lot of memories. Most of ‘em good.

  20. LADY DI TN: Thank you. People have been complimenting me on my voice since I was in high school. I really don’t understand why; of course, I seldom listen to my own voice. I have been thinking of posting a sermon to the blog: I have many of them on cassette tape. I just don’t know how to transpose to the right format.

    SHOT: Thank you, sir! I really wish Firefox would correct whatever they did that has screwed up playing videos and audios.

    AZSONOFAGUN: Thank you, Rex. Thinking about it, it must be 20 or so years since you’ve heard me pick and sing.

  21. ABBY: Thank you. I believe that I shall.

    MAXXO: Thank you. Uh, what twang are that?

    JOSHUA: Thank you. If I can remember or find the music and words to the song, I’ll record it. As Alex says (too much), “OK?”

  22. Wow, I never knew you played guitar and sang! I enjoyed this a lot!!! I never heard of these songs, but they're really good!

    Thanks for the entertainment! Looking forward to more! :)

    (Had to switch to Explorer to hear and view!)

  23. DEB: Thank you! I appreciate your words. I suppose I should present a bit of autobiographical information:

    I began taking guitar lessons when I was 8 years old at a studio that had a radio program featuring their accordion & steel guitar student band. My Mom wanted me to be on their radio because my dad had sung on the radio before WWII.

    I did not like playing the steel guitar; when we moved from t6he city to suburbia when I was ten (and the drive to the studio tripled in distance), I convinced my mother (Dad seldom needed convincing: he didn’t live life vicariously through us kids as Mom did) to allow me to study Spanish guitar at a studio about ten minutes from the house. In sum, I have been playing guitar for 54 years and guitar that I enjoy playing for 52 years.

    This is getting so long I thing I shall turn it into a blog post. Thanks, Deb, for ticking my memories!