This poem was written by O. Benton and dedicated to Don Chafin, “a true son of Logan.” The poem relates to the Mine Wars, or as it was called by the Logan Banner, the “armed march.”
There’s a land of “Love thy brother”
By the sky-blue Guyandotte
Where the folks love one another,
And I know God loves the spot.
For he built those mighty mountains
And he touched their tops with blue,
From their sides gush crystal fountains,
Just to quench the thirst of you.
Oaks and poplars, pines and hemlocks,
On the mountainsides they grew.
There’ll be no coal beneath the mountains
For a million years or two.
In this glorious land of blessings
Long before the railroad came
Lived the honest, fighting people
Who have brought the country fame.
Now there’s mines beneath those mountains
And there’s towns most everywhere,
But with all the wealth and greatness
Freedom reigns and all is fair.
Some may say, “You think there’s freedom,”
But I’m saying what I know.
I have crossed the rushing rivers,
I have tramped the mountain snow.
I have sweated ‘neath those mountains
Where the motors screech and hum.
I have worked upon the tipple
Worked with pick and shovel some.
And I swear by all above me
That a man may have his say.
He may tell of any grievance
Unmolested, go his way.
For there is no lack of freedom
When the Court-House clock looks down
On the men who love their neighbors
In the busy coal-gorged town.
When the men from New York City
Told us that they were not free,
It was something quite unheard of,
Something free men cannot see.
If our misinformed brothers
Wish to DO, and not to mock,
Let them stay within the cities
Where there’s Hell in every block.
Let them stay away from Logan,
Where a man can be a man.
Take your creeds and go to New York
Where their brothers understand.
For the famous “Logan Wildcats”
And the lads who fought the Hun,
They are tired of soap-box teachings
And have said there shall be none.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 29 June 1923