“Shut Up in the Mines of Coal Creek”


(Eleven) miners, trapped in the mines of Coal Creek, resign themselves to death but place their trust in Jesus. Their lamps are flickering, their food is almost gone; they say farewell to their wives and children, saying they will meet them in heaven


The Coal Creek explosion of 1911 actually involved more than 100 miners; I am not entirely certain that it is the event described here (there was another disaster in 1902). But, of course, this song could be about certain of the trapped miners rather than the whole gang.

Roud seemingly lumps this with Laws G9, but it is patently a different song. - RBW

Historical references

  • Dec 9, 1911 - The Coal Creek explosion

Cross references


  • Dick Bell [pseud. for Green Bailey], "Shut Up in the Mines of Coal Creek" (Challenge 425, 1928; on KMM)
  • New Lost City Ramblers, "Shut Up in the Mines of Coal Creek" (on NLCR15, NLCRCD2)


  1. Darling-NAS, pp. 367-368, "Shut Up in the Mines of Coal Creek" (1 text)
  2. Roud #844


Author: Probably Green Bailey, though Darling lists it as by Norman Gilford
Earliest date: 1928 (recording, Green Bailey under the pseudonym Dick Bell)
Keywords: mining death farewell
Found in: US(Ap)