Thursday, July 14, 2011

Justified x4

Today, the FX TV series "Justified" was proven to be an incredibly aptly titled. Although it was denied the top spot, a nod for best drama series, four of its actors were nominated for Emmy Awards today.
Timothy Olyphant, Margo Martindale, Walter Goggins and Jeremy Davies were all nominated for their terrific body of work. If you haven't caught it yet, you can be forgiven. Based on some Elmore Leonard short stories, the series has been stashed away in 13-week bursts in late Winter to early Spring for the last two years.
"Justified" has been described as a modern western set in the coal country of Harlan, Kentucky. I know those people. I'm the first generation removed from the people of that part of the country who essentially had two options: the mines or the military. Thankfully, my dad and his many brothers opted for the military, then Indiana and factory work.
Those that stayed behind have become fodder for, so far, 26 brilliantly told, acted and shot stories. Each season has ended with the opening lines of Darrell Scott's "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive," as interpreted by the great Brad Paisley. If you want to learn what the show's about, read these lyrics:

In the deep dark hills of eastern Kentucky
That's the place where I trace my bloodline
And it's there I read on a hillside gravestone
You will never leave Harlan alive

Oh, my granddad's dad walked down
Katahrins Mountain
And he asked Tillie Helton to be his bride
Said, won't you walk with me out of the mouth
Of this holler
Or we'll never leave Harlan alive

Where the sun comes up about ten in the morning
And the sun goes down about three in the day
And you fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you're drinking
And you spend your life just thinkin' of how to get away

No one ever knew there was coal in them mountains
'Til a man from the Northeast arrived
Waving hundred dollar bills he said I'll pay ya for your minerals
But he never left Harlan alive

Granny sold out cheap and they moved out west
Of Pineville
To a farm where big Richland River winds
I bet they danced them a jig, laughed and sang a new song
Who said we'd never leave Harlan alive

But the times got hard and tobacco wasn't selling
And ole granddad knew what he'd do to survive
He went and dug for Harlan coal
And sent the money back to granny
But he never left Harlan alive

Where the sun comes up about ten in the morning
And the sun goes down about three in the day
And you fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you're drinking
And you spend your life just thinkin' of how to get away

Where the sun comes up about ten in the morning
And the sun goes down about three in the day
And you fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you're drinking
And you spend your life digging coal from the bottom of your grave

In the deep dark hills of eastern Kentucky
That's the place where I trace my bloodline
And it's there I read on a hillside gravestone
You will never leave Harlan alive

© EMI Music Publishing

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