David Allan Coe

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A Cold Lump Of Coal
written by David Allan Coe
Album: "For the Soul and For the Mind Demo's of '71-'74"

SPOKEN: This last song is a song that I wrote which is a song against capitol punishment.
        And I would like very much for that to be stated somewhere along the way, that this
        is a song against capitol punishment.  I wrote this song for my fahter who is
        doin' life in Ohio State Penitenciary; he's been there for 23 years.


G                    C           G
There is a story the coal miners tell
In Hazzard Kentucky about a woman called Nell
                                   C         G
She came there from somewhere just her and a child
                             D   G
And bought her a farm in the valley

    G                    C            G
Now rumor says she had a whole lot of money
That boy never would work a day in his life
    G                        C         G
And all of the miners, those old forty-niners
                          D               G
Tried harder than ever to make Nell their wife

    C          D        C            G
But Nell was a lady content with the baby
She'd had a good man who was lost in the mine
   G                          C             G
At night she would listen for sounds of his hammer
                             D         G
And look in the coal miners' faces for signs

    G                          C             G
For years people talked of the pretty young woman
The boy, long neglected, had turned to a man
    G                          C              G
Who walked thru the tunnels in search of his daddy
                           D           G
And carried a cold lump of coal in his hand

    C              D        C             G             
She called the boy David, a name from the Good Book
For she believed prayin' was good for the soul
      G                        C        G
She'd found him abandoned when he was a baby
                                 D            G
Clutched tight in his hand was a cold lump of coal

        C             G           C            G
Now the truth of the matter, she tried to keep secret
But small towns know more than a body should tell
    G                        C         G
And it wasn't long 'til the story was proven
                           D            G
For someone had murded the lady called Nell

     G                   C           G
The investigation meant questioning David
They hounded that boy 'til he lost self control
   C            G          C               G
It seems on the floor underneath that old lady
                             D            G
Just touching her head was a cold lump of coal

    G                         C           G
Now witnesses swore 'twas the work of the devil
'Cause Jesus could never have been that unkind
    C          G           C           G
The jury said guilty, the judge had no mercy
                          D       G
The boy was convicted of serious crime

       C           D         C         G
And it wasn't long after the boy's execution
A man name of Billy confessed to the kill
        G                         C       G
His conscience was burdened with innocent bodies
                            D           G
For he swore he'd only been doing God's will

    C        D          C             G
He told in a vision the Lord had come to him
And whispered go down and take that woman's life
    G                   C          G
For she is a sinner not fit to be livin'
                                D             G
Go down there and kill her but don't use your knife

    C             D             C            G
Now wait 'til the boy leaves to look for his daddy
He'll be forgotten down there in that hole
 G                      C          G
Billy confessed how he snuck up behind her
                             D            G
And beat her to death with a cold lump of coal

    G                        C              G
Now all of you people that's preaching the gospel
Remember repentence must come from the soul
    G                         C           G
The Lord knows the answer I'm not free to give it
N/C                         (D)          (C)   (G)
For I'm just the voice of a cold lump of coal 
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