Sixteen Tons

Yikes! Another birthday.

For the uninitiated, the headline refers to a song written by country singer Merle Travis and made famous by crooner Tennessee Ernie Ford in the mid-50s. At that time he rode this tale of a miner’s woeful life to number one.

Sixteen tons and what do you get
Another year 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

Before this birthday, this tune rarely entered my mind. Sure, it was the song the Clash played prior to hitting the stage on their legendary 1980 US tour, but, it also found its way into several big screen movies and TV shows as well in the ensuing years.

Besides the obvious references to the plight of those in debt bondage, it also grew into a sort of mythos. One that represented the spirit of persevering, specifically during hard times. A sort of celebration of the human spirit if you will.

Which brings us back around to its sudden appearance in my psyche. While I certainly do not have it anywhere near as hard as the protagonist in this story, this year has been one of change as well as growth. Not something I saw coming around the bend, but then again, life has a way of doing that. 🙂  Nevertheless it did show me how persevering does reap rewards you might not have ever expected. Touché Mr. Williams!

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