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Chorus:
They learned readin', writin', Route 23
To the jobs that lay waiting in those cities' factories
They learned readin', writin', roads to the north
To the luxury and comfort a coal miner can't afford
They thought readin', writin', Route 23
Would take them to the good life that they had never seen
They didn't know that old highway
Could lead them to a world of misery
Have you ever been down Kentucky-way
Say south of Prestonburg
Have you ever been up in a holler
Have you ever heard
A mountain man cough his life away
From diggin' that black coal
In those dark mines, those dark mines
If you had you might just understand
The reason that they left is all behind
Chorus:
They learned readin', wrightin', Route 23
To the jobs that lay waitin' in those cities' factories
They learned readin', writin', roads to the north
To the luxury and comfort a coal miner can't afford
They thought readin', writin', Route 23
Would take them to the good life that they had never seen
They didn't know that old highway
Could lead them to a world of misery
Have you ever seen 'em
Put the kids in the car after work on Friday night
Pull up in a holler about 2 a.m.
And see a light still shinin' bright
Those mountain folks sat up that late
Just to hold those little grandkids
In their arms, in their arms
And I'm proud to say that I've been blessed
And touched by their sweet hillbilly charm
Chorus:
They learned readin', writin', Route 23
To the jobs that lay waiting in those cities' factories
They learned readin', writin', roads to the north
To the luxury and comfort a coal miner can't afford
They thought readin', writin', Route 23
Would take them to the good life that they had never seen
They didn't know that old highway
Could lead them to a world of misery
Yeah, it turns out that that old highway,
Leads you to a world of misery
They found out that that old highway
Leads you to a world of misery...



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/dwight_yoakam/readin_rightin_rt_23.html

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