Patty Loveless “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” Video & Lyrics

Patty Loveless

photo: Facebook / Patty Loveless

Enjoy this clip of Patty Loveless performing "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive" live on 'The Tonight Show.'

Country music maven and Kentucky native Patty Loveless puts so much soul into her performances. Her rendition of Darrell Scott’s “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” is no exception.

The song tells the story of the life of a coal miner in Harlan County, Kentucky, and the troubles faced on a land controlled by outsiders.The song was originally written and performed by Darrell Scott in 1996, and has since been performed by both Loveless and Brad Paisley.

This song really hits home for Loveless, as she is the daughter of a coal miner from Kentucky whose life was cut short due to complications resulting from working in the mines.

Watch Patty Loveless perform “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” live on The Tonight Show below

“You’ll Never leave Harlan Alive” Lyrics

In the deep dark hills of eastern Kentucky
That’s the place where I traced my bloodline
And it’s there I read on a hillside gravestone
You’ll never leave Harlan alive

Oh my grandfather’s dad crossed the Cumberland Mountains
Where he took a pretty girl to be his bride
Said “Won’t you walk with me out the mouth of this holler
Or we’ll never leave Harlan alive”

Where the sun comes up about ten in the mornin’
And the sun goes down about three in the day
And you’ll fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you’re drinkin’
And you spend your life just thinkin’ of how to get away

No one ever knew there was coal in them mountains
Till a man from the northeast arrived Waving hundred dollar bills
Said “I’ll pay you for your minerals”
But he never left Harlan alive

Grandma sold out cheap and they moved out west of Pineville
To a farm where Big Richland River winds
And I bet they danced them a jig
And they laughed and sang a new song
“Who said we’d never leave Harlan alive”

But the times they got hard and tobacco wasn’t selling
And old grandad knew what he’d do to survive
He went and dug for Harlan coal
And sent the money back to grandma
But he never left Harlan alive

Where the sun comes up about ten in the mornin’
And the sun goes down about three in the day
And you’ll fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you’re drinkin’
And you spend your life digging coal from the bottom of your grave.

You’ll never leave Harlan alive

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