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           Johnson County Historical &

    Genealogical Society

Evening all,

I just wanted to share something, and If you are first or second generation 
born out of eastern Kentucky perhaps this will jar some memories. So in case 
you folks aren't familiar with this song I will share the words.

Readin', Writin' and Route 23

Have you ever been down Kentucky way

say south of Prestonsburg

Have you ever been up in a holler,

Have you ever heard

a mountain man cough his life away 

diggin' that black coal in those dark mines?

If you have you might just understand the reason

that they left it all behind


They learned readin', writin' Route 23

To the jobs that lay waiting

in those cities factories

They learn readin', writin'

 roads to the north

To the luxury and comfort

a coal miner can't afford

They thought readin', writin', Rout 23

would take them to the good life

that they had never seen

They didn't know that that old highway

would lead them to a world of misery

Have you ever seen 'em put the kids in the car

after work on Friday night

Pull up in a holler about 2 am

some lights still burning bright

Those mountain folks set up that late

to hold those little grandkids in their arms

And I'm proud to say that I've been blessed,

touched by their sweet hillbilly charms

Verse again, and ending with

Turns out that old highway will lead you to a world of misery


Dwight Yoakam (also wrote it)
Album: Hillbilly Deluxe
1987 Warner Bros. Record Inc

Mary K. Goodyear

1st generation out of Eastern Kentucky, and remember many trips on Friday night <g>
Dwight Yoakam is Kentucky's Country Music Highway representative from Floyd
Co, and I think he graduated from high school in Worthington, a suburb of 
Columbus Oh.



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