Learn how to play the mournful country classic You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive on your 3-string cigar box guitar and 2-string bass with the totally free-to-download tablature in this post.
You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive, written by Darrell Scott, is a tale based on the history of a Kentucky coal town tucked into the southerly side of the Cumberland Mountains. Upon discovery of thick, high-quality seams of coal in the narrow mountain valley that is Harlan County, Harlan, and the surrounding area changed forever.
Much of Harlan County was bought by the commercial coal industry, and families from all over came to work in the dangerous coal mines. As the coal depleted and money stopped being made, violent disputes broke out between workers and employers, unions and police. Due to a host of factors, the beautiful mountain valley town fell into economic despair in which it still largely mires today.
Darrell Scott captured much of the misery in his melancholy song, You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive. Since recording it in 1997, several notable artists have covered the tune, such as Patty Loveless and Brad Paisley. Paisley’s rendition was also used in the now-discontinued television show, Justified.
And now, you can learn how to play this beautiful and tragic song on both your 3-string cigar box guitar and 2-string bass, such as the C. B. Gitty G-Bass with the free tablature in this post. All you have to do is click the links below to download the PDFs, and then you can print them out to keep with you wherever you practice playing your handmade musical instruments!
If you want a little help reading tablature, watch this quick video tutorial.