Yesterday I was watching TV, and there was a commercial for a power company promoting itself as developing cleaner-burning coal. Something about it struck me as totally weird: the music, which was Merle Travis’s “Sixteen Tons”. This song is all about what a rotten life coal-miners have, and it is thus completely inappropriate for promoting use of coal. If I may quote the chorus:
- You load sixteen tons, and what do you get?
another day older and deeper in debt
St. Peter, don’t you call me, ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store
As a bonus, you can find out all about “Sixteen Tons” at Sixteen Tons - The Story Behind The Legend.