Pennsylvania Coal

by Irene Kelley

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“This woman is making the BEST MUSIC OF HER CAREER.”
~ Maverick Magazine

“This whole project is SIMPLY SUBLIME.”
~ Robert K. Oermann, Music Historian; Music Row Magazine

“Pennsylvania Coal” – produced by Grammy Award-winner Mark Fain – is Irene Kelley’s first full-length album release in nearly 10 years. The new collection features Carl Jackson, Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch, Trisha Yearwood, Jerry Salley, Dale Ann Bradley, Darren Vincent, Bryan Sutton, Stuart Duncan, Adam Steffey, Steve Gulley and other friends.


released February 11, 2014



all rights reserved


Irene Kelley Nashville, Tennessee

Irene Kelley’s signature mix of Bluegrass, Country and Americana appeals to music lovers across all genres. A native of Latrobe, PA, she has independently released two albums and another for MCA Records. Irene's songs have been recorded by Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, Loretta Lynn, Pat Green, Brother Phelps, Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch, Darrell Scott, The Whites, the Osborne Brothers & others. ... more


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Track Name: You Don't Run Across My Mind
“You Don’t Run Across My Mind”
Written by Irene Kelley/Peter Cooper

Maybe I’m a passing thought, when the wood smoke’s in the air
Maybe I’m a summer breeze, in the July weather fair

*(But )You don’t run across my mind, you’re in there all the time
You don’t travel through my heart, you are not a moving part
You’re here and here you’ll stay, and though you’re far away
Years and years and still I find, you don’t run across my mind

Maybe I’m a coat you wore, through some winter long ago
Worn so close but left behind, when the spring replaced the snow
Maybe when you think of me, in some fleeting now and then
Know that you are dear to me, and that my love knows no end
Track Name: Feels Like Home
“Feels Like Home”
Written by Irene Kelley/Peter Cooper

You can take a trip but you can’t go back
Too many times I’ve heard that
It’s prettier in clouded memory
And just today a north wind came
Tapped my shoulder, brought the grey
And a chill I know by heart came over me
*Feels like home
Though I never felt at home there
And I know that the winters were too long
Like the wind against the shutters
In a town I used to know
Anytime it looks like rain, it feels like home

You can change the present but not the past
Too many times I’ve heard that
Days like these don’t scare me anymore
There was a time when one blue breeze
Knocked me down to me knees
Now all it does is open up a door
Track Name: Pennsylvania Coal
“Pennsylvania Coal”
Written by Irene Kelley/Thomm Jutz

Crabtree Pennsylvania, a sleepy little town
Everything that kept her going, was lying under ground
My grandpa worked the mine and then he worked the farm
8 hours in the dark 6 hours in the sun
*And everyday hear that whistle blow
To make a better life for someone down the road
And pray one day the ones you love will know
You don’t sell your soul for another load of Pennsylvania coal

My grandma made and sold corn liquor to buy the families’ shoes
For that little so called luxury that’s what she had to do
First generation American and proud
She wouldn’t talk about it but I’m here to tell it now
**Black lung, unsung heroes every one
Unknown, backbone I’m still leaning on…
Track Name: Breakin' Even
“Breakin’ Even”
Written by: Irene Kelley/Mark Irwin

Tonight you’re in the arms of another
Convinced you’ve found something real at last
And here by myself I’m close to going under
I know life’s not fair but, how unfair is that

*Oh, oh, oh, so much for breakin’ eve
Oh, oh, oh, no one’s supposed to lose
Oh, oh, oh, I wish I could stop this grieving
And walk away undamaged just like you
Oh, so much for breakin’ even

We swore we’d never lie or hurt each other
We’d talk it out and face the bitter truth
But you just left and left me here to wonder
How my heart could still be missing you
**I love you no, I love you more
We’d argue laugh not keeping score
But in the end I guess I won
Track Name: My Flower
“My Flower”
Written by Irene Kelley/Justyna Kelley

First time that I heard it many years ago
Listening to the Opry on my dad’s radio
I learned it for my babies to calm their troubled sleep
And darlin’ if you want my love forever your to keep

*You can sing, “You Are My Flower”
Any time of day any time of night
And it won’t matter what the hour
If you sing, “You Are My Flower”
I know everything will be alright

The smell of burning palm when the sky turns green
Or Wilford Brimley entering a scary movie scene
These things give me comfort and offer some relief
And just like that old love song and timeless melody
** Playing like the soundtrack of my life
Bloomin’ in the mountains so high
Track Name: Rattlesnake Rattler
“Rattlesnake Rattler”
Written by Irene Kelley/Thomm Jutz

Drivin’ down a dusty road he saw that diamond back
Someone just ran over it. Bobby said, “I’m gonna stop for that!”
He picked it up and brought it home and threw it on the grill
Saved one special part for me and I believe its power is real

*I put a rattlesnake rattler in this old guitar
It turned wood wire frets and glue into a shining star
Clear as the whistle of an old freight train
Warmer than the patter of a Carolina rain
Steady as the rhythm of the wheels of an ole box car
I put a rattlesnake rattler in this old guitar

Some say it’s a mountain thing, some say I’m a fool
But they ain’t heard this old box ring, and now who is fooling’ who
**So if you think you hear the whistle of an old freight train, the pitter and the patter of a Carolina rain. It ain’t just the rhythm of the wheels of an ole box car. It’s the rattlesnake rattler in this old guitar
Track Name: Sister's Heart
“Sister’s Heart”
Written by Irene Kelley/Jon Weisberger

It’s a deep quiet place but the sun still seems to shine
No easy way to get there but a treasure once you find
Love without condition always standing guard
No safer place for secrets inside a sister’s heart

Should you stay should you leave
Should you tell him ‘yes or no’
A hundred miles of broken dreams, a hundred more to go
When you’re lookin’ for some comfort
And you don’t know where to start
The door is always open inside a sister’s heart
**Sister’s heart, Sister’s hear, Blood runs deep for all time in a sister’s heart
She’s like looking at a stranger; she’s like lookin’ in the mirror
Makes me weak with laughter, spittin’ mad with tears
She could hand me to the devil; she could tear my world apart
But, there’s not one drop of evil inside a sister’s heart
Track Name: Things We Never Did
“Things We Never Did”
Written by Irene Kelley/David Olney/John Hadley

Singing moonlight lull-a-byes, your laughter in the children’s eyes
Counting stars adrift above the lake
Side by side we would stand, face the future hand in hand
Making plans that only lovers make

*Memories and photographs
Trips to the south of France/Sometimes they make me laugh
A world full of wonder and a house full of kids
Forever me and you, nearly a dream come true
You don’t know how I miss the things we never did

Today I saw you on the street, it felt so strange our eyes should meet
Although they used to do it all the time
I just turned and walked away, I didn’t have the heart to say
What was really running through my mind
Track Name: Angels Around Her
“Angels Around Her”
Written by: Irene Kelley/Billy Yates

There with momma at the door, we heard that yellow bluebird roar
My first day of school, I couldn't wait
She said “You know I love you girl, you’re not alone out in this world”
As I stepped aboard that bus, I heard her say...

*If you could put angels around her
Angels around her
Together they could fly above the rain
And if you put angels around her
Angels around her
She'll be safe to do most anything
Wrapped so gently in those angels wings

I was barely sweet 16, no one could tell me anything
Even momma said, “wild as the wind”
She'd gently kiss me on the cheek, send up a prayer my soul to keep
And I roll my eyes as she whispered once again...


Now momma's tired of holding on, she's says it’s time for movin’ on
And who am I to try and tell her no
I fight my tears, disguise my pain, hold her hand and softly pray
“God, give me strength if I have to let her go”

Forever wrapped so gently in those angel wings
Track Name: Better With Time
“Better With Time”
Written by Irene Kelley/Justyna Kelley/Peter Cooper

Some hearts fade and weather
Get lost in the heather
Bruised in the passing of years
But it’s warm coffee mornings
Hold hands in the dawning
And 10 thousand sweet souvenirs

*And better with time, we’ve got the rest of our lives
Better with time, a love that’s forever
Will only get better with time

Some hearts will not bother
To care for each other
They scatter when matters go wrong
But we are not that kind
We’re guitars and fine wine
And every word to that old song
Track Name: Garden Of Dreams
“Garden of Dreams”
Written by Irene Kelley/David Olney/John Hadley

Don’t take for granted the seed that was planted
Be thankful, be grateful it’s there in your heart
The losing, the winning the end the beginning
We all need a place we can start

*Bless the earth, bless the sky
And the clouds passing by
And life & all that it means
Bless the thorns, bless the weeds
‘Cause among all of these
There’s a rose in the garden of dreams

A warm rain is falling, tomorrow is calling
The treasure you long for is there to be found
So never stop hoping, just keep your eyes open
You can’t see the rainbow if you’re looking down

**There’s a rose, a beautiful rose
There’s arose in the garden of dreams