Listen to Miranda Lambert’s Cover of Joe Shaver’s ‘I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal’

Sometimes there is nothing better than a good cover of a well-known song. Country singer Miranda Lambert recently covered Billy Joe Shaver’s song “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday).” Lambert’s cover of the song will also be available on the upcoming album Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver.

Miranda Lambert performs onstage at the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards
Miranda Lambert | Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ACM

Miranda Lambert released a cover of ‘I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)’

Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver is set to be released on Nov. 11. The tribute album is produced by Charlie Sexton and Freddy Fletcher. It will include songs of Shaver’s performed by Lambert, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Allison Russell, and more.

Leading up to the tribute album’s release, Lambert’s cover of “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)” was shared online.

Both Lambert and Shaver were born in Texas. Vocally, Lambert matches Shaver’s inflections on her cover of “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal.” Production-wise, the piano and guitar on Lambert’s cover feel slightly more lively and prominent than in Shaver’s original.

Lambert’s cover of “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)” can be listened to below.

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Why Miranda Lambert decided to cover ‘I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)’

Following the release of her cover of “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday),” Lamber shared a statement with Rolling Stone about why she decided to take part in Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver.

In the statement to Rolling Stone, Lambert said:

“Billy Joe’s words have inspired countless artists for decades…myself included. I was singing his songs in honky-tonks all across our home state of Texas by the time I could drive. ‘I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal’ was always one of my favorites to perform. I was honored when they asked me to record it for this project and join so many of my heroes to celebrate his incredible legacy.” 

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While the full album of covers is not out yet, country music fans tentatively seem to appreciate Lambert’s cover.

“Billy would’ve loved that. Very well done,” one fan wrote on YouTube. “Nice guitar work.”

Another fan commented on YouTube, “This is what keeps moving along country music for me…”

The original ‘I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)’ was released in 1981

Shaver, who died in 2020 at the age of 81, wrote and recorded the song “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal.” The song was officially released in 1981 as a single by singer John Anderson.

In 2022, “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal” experienced a resurgence of popularity when it was included in the Netflix comedy special Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special.

The complete tracklist for Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver can be viewed below.

Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver tracklist:

  1. “Live Forever” performed by Willie Nelson and Lucinda Williams
  2. “Ride Me Down Easy” performed by Ryan Bingham and Nikki Lane
  3. “Old Five and Dimers Like Me” performed by Rodney Crowell
  4. “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)” performed by Miranda Lambert
  5. “I Couldn’t Be Me Without You” performed by Edie Brickell
  6. “You Asked Me To” performed by Nathaniel Rateliff
  7. “Willy The Wondering Gypsy And Me” performed by George Strait
  8. “Honky Tonk Heroes” performed by Amanda Shires
  9. “Ain’t No God in Mexico” performed by Steve Earle
  10. “Ragged Old Truck” performed by Margo Price feat. Joshua Hedley
  11. “I Been To Georgia On A Fast Train” performed by Willie Nelson
  12. “Tramp On Your Street” performed by Allison Russell

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