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Lyr Add: The Colliers' Strike Song (1885)

mark gregory 06 Feb 09 - 07:39 PM
mark gregory 07 Feb 09 - 01:11 AM
Bob the Postman 07 Feb 09 - 01:53 PM
mark gregory 09 Feb 09 - 08:21 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: The Colliers' Strike Song (1885)
From: mark gregory
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 07:39 PM

The Colliers' Strike Song
    A Song by Melinda Kendall 1885

    Come all ye jolly colliers, and colliers' wives as well,
    And listen to my ditty, for the truth I mean to tell;
    It's of a colliers' wage dispute, is the burden of my song;
    I mean to cheer you up, if it won't detain you long.
    For masters they are grumbling, in country and in town,
    They want to starve poor miners, by cutting wages down;
    But if you stick together, and every one be true,
    You are sure to be triumphant ­ singing cock-a-doodle-doo.

    Chorus:
    For masters they are grumbling, in country and in town,
    They want to starve poor miners, by cutting wages down;
    But if you stick together, and every one be true,
    You are sure to be triumphant ­ singing cock-a-doodle-doo.

    The miners of Mount Kembla, oh! loudly how they shout
    Against this drop of ten percent, they're right without a doubt;
    In this happy, glorious country, man is treated like a Turk,
    Where the masters get the profit, and the miners get the work.
    We only want fair wages, we only want fair play,
    We know we ought to have a good dinner every day;
    But what are we to do when the butcher he comes round,
    If we let our masters drop two shillings in the pound.

    Just ask a blessed woman what she is going to do,
    From the present price of wages we cannot save a screw
    With a lot of little children, with pieces, hungry teeth;
    If they drop our wages, they must also drop the price of beef.
    For every woman knows the task she has to meet,
    With a lot of little mouths, and nothing much to eat;
    But it can't be very different, it's very plain to tell,
    Where the masters get the oyster, and the miners get the shell.

    I would have you stick together, and have a good go in,
    Be true to one another, and I'm sure you're bound to win;
    Though money is so valuable ­ and so is labour, too
    The working man is worth whatever he may do.
    And I hope that every woman will tell her husband too;
    She will do her very best to help him to keep true;
    They will be sure to raise the wine, and make the masters say
    "The devil's in the women, for they never will give way."

    Notes

    Published in Illawarra Mercury, October 3, 1885

Milinda Kendall was the mother of Australian poet Henry Kendall


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Colliers' Strike Song (1885)
From: mark gregory
Date: 07 Feb 09 - 01:11 AM

Melinda Kendall was the mother of Australian poet Henry Kendall and she had a number of poems published in local newspapers in the 1880s

see much more at

http://melindakendall.wordpress.com/


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Colliers' Strike Song (1885)
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 07 Feb 09 - 01:53 PM

Suggested tune? "Van Dieman's Land" would do, for instance.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Colliers' Strike Song (1885)
From: mark gregory
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 08:21 AM

yes I think a number of Come All Ye tunes would fit the bill, but what about Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane which was very popular in Australia at the time the song was written?

btw

Folklorist Graham Seal writes:
It looks like an adaptation of a song or poem said to be related to the 3rd August 1795 food riot in Rochdale. If so, a good example of the continuity of folk tradition.

The masters they are grumbling in country and in town
They want to starve the workers by keeping wages down.
Now in some parts of England the men were standing out
Against a great reductionand they're right without a doubt.
In this happy country, man is treated like a slave
When the master gets the profit and the worker gets the work.
You've no right to be happy, no right to be well fed,
If they drop our wages, they must drop the price of bread.

The above is quoted on http://www.link4life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=c.showPage&pageID=310


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