From the album Brew Davis

Lyrics

Friend, you ever hear the tail of the Dan River coal ash spill
At the Duke power plant that’d been shut down in North Caroline near Eden town
Eden was heaven, the fishing was fine and the water was sweet as brandy wine
Til a coal ash pond buried in the ground drained clear out cause a pipe broke down

The toxic cocktail filled the water that the natives used to call the Otter
With arsenic, mercury, and lead, and that’s fine for your batteries but not your head
This sludge was nasty this muck was mean and it flowed for miles and miles downstream
And there it sat five feet thick, Eden’s version of an oil slick

Shades of gray, shades of gray, light and life just swept away
Veiled in darkness and dismay, covered up by shades of gray

The pipe that broke was antiquated but it just sat there unabated
The regulators let it slide cause the state execs were on Duke’s side
See Duke’s a big power corporation, the biggest in the state, hell even the nation
So they get what they want and they get it fast, they call their friends in Raleigh when they want a bill passed

Shades of gray, shades of gray, light and life just swept away
Veiled in darkness and dismay, covered up by shades of gray

The powers that be gave a token fine, they said they’d make Duke tow the line
But Duke’s got fourteen pools of waste scattered from east to west across the state
And they don’t want to clean up their mess, they don’t care what’s best they just wanna spend less
So they use their charm, say there ain’t no harm or cause for alarm with your home or your farm

But I’m a North Carolinian and I’ve got an opinion, I’m a voice with a choice, boy, I ain’t some minion
I’d rather not blink when I fetch a drink from my hose out back or my kitchen sink
So I’ll tell my legislators I care about nature, I want it fixed now I don’t want it fixed late
Cause I’m thinking if we don’t have our say we’ll all get lost in shades of gray

Shades of gray, shades of gray, light and life just swept away
Veiled in darkness and dismay, covered up by shades of gray