Friday, April 8, 2016

Labour & Pop Culture: Company Store

This week’s installment of Labour & Pop Culture is “Company Store” by Driftwood. This is a different song from “16 Tonnes” by Tennessee Ernie Ford (which talks about coal miner’s being driven into debt by being forced to shop at a store run by the coal mine.

Driftwood is a bluegrass group. I couldn’t fine a lyrics sheet for the song but, if you listen, it pleasantly seems to shift back and forth between work and love.

There is a long history of folk music written about work; one of the best radio series I have heard was a multi-part Smithsonian (I think) series on the history of trade unions that used the Folkways archives. I couldn’t find this online but I did find one collection.

-- Bob Barnetson

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