As I was a-making my way to the colliery,
As I to my work was a-making my way,
I heard the sad news and I heard the men talking,
Young Anthony Riley has worked his last day.
Old Lemlan Williams lies dead in the fan house,
The roof has caved in and the sides gave away,
It's in the newspapers all over the headline,
What a big coup the newshounds will pocket today.
Willing hands to the rescue of poor stricken comrades,
To clear the big rocks and discover their fate,
When it comes the next payday there'll be a collection,
Not a newspaper owner will be there to donate.
It's in the newspapers all over the headlines,
A capital story all on the front page,
But there's blood on the girders in the old Parker fan house,
And weeping dependents go with the cortege.
When the coal merchant calls and you pay your good money,
Count well the bags as he lays them aside,
You'll be counting the cuts and the knocks and the bruises,
You'll be counting the lives of the men who have died.
- as transcribed from Hamish Imlach's Transatlantic Definitive Collection