Friday, January 6, 2017

Billy Joe Shaver's "I'm Just an Old [???] of Coal"




I noticed a few erroneous variations in the title of Billy Joe Shaver's song "I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I'm Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)" in some country music books the other day. If this blog had a "mildly interesting" tag, then this post would get it.

Shaver wrote the song for his 1981 album of the same name, and Jon Anderson had a Top 5 country hit with it the same year. 

These variations are just mistakes that were missed in editing—at least two of these books get the title right elsewhere. 

Country Music: The Rough Guide writes it as "lump" of coal on page 374:


Country Music: A Biographical Dictionary writes it as "hunk" of coal on page 8:


"Hunk" also appears on page 9 of The Big Book of Country Music: A Biographical Encyclopedia


I wondered if anyone accidentally wrote it as "piece" of coal and found one record retailer that did in a listing for a single by the Near Beer Band. (The label of the record itself shows the correct title.)



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