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Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster

DigiTrad:
LA COMPLAINTE DE SPRINGHILL
SPRINGHILL MINE DISASTER
SPRINGHILL MINE DISASTER (1891)


Related threads:
Origins: Springhill Disaster/Ballad of Springhill (59)
happy? - Oct 23 (Springhill) (17)
Lyr Req: Springhill Miracle (3)
Lyr Req: Spring Hill Disaster (Maurice Ruddick) (29)
Springhill Mining Disaster - TV Documentary (10)
Rocked out rendition of Springhill Mining (26)
Lyr Req: Springfield Mining Disaster (11) (closed)


GUEST,Eric Armstrong 24 Oct 08 - 03:44 PM
Desert Dancer 24 Oct 08 - 05:00 PM
Jon Bartlett 24 Oct 08 - 06:36 PM
Jon Bartlett 24 Oct 08 - 06:38 PM
Beer 24 Oct 08 - 07:07 PM
gnu 24 Oct 08 - 07:15 PM
open mike 25 Oct 08 - 03:39 AM
Marion 25 Oct 08 - 04:22 AM
johnadams 25 Oct 08 - 05:22 AM
Desert Dancer 25 Oct 08 - 10:57 AM
pdq 25 Oct 08 - 11:24 AM
GUEST 25 Oct 08 - 11:57 AM
Gedi 25 Oct 08 - 12:02 PM
johnadams 25 Oct 08 - 03:45 PM
Mooh 25 Oct 08 - 04:28 PM
Desert Dancer 25 Oct 08 - 06:17 PM
Bob the Postman 26 Oct 08 - 09:58 AM
Dennis the Elder 26 Oct 08 - 12:52 PM
meself 26 Oct 08 - 12:58 PM
Marion 27 Oct 08 - 01:18 AM
meself 27 Oct 08 - 02:26 AM
GUEST,Neil D 27 Oct 08 - 02:07 PM
cobber 27 Oct 08 - 10:23 PM
Nick E 27 Oct 08 - 10:58 PM
Joe Offer 28 Oct 08 - 01:04 AM
Bob the Postman 28 Oct 08 - 08:21 PM
Ross Campbell 30 Oct 08 - 01:10 AM
Dennis the Elder 30 Oct 08 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Ian Mather 30 Oct 08 - 01:51 PM
Dennis the Elder 30 Oct 08 - 05:45 PM
Ross Campbell 30 Oct 08 - 06:13 PM
cobber 31 Oct 08 - 01:23 AM
GUEST,Ian Mather 31 Oct 08 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,Amy 02 Jun 09 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,Carol 27 May 10 - 01:44 PM
Richard Bridge 27 May 10 - 01:56 PM
Amos 27 May 10 - 04:21 PM
Richard Bridge 27 May 10 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,Carol 08 Jun 10 - 10:08 AM
Roger in Baltimore 08 Jun 10 - 01:56 PM
JeffB 08 Jun 10 - 08:38 PM
mg 08 Jun 10 - 09:16 PM
GUEST,Relative of your uncle Garnet 12 Aug 10 - 09:10 PM
GUEST,Jerry Gray founder of The Travellers 12 Oct 10 - 07:32 PM
GUEST 11 Dec 11 - 12:29 AM
GUEST,Abby 09 Apr 12 - 03:39 PM
dick greenhaus 09 Apr 12 - 09:07 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Apr 12 - 03:02 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Sprighill Mine Disaster
From: GUEST,Eric Armstrong
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 03:44 PM

I am surprised that nobody on the forum has picked up on the fact that this week is the 50th anniversary of the Springhill Mine disaster.

Perhaps we should take a moment to reflect on the 75 miners who died
and also upon the incredible heroism of the rescue workers who brought out 100 survivors from galleries up to 13,000ft below ground.

It would be nice to think that the great Seeger/McColl Springhill song is being sung in clubs around the world in memorium

Another fine song is "Springhill" by Nova Scotia singer/songwriter
Brian Vardigans

RIP


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 05:00 PM

Thanks for that tip. Here's a link to the Seeger song and various related threads: click.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sprighill Mine Disaster
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 06:36 PM

Peggy was on "As It Happens", CBC Radio last night in a fine 25 min piece about the disaster.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sprighill Mine Disaster
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 06:38 PM

Sorry: should have added this:

http://www.cbc.ca/video/popup_audio.html?http://www.cbc.ca/news/audio/as_it_happens_peggy_seeger.mp3

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sprighill Mine Disaster
From: Beer
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 07:07 PM

Eric you are correct. I watched some of the news about it but never thought about starting a thread. Springhill over the years have lost many a men. I was sitting in the Legion there one evening while passing through and I was taken by three memorial plated on the wall.   I asked a veteran about them and he explained that per capita, Springhill lost more men it the war (forget if it was 1 or 2 or both of them.)than any other place in Canada. I than couldn't help thinking about all the men they also loss due to mining.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Sprighill Mine Disaster
From: gnu
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 07:15 PM

I was on a tour of the mines years ago... errie stuff. Tough men and a hard life. God rest their souls, dead, and alive.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: open mike
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 03:39 AM

largest underground earthquake....Springhill "bump"

CBC news report...50 year anniversary


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Marion
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 04:22 AM

Thanks for starting this thread, Eric.

Here's a newspaper article recalling the disaster that was published in the Ottawa Citizen on Jan 1, 2000. I posted this a few years back in the "Why We Sing" thread because of the musical element to the story.

-------------------------------------------

COURAGE DOWN BELOW - A Singing Miner Keeps Hope Alive at the Springhill Mine

Canada's "singing miner" kept the faith and what faith it was. Maurice Ruddick sang Happy Birthday and hymns for eight and a half days to keep the hopes of his fellow miners alive when they were trapped nearly four kilometres underground in the Springhill mining disaster. Ruddick was one of the few black miners employed at the Springhill mine. He and 173 other coal miners were just starting their evening shift of 8pm to 11pm in the Cumberland Pit Shaft Number Two when a small "bump" occurred.

Although the earth may not seem to move beneath our feet, it is constantly shifting.

Nowhere is this more apparent then in a mine, where pressure builds up in gaseous pockets causing pressure-releasing shifts called bumps.

An hour after the first bump, a second followed that shook even the surface of the town and created a heart-chilling rumble. It proved to be the most severe bump in North American mining history. Underground, 73 people were killed instantly by a massive cave-in.

Rescue teams mobilized to find survivors. Within 24 hours, more than half the surviving miners made it to the surface. While anxious family members crowded at the pithead, the fabled team of draegermen who were specially trained to assist in such disasters found themselves hampered by communication breakdowns and ventilation problems.

It seemed to be a miracle when, six days later, a voice was heard through a ventilator pipe that stretched over 8000 metres below the surface and 12 more miners were saved.

Eight other miners would wait two and half more days in a metre-high pocket before being discovered in what Maurice Ruddick described as "a dungeon". For one of them, Percy Rector, help would be too late.

As the men waited, wondered, and prayed, Ruddick sang. Although the 46-year old father of 12 had suffered a broken leg, the trauma of crawling over fallen bodies to marginal haven, and the stun of toxic gas, he persisted in rallying his comrades' spirits with jokes and tunes.

"I cried quietly in the darkness, but I made sure nobody else heard me. It might have broken the resolve to live," Ruddick admitted in the aftermath.

When the seven men divided their last sandwich and drank the last of their water on Nov. 1, they also celebrated the birthday of miner Garnet Clarke with a resounding chorus of Happy Birthday, led by Ruddick. To survive, they chewed moist bark from the pitwall props, sucked coal, and even drank their own urine.

When the draegermen finally reached them on Nov. 5, one of the astonished rescuers reported that he found Ruddick "sitting on a stonetack, singing at the top of his lungs."

"Give me a drink of water and I'll sing you a song," he said in greeting, and the long ordeal came to an end.

Ruddick modestly underplayed his inspirational role, but others felt differently.

"If it wasn't for Maurice, they'd have all been dead," the mother of one of the miners told Ruddick's wife. After the disaster, the Springhill mine was closed forever.

The rescue made international headlines and Canada's "singing miner" experienced the spotlight briefly in public tributes. The governer of Georgia, Marvin Griffin, was so taken with the story that he invited the 19 Springhill survivors to recuperate on an all-expense-paid holiday at a swank resort. The gracious invitation changed dramatically when the governor discovered that Ruddick was black. The American south was strictly segregated in those days, and Ruddick's invitation only stood if he agreed to be segregated.

Initially, Ruddick refused the governor's terms. When it became apparent that his fellow miners planned to refuse to go without him, he accepted the invitation, suggesting to them: "We'll all have our holiday, then we'll be together again." In Georgia, he stayed at one of the few hotels that accepted blacks, while the others stayed at a vacation resort for millionaires. He could not attend functions in their honour, but the men he shared that darkened Springhill tomb with were proud to join a "segregated" celebration for Ruddick.

By popular consensus, Ruddick was named 1958's Canadian Citizen of the Year. When he presented the award to Ruddick, Ontario Premier Leslie Frost described him as "an inspiration to all...a man with the divine attribute of common sense." With the grace of a hero, Ruddick accepted the honour "for every miner in the town."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: johnadams
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 05:22 AM

Thanks for digging up that moving background info. The Ballad of Springhill was amongst the first songs I learned when I found the uk folk scene 40+ years ago and the singing group I had prior to The Druids was called The Springhill Singers and had the song as a 'signature'.

I have my monthly local radio programme tomorrow so I searched for a download of the track to include. I was expecting to find a rendition by Pete Seeger but surprisingly nothing popped up.

Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger's version is the one I'll probably use but the big surprise was that amongst the Irish, ballad and country style renditions on offer is a Karaoke version. It's strange what footprints songs leave as they travel.

J


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 10:57 AM

johnadams, I hope that you weren't looking for a Pete Seeger rendition in hopes of finding the "original", given that it was written by Peggy...?

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: pdq
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 11:24 AM

'Last Man Out: The Story of the Springhill Mine Disaster,'

By Melissa Fay Greene

Fatalism come true: Surreality surrounds Springhill, Nova Scotia, mining disaster of 1958

Sunday, March 30, 2003

By Roger K. Miller

One of the most striking things about coal miners and their families is the streak of fatalism that runs through their lives, the feeling that the work is an accident waiting to happen. So it was with the coal miners of Springhill, Nova Scotia, when disaster came, not for the first time, on Oct. 23, 1958.

Melissa Fay Greene proved herself a skilled hand at compelling nonfiction in "Praying for Sheetrock" and "The Temple Bombing." She continues her success with this story of how 174 men on the afternoon shift that day went into the No. 2 mine at Springhill, and only 99 came out alive, the last of them eight days later.

It was the longest that men underground had ever survived in a mine disaster.

But then, Springhill was coal country and no stranger to coal superlatives. It sat on an "underground palace of coal," the finest soft coal in Canada, and its No. 2 slope was the deepest coal mine in the world. The first coal miners union in North America was founded in Springhill in 1879.

Disasters figured prominently in its past. In 1956, 39 men died in the companion No. 4 mine. One hundred twenty-five men and boys died in the Great Springhill Explosion of 1891.

It's enough to make miners edgy, waiting for that "bump," the sound of shifting rock. It makes them especially edgy when the engineers tinker with the mines, as they had been doing to No. 2.

"They're going to kill us" with their renovations, one miner said. Another said, "The old-timers know, they know it's coming."

Still another said, "If you hear a bump, you're all right, eh?" The 174 men did not have time to hear the bump that came that October day -- though it rocked every building on the surface and was felt by ships at sea -- and heaved upward the rock floor on three levels of the mine.

Aside from several written and news radio sources, Greene has based her book on her interviews and those conducted by others in 1958-60 and in 1993. Thus, gaps in the record, rather than any deficiencies in the writing, contribute to an incomplete feel in the description of the early stages of the miners' entrapment.

However, this impression diminishes and the tension increases as she gets further into the desperate days underground. Then, when she tells the stories of each survivor's recovery, the narrative opens up, like the petals of a flower.

It is almost as if the men's being above ground affected her perspective.

The author, who focuses on two groups of survivors, captures some of the agony of their waiting, raging with thirst in utter darkness for rescue or, what seems increasingly likely, death. Most painful to read is their inability to help a miner whose arm was pinned. They must listen as he begs them to cut off his arm, to his hallucinations about waterfalls, to his dying.

She also captures the anguish of the waiting families, the media swirl and the insensitivity of some press and clergy. One matter she doesn't detail is the fate of coal mining afterward.

Adding insult to injury, the survivors were unemployed when the mine was closed after the cave-in.

There is a kind of sideshow to the catastrophe. An eager-beaver tourism official for Georgia had the bright idea of inviting the survivors and their families to a vacation on the state's Jekyll Island, seeing the possibility of great publicity.

What he did not reckon with was the racism of the governor, Marvin Griffin, a raving segregationist. One of the miners was black, and the attempts to keep the Canadians -- all friends, naturally -- "amicably" segregated during their common vacation were at once ludicrous, pathetic, enraging and surreal.

Even so, they managed to have a good time on the vacation, the only one that many of them would ever take. Somehow it is a fitting cap to the story that these people -- whose existences were always constrained by circumstances, manipulated by others and subject to daily peril -- were able to snatch pleasure out of the jaws of stupidity.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Roger K. Miller, a newspaperman for many years, is a freelance writer and reviewer for several publications.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 11:57 AM

Thanks for that information, and for the link to the Peggy Seeger interview. It's good to hear her take on the subject given that she wrote it. It also clears up the confusion surrounding the role Ewan McColl had in writing it.

It's been one of my favourite songs for years and I sang it at a local storytelling club just a couple of weeks ago. Its a pity I didn't realise it was the 50 the anniversary so close - it would have added extra poignancy.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Gedi
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 12:02 PM

Oops sorry about the last post above, didn't realise I hadn't logged in! (I hate being anonymous!)

Ged


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: johnadams
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 03:45 PM

Becky,

Yes, my memory had failed me and I'd got it into my head that Pete Seeger not Peggy Seeger had written it. It's an age thing!

J


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Mooh
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 04:28 PM

Yup, I noticed the news about it this week and talked with family about it. Co-incidentally, some friends were here in Ontario from Nova Scotia last weekend and it came up in conversation. Its affects have spanned generations.

Thanks for this thread. Hopefully the disaster will not be forgotten. There are lessons which still have not been learned.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 06:17 PM

For the record here, in the interview Peggy says that Ewan contributed the verse

Down at the coal face, miners working
Rattle of the belt and the cutter's blade
Rumble of the rock and the walls closed round
The living and the dead men two miles down

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 09:58 AM

I heard numerous bits and pieces of the radio coverage of the anniversary. One creepy snippet was the information that the "big bump" wasn't a case of the roof caving in, as one might assume. No, the geological pressures actually made the floor rise!

Most tantalising was a little bit of audio of Maurice Ruddick singing his song about the disaster, the words and ABC of which can be found in this thread.   It sounded kind of Wilf Carterish. An interview with Ruddick's daughter, the singer Val MacDonald, can be heard here (scroll down to the October 23 listing).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 12:52 PM

I may be hung for saying this, but the late Luke Kelly of the Dubliners had a quite reasonable version of this song, which I must say I like.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: meself
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 12:58 PM

Bob - Thanks for that link to a great thread - a must-read for anyone interested in the event and songs.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Marion
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 01:18 AM

After reading the article I quoted above, I wondered who Caleb Rushton was and why he was in the Seeger song rather than Maurice Ruddick. I found this link (a PDF). It's a song written by Ruddick's daughter, Val Macdonald, as well as a one-page article stating that there were two miners leading the singing and that Rushton got more attention (including the Seeger song) than Ruddick because of race.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: meself
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 02:26 AM

And thanks for that. A poignant story ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 02:07 PM

Marion,
   Thanks so much for that story about Maurice Ruddick. Reading it brought me to tears.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: cobber
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 10:23 PM

I agree with Dennis. Luke Kelly's version is the best I've heard.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Nick E
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 10:58 PM

Mudcat, again, at it's best.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 01:04 AM

Dan Calder sent me these links: Watch the Part One video and you will see Leah Killan-Ruddick performing her father's song.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 08:21 PM

Awesome, Joe, thanks for the link. Now I can finally learn that song. It's hard to discern the basic melody in the ABC version. A few years ago I mangled the Seeger ballad at a ceremony honouring workers killed or injured on the job--not my kind of tune. I always suspected that Mr. Ruddick's song would be more up my alley.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 01:10 AM

YouTube:- Luke Kelly singing the Springhill Mine Disaster

The Springhill Mine Disaster used to be a great favourite from the Taverners at the old Blackpool Folk Club. My good friend Annie Perry revived this song last night at the Clarence singaround. She rarely gets to sing, but when she does she always picks a great song and does it full justice. I hadn't realised this week was the anniversary. Thanks, Annie, and thanks to all the contributors above.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 05:59 AM

Thanks Ross for the YouTube link, the U2 version was also very good.

It was also an opportunity to wander into other links.

Coming from the area that once was the Yorkshire coalfield it made me think a little, sometimes a dangerous thing, about the dangers of the mining industry. Did Mrs Thatcher actually do us all a favour when she killed of the industry in this area and would some of our miners have been in the same plight as those in the Cumberland mine?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: GUEST,Ian Mather
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 01:51 PM

Must admit, it is a rather powerful song. There again, anything Ewan McColl wrote was about as strong as his opinions...

I do feel I have to take issue with Dennis the Elder about Thatcher doing us a favour. I was a miner and to this day feel bitter. Not bitter about whether we need or want coal versus any other energy but bitter about her "there is no such thing as society" and then decimating our communities.

I drive as part of my work, I take trains and I spend a lot of time at our London office. We lost a colleague in the London bombings, I have lost friends and family on the roads and once on the rail. I never lost anybody I personally knew down the pit. (I do originate from Creswell mind, so if I were around in 1950, I may be saying something different...

I do like the song but never sung it when I worked down the pit. I then learned it and sang it often in clubs. The my eldest left school and went down the pit... So I stopped. He left hte pit earlier this year. Suppose I might just get around to relearning it...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 05:45 PM

I just asked the question Ian, both my granddads worked all their lives down the pit, it was age that killed one and beer the other. Although the one who died of old age was an "ambulance man" at South Kirkby Colliery and saw his fair share of death and injury.
You are right about the community,Hemsworth where I live and South Kirkby where I was born are still recovering and unemployment is some of the highest in the country. Probably also in Creswell, a village I visit fairly regularly in my work.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 06:13 PM

It's sometimes easy to get carried away in the performance of a song like this, and forget that real people were and are still affected directly by the events described. The links Joe put up show friends and family still mourning their losses, but rightly commemorating the miners who died.

I recognize the ambivalence suggested by Ian Mather. In Fleetwood where I have lived for over twenty-five years, the fishing industry which used to be the core of the town's economy has virtually disappeared, along with a community spirit to equal that of any mining district (and I know that, too, I grew up in the middle of the Lanarkshire coalfields, now all closed down). While people recognize (and regret) the loss of that feeling of "we're all in this together", I wonder how many parents today would be happy to know their child was about to embark on a career in such a dangerous industry.

Over the years we have created and sung songs, poems, and stories about the people of the town, so that their lives and experiences should not be forgotten. We have had many words of appreciation from people who know what they're talking about, but you also have to recognize that you could be treading on somebody's personal tragedy. It's almost fifty years since Fleetwood trawler "Red Falcon" was lost with all her crew on the way home from the fishing grounds.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: cobber
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 01:23 AM

U2 sang the song at the Dubliners 25th anniversary a dozen or so years back (after Kuke died) and said it was Luke's version that inspired them to sing the song. If I remember rightly (I don't have the video any more)he said that the first time he heard Luke sing the song it made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up and he had to learn it. It's a great song. I wouldn't mind if it suited my voice but alas...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: GUEST,Ian Mather
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 05:53 AM

Songs such as this are about capturing an event in terms other than soundbite media. In essence that is what folk music is all about. (Back in 1980 ish, Dave Burland sang the Boomtown Rats song, "I don't like Mondays" saying it is an excellent folk song.)

Interesting that when I started going to folk clubs, I was fascinated to hear fellow miners singing about the hardships on the trawling fleet, or steelworkers lamenting the public health issues of chemical works. I decided that it was obviously poor form to sing about your own industry, so avoided mining songs. A pity, because in the BBC radio ballad "The big hewer" McColl gave us some wonderful material.

The person who more than anybody got me into going to folk clubs was my late friend Bob Walker. Bob ran the Boundary folk club in Worksop and perhaps had a somewhat tenuous link to the ballad of Springhill. He was an actor touring in rep in Canada at the time and was appearing a few miles down the road when it all happened. He felt the song echoed the sentiments locally as far as he could see them and that got him interested in the power of song to convey a thought.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: GUEST,Amy
Date: 02 Jun 09 - 01:34 PM

Wow, I always used to think that my Uncle(Garnet Clarke) was aggerating when he told me what he went through in the mines, I guess he wasnt kidding about it :O


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: GUEST,Carol
Date: 27 May 10 - 01:44 PM

Hello, I am wondering if anyne has the lyrics to:
1. Disaster at Glace Bay by Bill Smith
2. The 24th in 26
3. Springhill Mine Disaster by Joe King
If anyone has these lyrics, it would be much appreciated if you could post them on the forum. Thankyou.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 May 10 - 01:56 PM

I'm not sure the chords in the 'cat version are "right". Very close but in some places not what I think most fitting.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Amos
Date: 27 May 10 - 04:21 PM

Dm C Dm C
In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia
Dm G Dm
Down in the dark of the Cumberland Mine
G C Am
there's blood on the coal and the miners lie
Dm C Dm C
Dm C Dm C   A
In the roads that never saw sun nor sky (2x)

In the town of Springhill, you don't sleep easy
Often the earth will tremble and roll
When the earth is restless, miners die
Bone and blood is the price of coal

In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia
Late in the year of fifty-eight
Day still comes and the sun still shines
But it's dark as the grave in the Cumberland mine

Down at the coal face, miners working
Rattle of the belt and the cutter's blade
Rumble of the rock and the walls closed round
The living and the dead men two miles down

Twelve men lay two miles from the pitshaft
Twelve men lay in the dark and sang
Long hot days in the miners tomb
It was three feet high and a hundred long

Three days past and the lamps gave out
Our foreman rose on his elbow and said
We're out of light and water and bread
So we'll live on song and hope instead

Listen for the shouts of the barefaced miners
Listen thru the rubble for a rescue team
Six hundred feet of coal and slag
Hope imprisoned in a three foot seam

Eight days passes and some were rescued
Leaving the dead to lie alone
Thru all their lives they dug their grave
Two miles of earth for a marking stone

In the town of Springhill, you don't sleep easy
Often the earth will tremble and roll
When the earth is restless, miners die
Bone and blood is the price of coal


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 May 10 - 05:26 PM

In my humble opinion -


(Dm)In the town of (C)Springhill, (Dm)Nova (C)Scotia
(Dm) Deep in the (C)heart of the (G)Cumberland (Dm)Mine (Dm, C Dm C)
there's (Dm)blood on the (G)coal and the (C)min(G)ers (Dm)lie (Dm, C Dm C)
In the (Dm)roads that (C)never saw (Dm)sun nor (Dm)sky
(Dm)roads that (C)never saw (Dm)sun (C)nor (A)sky


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: GUEST,Carol
Date: 08 Jun 10 - 10:08 AM

and what song title would these last 2 posts be?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 08 Jun 10 - 01:56 PM

Carol,

Springhill Mine Disaster. You are probably new to this forum. If you are seeking lyrics, start a thread (see the top of this page) and use the lead-in LYric Request. One thread per song is the best way. Good luck Carol. There is a lot of folks with a lot of information on the Mudcat.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: JeffB
Date: 08 Jun 10 - 08:38 PM

Also known as The Ballad of Springhill, Carol.

An additional verse to those given by Amos :-

Tweleve men lay two miles from the pitshaft
on an evening shift that had no end;
a glimmer of life in the silent rock,
every man a brother and a friend
    every man a brother and a friend.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: mg
Date: 08 Jun 10 - 09:16 PM

I worked with an older woman from Nova Scotia who had been operating the town's telephone system that day and she was quite involved..she was just a teenager at the time. I think a folklorist should interview her while she is still around. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: GUEST,Relative of your uncle Garnet
Date: 12 Aug 10 - 09:10 PM

Your uncle was my mother's cousin. Can you provide contact info, i.e. e-mail? I have a great deal of family info to share.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: GUEST,Jerry Gray founder of The Travellers
Date: 12 Oct 10 - 07:32 PM

Although the original recording of the song was done by Peggy Seeger and her husband Ewan Mccoll, it was The Travellers of Toronto Canada, that made the most significan contribution to its history.
In 1967, Canada's centennial year, it was also the centennial of the Canadian Labour Congress, who asked The Travellers, to make a recording of Canadian Labour songs on the CLC's 100th birthday also in 1967. The Arc label recorded it and it was used on a CBC-TV show on Labour Day 1967 in which The Travellers played and sang the songs from their album. The featured song was that of Springhill, Nova Scotia. The Travellers are celebrating 60 consecutive years of performance next year with a concert to commemorate 100th birth date of Woody Guthrie, with a Toronto concert. Copies of Springhill song done by The Travellers are available thru grayg@rogers.com.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Dec 11 - 12:29 AM

Anyone like to read a short fiction "The Big Bump at Number Two," can find it at Amazon.com.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: GUEST,Abby
Date: 09 Apr 12 - 03:39 PM

I am trying to find a download/copy of the recording by Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl of this song. Does anyone know where I can find it? None of the usual internet sources have revealed it.
Thanks


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 09 Apr 12 - 09:07 PM

It's on "Freeborn Man" Available from CAMSCO Music (dick@camscomusic.com) of course.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Springhill Mine Disaster
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Apr 12 - 03:02 PM

Springfield mines have had several disasters, and several songs celebrating them. Take a look at LA COMPLAINTE DE SPRINGHILL, and SPRINGHILL MINE DISASTER (1891), both in Digitrad.


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