Coal Train Blues
Counterfeit Cash, a Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash tribute band based in Portland, Oregon, has just released a new music video, "Coal Train Blues," a cover of the Man in Black's famous hit "Folsom Prison Blues."
The revised lyrics tell about the health and environmental risks that coal exports pose to communities across the Pacific Northwest, including the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.
The video was produced by the Sierra Club's partners on the coal export fight -- Friends of the Columbia Gorge and the Power Past Coal coalition. Counterfeit Cash volunteered their talent for the cause.
"For us, taking part in this project was an easy decision," says Counterfeit Cash singer Daniel Coble, below. "What little is left of wild nature is being destroyed just to keep our toxic, growth-based economy going. We all need to be pushing back against this madness."
Coble rejects the notion that Cash's romanticism of trains might have extended to coal trains. "Johnny didn't romanticize coal. He sang songs like 'Loading Coal' ('And I'll sit around starvin' 'til I'm finally told/There's a nickel more a ton for loadin' coal'). Johnny loved trains, but he also loved wild, unspoiled nature."
Sierra Club organizer Laura Stevens says coal exports anywhere would harm communities everywhere. "From mining the coal in Montana to transporting it through the Pacific Northwest to burning the coal abroad and exacerbating climate disruption, coal exports threaten our environment and people's health. It is imperative to the health and safety of our communities that we stop dirty coal export projects in their tracks."