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Me Johnny Mitchell Man, song lyrics

Song: Me Johnny Mitchell Man
Lyrics: Con Carbon(1)(2)

Year: c. 1902(1)
Country: USA

(Version 1)

Now you know Mike Sokolosky -
Dat man my brudder.
Last night him come to my shanty,
Un me tellin': "V'at you cummin' fer?"
Him tellin' 'about tomorra dark night,
Every miner all, beeg un shmall,
Goin' fer on shtrike.
Un him say t' me: Joe, me tellin' you
Dunt be 'fraid or shcared fer nottink, nevair, nevair do."
"Dunt be shcabby fell," him tellin' me again.
I'm say, "No sire! Mike, me out o' sight -
Me Johnny Mitchell(4) man."
This song was originally posted on
Me no 'fraid fer nottink,
Me dey nevair shcare,
Sure me shtrike tomorra night,
Dats de biziness, I dunt care.
Righta here me tellin' you -
Me no shcabby fella,
Good union citizen -
Johnny Mitchell man.

Now me belong t' union, me good citizen.
Fer seven year me livin' here
In dis beeg America.
Me vorkin' in de Prostpec,
Vorkin' Dorrance shaft, Conynghan, Nottingham -
Every place like dat.
Vorkin' in de gangway, vorkin' in de breat,
Labor every day, me nevair gettin' rest.
Me got plenty money, nine hoondred, maybe ten,
So shtrike kin come, like son-of-a-gun -
Me Johnny Mitchell man.


(Version 2)

Oh, y'u know Jo Silovatsky,
Dat man my brudder;
Last night him come fer my shanty:
"Joh, I'm come un tell you fer,
I'm tell you fer tomorra,
Evenink dark like night;
Lotsa miners all, beeg un schmall,
Gonna have a shtrike,
Dunt be shcabby fella, John,
Dat's I'm tell you right." I'm say,
"No sir, Joe, Some out on shtrike,
"Me Johnny Mitchell Man."
This song was originally posted on
Vell, I dunt 'fraid fer nottkink,
Dat' me nevair shcare,
Comein' strike tomorra night?
DAt's de bizness, I dunt care.
Right-a here I'm tell-a you,
Me no shcabby fella,
Me good union citizen,
Me Johnny Mitchell man.

Vell, me belong fer union,
Me good citizen,
Seven, mebbe 'leven, year,
I'm vorkin' in beeg, beeg 'Merica;
I'm vorkin' fer de Black Heat',
Down in Lytle shaft,
In de Pine Hill shaft, Pine Knot shaft,
Un every place like dat.
Me got lotsa money,
Nine hoondret mebbe ten,
Un shtrike kin come, like son-of-a-gun,
Me Johnny Mitchell man.


Ah, son-of-a-gun, Mr. Truesdale(6),
Dat's a bugger, Mr. Baer(7),
He dunt vants gib it ten per zent,
Cripes a'might dat's no fair.
I'm vorkin' in a gangway,
Vorkin' in a breast,
I'm loadin' coal ever day,
By jeez, me nevair rest.
Me got lots money,
Nine hoondret mebbe ten,
Un shtrike kin come, like son-of-a-gun,
Me Johnny Mitchell man.



1 - From Minstrels of the Mine Patch by George Gershon Korson, published by University of Pennsylvania Press, 1938, p. 213-216, p.234-236.

2 - Con Carbon was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania in 1871 and died in 1907. His father was a miner and at nine years-old went to work in the Audenried breaker. In 1883 at twelve, they moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania where he continued to work in coal mines.

3 - Sung in a Slavic-American dialect of the times and region.

4 - In 1890 the United Mine Workers of America had been created for the bituminous coal mine workers and then spread to the anthracite coal mines. In 1899 John Mitchell became the union's President. Mitchell pledged to fight the wealthy and powerful who controlled the industry on behalf of the 150,000 miners and to unite the workering, with a particular focus on mending the mistrust between English-speaking and Slavic miners.

5 - The Greatest Strike Ever, by Scott Connelly, 2010, about the 1902 coal miners strike, from the Pennsylvania Cener for the Book, Pennsylvania State University.

6 - William Haynes Truesdale (1851 - 1935), President of Delaware, Lackawanna Western Railway.

7 - George Frederick Baer (1842 - 1914), lawyer and president of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company who represented all the coal mining companies in the 1902 strike.

8 - More information on the The Coal Strike of 1902: Turning Point in U.S. Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, plus from the Clarence Darrow Digital Collection on the The Anthracite Coal Strike, from the Law Library, University of Minnesota, USA.