The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #23366   Message #260986
Posted By: Snuffy
19-Jul-00 - 04:06 PM
Thread Name: Tune Req: Tunes for songs
Subject: Lyr Add: THE MINERS' LOCKOUT (Burnett O'Brian)^^
Here's another mining song I couldn't find in DT or forum. Conrad posted the slightly similar Durham Lockout to the forum in March. (Both use the same tune)

(Words: Burnett O'Brian. Tune: trad)

You gallant lads of Lancashire,
Come listen unto me
I will unfold a tale of woe
That's very sad to see.
Our children they are starving.
You can see 'em day by day;
The offspring of our collier lads,
For food they have to pay.

Then let us be united,
We never must give way.
Uphold the Federation lads,
And we will win the day.

It's very hard on us poor lads,
That we must go away,
To beg for our maintenance -
We do it day by day.
But it's better far to do it,
Than that we should engage,
To go and take our shirts off
And get a pauper's wage.

But we must keep our tempers
Don't let our hearts go down,
We're getting well supported,
By the people of the town.
The Publicans and Tradesmen,
Throw in their little mite;
They're working well on our behalf,
They know we're in the right

We must thank our trusty leaders,
They're worthy of their steel;
The masters haven't done what's right,
The hunger they don't feel.
They've found their opportunity,
It was not hard to seek;
We'd nothing lads to start with,
Now we must put on the check.

All honour to Sam Wood my lads,
He's doing all he can -
Trying to get an honest wage,
For the British working man.
The day is fast approaching,
When the victory we'll shout,
And remember those who helped us
When we were all locked out.

Dont forget the collier lads,
They're trying with their might -
Enduring so much suffering,
To get that which is right;
But when you see his box displayed,
No matter where he'll roam,
Think of his wife and children,
Who are starving in their home.

Sung by Harry Boardman on "Owdham Edge", Topic 12T204, 1970.

The sleeve notes say:
Ballads of this type were popular in the Midlands and North for most of the nineteenth century. They usually served the dual purpose of winning moral support for the struggle in hand and as appeals for the raising of money. The ballad, being printed as a broadsheet, was often sold to raise funds for the families of strikers or the unemployed.
The Miners' Lockout was written by the Wigan poet Burnett O'Brian and appeared on a broadsheet bearing an illustration of a pit shaft. We are indebted to Keith Roberts of Wigan for for supplying a photographic copy of the original broadsheet.
The Federation was of course the Miners' Federation, which was to play an historic part in the General Strike.
In June 1893 owners demanded a 25% wage reduction following a 35% fall in the price of coal.
Following the MFGB conference in July the miners refused to accept the wage cut. The lock-out began in the last week of July, affecting more than a quarter of a million workers in the area covered by the MFGB. In the course of the disturbances two men were killed and sixteen wounded by troops at Featherstone, Yorks. The lock-out lasted sixteen weeks: settlement was signed on November 7th. The miners were victorious. Samuel Woods (1846-1915) of Wigan was first Vice-President of MFGB, elected in 1889. A Baptist, total abstainer, "a dapper, gentle kind of man"

Tune: Castles in the Air (several versions posted to Forum as ABcs)


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