Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Story Behind The Song . . .

“I’m Just An Old Chunk Of Coal”
Doug Davis | Country Music Classics

Some songs are written because of inspiration while others have been written in times of desperation! According to Billy Joe Shaver, he was just about at the end of his rope when he wrote, “I’m Just An Old Chunk Of Coal, But I’m Gonna Be A Diamond Someday.”

Billy said, “I hadn’t written a song in over a year. And I was having a lot of trouble at that time because I was into a lot of things I shouldn’t have been in and I was strung out on several things about that time. I was really just about at the end of my rope. And about that time I started to realize that I was going down the wrong road and that I definitely needed to change my life’s direction.”

“My son had showed me a place on the Harpeth River near Nashville, Tennessee-a place they called ‘The Narrows.’ It was an old cliff that was real high and it took quite a climb to get to the place. Close to the top of that cliff was a hollowed out place and to me it looked like several altars that had been made by water or the wind. This particular spot had a kind of spiritual feel about it.”

The Narrows at dusk

“I was raised in a religious family so this place and that feeling just sort of stuck in my mind. I got down on my knees and started praying. I asked the Lord to please help me write a song and to help me straighten out my life. By the time I started down that cliff, I was singing, “I’m just an old chunk of coal, but I’m gonna be a diamond someday.”

Sunrise at the Narrows

Billy added, “The song is a good song to sing when you get up in the morning. That song has really helped me and I think it has helped a lot of other people too because it has a positive message.”



“I’m Just An Old Chunk Of Coal” was John Anderson’s 10th chart single. It entered the country music charts March 28th, 1981 and peaked at # 4. It was on the country music charts for 16 weeks.

2 comments:

mythopolis said...

That's a great story. One has to wonder how many people have sat on that slab of rock and had a transcendental moment! It's a legendary place.

NicoleB said...

That place is very beautiful!
One def. can have some moments of clarity in places like that!