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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
jacko@nz Lyr Req: The big hewer (16) Lyr Add: THE BIG HEWER (Ewan McColl) 19 Jul 01


THE BIG HEWER

Out of the dirt and darkness I was born, go down
Out of the hard black coalface I was torn, go down
Kicked on the world and the earth split open
Crawled through a crack where the rock was broken
Burrowed a hole, away in the coal, go down

In a cradle of coal in the darkness I was laid, go down
Down in the dirt and darkness I was raised, go down
Cut me teeth on a five-foot timber
Held up the roof with my little finger
Started me time away in the mine, go down

On the day that I was born I was six feet tall, go down
And the very next day I learned the way to haul, go down
On the third day worked at board and piller
Worked on the fourth as a long-wall filler
Getting me steam up, hewing the seam, go down

I'm the son of the son of the son of a collier's son, go down
Coal dust runs in the veins where the blood should run, go down
Five steel ribs and an iron backbone
Teeth that can bite through rock and blackstone
Working me time, away in the mine, go down

Three hundred years I hewed at the coal by hand, go down
In the pits of Durham and East Northumberland, go down
Been gassed and burned and blown asunder
Buried more times than I can number
Getting the coal, away in the hole,go down

I've scrabbled and picked at the face where the roof was low, go down
Crawled in the seams where only a mole could go, go down
In the thin-cut seams I've ripped and redded
Where even the rats are born bow-legged
Winning the coal, away in the hole, go down

I've worked in the Hutton, the Plessey, the Brockwell Seam, go down
The Bensham, the Busty, the Beaumont, the Marshall Green, go down
I've lain on me back in the old three-quarter
Up to the chin in stinking water
Hewing the coal, away in the hole, go down

In the northern pits I've sweated and earned me pay, go down
Toiled in the worn-out drift mines night and day, go down
Where the anthracite is hard and shining
I've tried me hand at the hard-rock mining
I dug a hole away in the coal, go down

Out of the dirt and darkness I was born, go down
Out of the hard black coal-face I was torn, go down
Lived in the shade of the high pit heap
I'm still down there where the seams are deep
Digging a hole, away in the coal, go down

Grand song, have fun

Jack


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