Robin Thompson


Location: in the Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio
Country: US

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What New Shoes Cost- ballad work-in-progress

Artist: Robin Thompson
Genre: Folk & Singer-Songwriter
Duration: 00:03:31

Critical comments are welcomed! A great-uncle of Mark's was killed very young in an accident in a coal mine. As the family story goes, he was wearing new shoes and slipped on the rail line and was run over by a coal car. I use the family story as a point of departure for this ballad.

Robin Thompson
08/29/18 04:56:47PM @robin-thompson:

@dusty-turtle Dusty, it's strictly a family story, oral history, passed on about a very young miner named Ernest Lanning.  The new shoes come into the story because ponies who pulled the coal cars were used to certain cues dictated by weight on the chains/connection to the coal cars.  Young Ernest, wearing new shoes, slipped giving the ponies the wrong cue and he was run over by a coal car. I used the story as a point of departure for this song; Ernest had neither a wife nor children.  

Dusty Turtle
08/29/18 04:02:59PM @dusty-turtle:

An appropriately haunting melody for such a tragic story. Nice work, Robin.

How confident is Mark about the veracity of the story? It sounds awfully convenient for the coal company.  Instead of negligence for running coal cars so close to workers, the blame is on the uppity worker for daring to wear new shoes.  It's a nice story for a song whether it's true or not.

Robin Thompson
08/29/18 03:33:03PM @robin-thompson:

Thank you, @strumelia & @elvensong .  I've been thinking about singing this unaccompanied.  I don't sing much so it remains to be seen how that'd go.  (I think I'm on-pitch in this version more often than not.) And still not sure about the order of verses and a word choice here or there.  

08/29/18 12:49:14AM @elvensong:

"These shoes will walk again, into that mine" - wow, Robin what a mournful story and powerful imagery. 

And you sing!

Now I'm really envious! 

08/28/18 10:15:57PM @strumelia:

Robin I just love this.  

What a truly compelling story and song. You've done honor to those who came before.

Robin Thompson
03/16/18 09:18:08PM @robin-thompson:

Thank you for the kind comments, friends.  

I have tinkered with the lyrics over the past couple years and, likely, do not yet have a final version.  

Benjamin W Barr Jr
03/15/18 09:54:15PM @benjamin-w-barr-jr:

I like it.  Thanks for sharing. 

03/15/18 07:38:24AM @ariane:

A very sad song - you played and sang so expressively

03/15/18 04:51:39AM @macaodha:

Love what you are doing here, great potential, sad story and the air reflects this sadness.