15 tons



"You load 16 tons and what do you get?
Another year older and deeper in debt.
St. Peter wont't call me 'cause I can't go.
I owe my sould to the company store."

Wednesday marks 15 years of wedded bliss for Hub and me. The above isn't really "our song," but we often pretend it is.  You should see the expressions on friends' faces when they ask us if we have a "song" and we start singing this and mime shovelling.  The uncomfortable grimaces are so worth the lie.

And, okay, I took some poetic license and it's actually titled "16" tons and not "15," but give me a break.  Merle Travis stole credit for the whole dang song in 1947 from a poor Kentucky coal miner who actually wrote in the 1930s as "9 to 10 tons."  A story of long-term debt bondage is universally understood, give or take a ton.

If you want to know the truth, our actual "song" as a couple isn't that much more upbeat.  We heard Nancy Griffith singing Trouble in the Fields at an outdoor concert when we were dating and loved it.  Apparently Hub decided then and there that if he were ever to face the sort of trouble the farmers in the song were suffering, he'd want me to be his plow...or mule. Thus, a marriage--and perhaps a bad omen--were born.

So, Happy Anniversary, my man.  We're still just a couple of union-affiliated, pro-labor, anti-poverty b-siders breaking rocks and sod toward the future.  Who knew it would be so much fun?


06/06/2012 11:47am

How apropos! Our song is Gold Digger feat. Jamie Foxx

06/08/2012 2:06pm

Oh excellent! I need someone to tell me what "She was spose to buy ya TYCO with ya money" really means!

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