Charles is one of the most compelling storytellers in country music right now, and his new music has been pretty much on repeat for me since it came out last month.
But today I wanted to go back to one of the songs from his first album, Seneca.
Well December 6 is the anniversary of the 1907 Monongah mine disaster.
The explosion in the coal mine in Monongah, West Virginia killed at least 362 people, although the official death toll is likely much higher because many of the miners brought their young sons to work in the coal mines with them so it’s unknown how many people were actually in the mine. The victims of the disaster were as young as 12 years old – and some sources say there were children as young as 8 who were killed.
It’s still considered the worst mining disaster in United States history.
And it’s this tragedy, and the families who were torn apart by it, that served as the inspiration for Charles’ heartbreaking ballad, “Sorry for the Wait.”
The song is a love letter from a young dad and husband who was killed in the mine explosion to his wife from beyond the grave – and it’s as haunting and beautiful as it is heartbreaking.
“When you miss talkin’ at me, holler towards the mine It’s amazing how your voice echoes inside When the winter breeze tugs at your hair Just know that it’s me with a grin standing there
So don’t go weeping so long Sing the melody of our song ‘Cause I’m back in the clay Where I’ll find you someday Oh my darlin’, I’m sorry for the wait”
As is always the case with Charles, the storytelling on “Sorry for the Wait” is top notch as he paints a picture of a young boy going to work in the coal mine at age 10, then getting married and dancing to “Canon in D” before the birth of his first child.
And he does it all with his booming voice that really does sound like it’s echoing through a coal mine.
The song still gives me chills sometimes.
Even though it came out in 2019, “Sorry for the Wait” was one of my most-played songs when my Spotify Wrapped came out this year – and I have a feeling it will be on there next year too.
At the rate Charles is putting out great music, it’s going to have some stiff competition, but I have a feeling that “Sorry for the Wait” is going to be one of my favorites from his catalog for a long time to come.
The song is also incredible when Charles does it acoustic.
And if you missed it, Charles recently stopped by the Whiskey Riff Raff podcast to talk about his new album, college football, life in West Virginia, touring with Zach Bryan, and much more.