The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #103983   Message #3559684
Posted By: Joe Offer
18-Sep-13 - 07:19 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Blantyre Explosion
Here's a YouTube recording of Christy Moore singing this song:

This song is related to "Lost Jimmy Whelan." Both seem to be derived from an earlier song. The lyrics for this song seem to be derived from this broadside:


Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:
For the record, here's the Digital Tradition version:


By Clyde's bonny banks where I sadly did wander
Among the pit heaps as evening drew nigh;
I spied a young woman all dressed in deep mourning
A-weeping and wailing with many a sigh.

I stepped up beside her and thus I addressed her:
"Pray tell me the cause of your trouble and pain."
Weeping and sighing, at last she made answer
"Johnny Murphy, kind sir, was my true lover's name."

"Twenty-one years of age, full of youth and good looking
To work down the mines of High Blantyre he came,
The wedding was fixed, all the guests were invited
That calm summer evening young Johnny was slain.

The explosion was heard, all the women and children
With pale anxious faces they haste to the mine.
When the truth was made known, the hills rang with their mourning
Three-hundred-and-ten young miners were slain.

Now husbands and wives and sweethearts and brothers
That Blantyre explosion they'll never forget;
And all the young miners that hear my sad story
Shed a tear for the victims who're laid to their rest.

From Songs and Dances of Scotland, Thomson
DT #543
Laws Q35
@Scottish @mining @disaster
filename[ BLANTYRX

The lyrics in the DT version are exactly the same as the lyrics in Folk Songs and Ballads of Scotland, compiled and edited by Ewan MacColl (Oak Publications, 1965), pages14-15. MacColl says the lyrics and tune came from Come All Ye Bold Miners, by A.L. Lloyd.