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Coal Mine Songs

Related threads:
Lyr ADD: Redneck War (Short & Shortridge) (5)
Coal Mining Songs (78)
BS: Appalachian Destruction (25)
Coal Mining Songs--New Book + CDs (17)
coal mining songs (48)


Jayto 19 Feb 09 - 04:38 PM
Goose Gander 19 Feb 09 - 04:41 PM
Jayto 19 Feb 09 - 04:44 PM
Jayto 19 Feb 09 - 04:49 PM
Uncle_DaveO 19 Feb 09 - 04:56 PM
bankley 19 Feb 09 - 04:56 PM
Herga Kitty 19 Feb 09 - 05:01 PM
Jayto 19 Feb 09 - 05:02 PM
sharyn 19 Feb 09 - 05:04 PM
bankley 19 Feb 09 - 05:12 PM
bfdk 19 Feb 09 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 19 Feb 09 - 05:28 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Feb 09 - 05:29 PM
Jayto 19 Feb 09 - 05:32 PM
Barry Finn 19 Feb 09 - 05:32 PM
Bernard 19 Feb 09 - 05:33 PM
Jayto 19 Feb 09 - 05:34 PM
Rex 19 Feb 09 - 05:49 PM
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GUEST,Cup of Tea - No Cookies 19 Feb 09 - 06:42 PM
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Subject: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jayto
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 04:38 PM

That thread about number 9 coal got me to thinking. What are some really good coal mining songs.

16 tons - Merle Travis
You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive -- Darrel Scott
King Coal -- I can't remember who did this one. Any help?
Miner's Prayer -- Same on this one

Please noone say Working in the Coal mine lol

I know there are alot more but I can't really think of them right now.
cya
JT


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Goose Gander
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 04:41 PM

'Last Payday at Coal Creek'


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jayto
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 04:44 PM

Who did that one?

I also loved Payday Comes To Slow by Merle Travis


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jayto
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 04:49 PM

You'll never leave Harlan alive by Darrell Scott


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 04:56 PM

The Hole in Oak Hill (that goes down, down, down)


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: bankley
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 04:56 PM

'Loading Coal' Johnny Cash

'Dark as a Dungeon' Merle Travis

'Big John' Jimmy Dean

'I'm Just an old Chunk of Coal' John Anderson

"It's a Working Man I am" Rita MacNeil

Kathy Mattea's last CD is called 'Coal', stark...

and there's gotta be a lot of Welsh mining songs

thanks for posting the Darrell Scott song... and hipping me to it... it's beautiful... a diamond...


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:01 PM

There are some songs by Ed Pickford on a separate thread.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jayto
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:02 PM

I know man that song hit me hard when I first heard it. Now it is stuck in my head something fierce lol. My brother listens to it everyday as he drives to the mine. He told me that the other day.

Old Chunk Of Coal is actually a song written by Billy Joe Shaver. The same guy that wrote Georgia on a Fast train (your song right now lol) and HonkyTonk Heros for Waylon Jennings. I did some gigs with him a few years back. He was a big figure in the 1970's outlaw movement in Nashville. I swear the Outlaws were some of my immortal heros lol. The punks of country you know. You know me man I love rebellion lol
cya
JT


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: sharyn
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:04 PM

"Blue Diamond Mines" (Jean Ritchie?)

Jean Ritchie has another one that's sung more often, starts out, "Did you see him going, it was early this morning" I don't recall that title.

Bob Dylan's "North Country Bluwa" is pretty good, too.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: bankley
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:12 PM

yeah, I heard Billy Joe was quite the scrapper at one time.. I just checked out Brad Paisley's version of Y.N.L.Harlan Alive, some good pix in there... but Darrell's the Man with that one.... haunting, I can see how it sticks


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: bfdk
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:24 PM

Seamus Kennedy's 'My Father Was a Miner'. Great song!


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:28 PM

Coal Tattoo by Billy Edd Wheeler is a must do as is The L & N Don't Stop Here Any More.

Don


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:29 PM

There's a rather wonderful little book called "The Music of Coal"--photoessays about southern Appalachian mining and two fine CDs, featuring both field recordings and good contemporary performances.
$35 and well worth it. Available from CAMSCO, of course (who also carries a bunch of very good recordings of mining songs CDs--check out camscomusic.com and, in the search section, look for a keyword "mining"


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jayto
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:32 PM

Yeah man Shaver was about as wild as they come. He was (and still is I imagine) a really cool guy though just don't push him lol. He is a great writer for hardcore country without a doubt. Me and Chris Knight used to play some of his songs when we did covers. I was hard up (imagine that lol) needing a gig while Chris and I were waiting for Decca to release our CD and a friend hooked me up with Shaver because his son Eddie was sick and couldn't make some gigs. Shaver already knew my work with Chris because he really dug what we were doing. All of the old outlaws took us right under thier wings man. I will never forget the day Willie Nelson told me and Chris we were cut from the same mold as him. Of course I was too rowdy at the time to pay much attention but now I cherish it lol.I loved it man it was an experience to say the least.
cya
JT


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:32 PM

The Jean Ritchie song above, I believe is called "West Virginia Mining Disaster". She's another called "Black Waters"

Barry


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Bernard
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:33 PM

The Coal and Albert Berry - Ted Edwards
Coal Hole Cavalry - Ted Edwards
Weepin' an' Wailin' Away - Ted Edwards
Dance, Dance - Ted Edwards


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jayto
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:34 PM

Thanks Dick I would love to have that.

L&N man that is a blast from the past. One of my grandfathers worked for them until he retired (well it switched to CSX before he retired) and my Dad worked on L&N before he went to the mine. That just conjured up some memories. Where is here?


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Rex
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:49 PM

Springhill Mine Disaster is a powerful song. I believe Peggy Seeger wrote it. Its in the database.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jayto
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 05:52 PM

I keep forgetting the database lol duh Looks like by now I would remember it.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Cup of Tea - No Cookies
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 06:42 PM

Jez Lowe has written some dandy coal mining songs: Black Diamonds is fun to sing - Cindy Mangsen does a great version of it on Songlines & she covers the above mentioned West Virginia Mine Disaster on Long Time Traveling. I believe there are more Jez Lowe mining songs, but I likely have them on cassette & not CD and can't pull them up like the goodies on my iPod.

John Prine's Paradise is more about the after effects of coal mining, than the work itself.

Rick Fielding singing Pitman Blues on Lifeline - don't know whose song is but properly dismal:
"down in the mine
you're chalking up your time
on the back of a tombstone kid
don't you bother saving for your old age
if you do like your old man did"

Craig Johnson's Way Down the Road covered by Sally Rogers & Claudia Schmidt on Closing the Distance is lovely and a pleasure to sing along with, despite the sadness of it.

Draglines is one where the melody seems much more chipper than the lyrics

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 06:53 PM

Hi-
re: The Music of Coal

Here's the tracklist(s) (2 CD)
Volume one

   1. "Down in a Coal Mine (Excerpt)" - 1:25
          * The Edison Concert Band
   2. "Mining Camp Blues" - 2:59
          * Trixie Smith
   3. "Sprinkle Coal Dust on My Grave" - 2:46
          * Orville Jenks
   4. "Coal Miner's Blues" - 3:04
          * The Carter Family
   5. "Hard Times in Coleman's Mine" - 2:36
          * Aunt Molly Jackson
   6. "He's Only a Miner Killed in the Ground" - 2:35
          * Ted Chestnut
   7. "Coal Black Mining Blues" - 1:13
          * Nimrod Workman
   8. "'31 Depression Blues" - 2:52
          * Ed Sturgill
   9. "Prayer of a Miner's Child" - 1:51
          * Dock Boggs
10. "That Twenty-Five Cents You Paid" - 2:25
          * Sarah Ogan Gunning
11. "The L & N Don't Stop Here Anymore" - 3:10
          * Jean Ritchie
12. "Dark as a Dungeon" - 1:55
          * Merle Travis
13. "Come All You Coal Miners" - 2:21
          * The Reel World String Band
14. "My Sweetheart's the Mule in the Mines" - 0:22
          * Mike Kline
15. "Thirty Inch Coal" - 2:36
          * Hobo Jack Adkins
16. "Black Waters" - 3:38
          * Jim Ringer
17. "Roof Boltin' Daddy" - 2:26
          * Gene Carpenter
18. "Dream of a Miner's Child" - 2:46
          * Carter Stanley
19. "Coal Miner's Boogie" - 2:57
          * George Davis
20. "The Yablonski Murder" - 3:00
          * Hazel Dickens
21. "What Are We Gonna Do?" - 3:01
          * Dorothy Myles
22. "Explosion at Derby Mine" - 4:02
          * Charlie Maggard
23. "Blind Fiddler" - 3:05
          * Jim "Bud" Stanley
24. "Loadin' Coal" - 2:29
          * John Hutchison
25. "Coal Town Saturday Night" - 3:06
          * Randall Hylton
26. "It's Been a Long Time" - 3:15
          * Sonny Houston & Roger Hall
27. "Fountain Filled with Blood" - 3:56
          * Elder James Caudill & Choir

[edit] Volume two

   1. "West Virginia Mine Disaster" - 2:48
          * Molly Slemp
   2. "Union Man" - 3:36
          * Blue Highway
   3. "Blue Diamond Mines" - 4:26
          * Robin & Linda Williams
   4. "Set Yourself Free" - :50
          * Billy Gene Mullins
   5. "Redneck War" - 5:22
          * Ron Short
   6. "Sixteen Tons" - 2:32
          * Ned Beatty
   7. "There Will Be No Black Lung in Heaven" - 2:05
          * Rev. Joe Freeman
   8. "Deep Mine Blues" - 3:45
          * Nick Stump
   9. "I'm a Coal Mining Man" - 2:22
          * Tom T. Hall
10. "Dirty Black Coal" - 4:27
          * Kenneth Davis
11. "Black Lung" - 3:21
          * A.J. Roach
12. "Coal Dust Kisses" - 4:06
          * Suzanne Mumpower-Johnson
13. "Coal Tattoo" (Billy Edd Wheeler) - 4:06
          * Dale Jett
14. "A Strip Miner's Life" - 3:00
          * Don Stanley & Middle Creek
15. "Daddy's Dinner Bucket" - 3:26
          * Ralph Stanley II
16. "In Those Mines" - 3:43
          * Valerie Smith
17. "Miner's Prayer" - 3:14
          * Ralph Stanley & Dwight Yoakam
18. "Dyin' To Make A Livin'" - 3:47
          * W.V. Hill
19. "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive" - 6:06
          * Darrell Scott
20. "They Can't Put It Back" - 2:31
          * Jack Wright
21. "Which Side Are You On?" - 5:04
          * Natalie Merchant


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: sharyn
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 06:54 PM

Now seems as good a time as any to mention one I wrote, simply titled "Coal Mining Song," to be found in the DT (it might or might not be the legitimate version -- I added a verse a few years ago and asked for an update, but I haven't looked at it lately.

Sharyn aka Sharyn Dimmick


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: sharyn
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 06:59 PM

Yep, just checked. The DT has this verse missing -- by the way, the real structure is double verses. The missing verse, then, is verse 4 and goes like this:

A miner will tell you it's hard to live here
All he's got are the mountains, the streams running clear,
But mountains are crumbling and streams turning black
And when you move a mountain you can't put it back
And it's raining, it's pouring, the mountain comes down
And forty-two miners are trapped underground.
The company man says they'll get them on time.
But he's on the T.V. and not in the mine.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jayto
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 06:59 PM

Yeah Paradise is more of a post mining song. The town of Paradise (no longer there thanks to TVA) is right in the heart of mining country though. You have to drive by several mines to get there. Or get to where it used to be.
cya
JT


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jayto
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 07:00 PM

The Mountain by Steve Earle is another great song


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: bfdk
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 07:03 PM

Coal Tattoo.. that jogged my memory. Australian group Wongawilli have one called 'Coal Dust Tattoos' on their latest CD Australia Street. Written by Pat Keegan, it says.

As for coal mining disaster songs, there's an entire thread about the Aberfan tragedy, lots of songs mentioned, some with lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 08:30 PM

"They'll Never Keep Us Down; Women's Coal Mining Songs"
on Rounder #4012

1. Coal Mining Woman - Hazel Dickens (Hazel Dickens)                
2. Blue Diamond Mines - Phyllis Boyens (Jean Ritchie)                
3. Dreadful Memories - Sarah Gunning (?)                        
4. Yablonski Murder - Hazel Dickens (?)                        
5. Lawrence Jones - Phyllis Boyens (Si Kahn)                        
6. Draglines - Reel World String Band (Deborah Silverstein)
7. Coal Miner's Grave - Hazel Dickens (Hazel Dicken)                
8. Come All You Coal Miners - Sarah Gunning                        
9. Black Lung - Hazel Dickens (?)                        
10. Dream of a Miner's Child - Phyllis Boyens (adapted by Phyllis Boyens, Hazel Dickens & Ken Irwin)                        
11. The Mannington Mine Disaster - Hazel Dickens (?)                
12. That 25 Cents That You Paid - Sarah Gunning (?)                
13. Clay County Miner - Hazel Dickens (?)                        
14. Clara Sullivan's Letter - Hazel Dickens (?)                        
15. What She Aims to Be - Reel World String Band (Sue Massek)        
16. Coal Tattoo - Hazel Dickens (Billy Ed Wheeler)                
17. Hello Coal Miner - Sarah Gunning (Sarah Gunning)        
18. The Battle of Jericol - Reel World String Band (Mary Lou Layne)19. Which Side Are You On? - Florence Reece (Florence Reece)        
20. They'll Never Keep Us Down - Hazel Dickens (Hazel Dickens                        

There were only 12 cuts on the 1984 LP that I have. The 8 new cuts I don't know who wrote.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jayto
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 08:45 PM

Does anyone know the history of The Mannington Mine Disaster? I live about 4 miles from Mannington Kentucky. I have never heard that song and was just wondering.

I know in Mannington Ky there was a disaster years ago (early 1900's maybe) and 67 men (I think that was the number at least what I heard) died in the mine after an explosion. They couldn't get in to get them out so they are all still in there. Is that what this song is about? If so I have to hear it.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jayto
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 08:56 PM

I found it. It was Mannington West Virginia. In Appalchian states man it is the same story and not always different names. Mannington Ky had the same thing happen to it. In Nortonville Ky (4 miles north of Mannington) where I live 28 men died in the mine from an explosion. In Browder Ky 40+ men died from an explosion just 17 miles or so from Nortonville and Mannington Ky. Wheatcroft Ky in the 90's around 30 miles from Nortonville and Mannington 40+ died in an explosion. I lost family and friends in that one. That was the blast that inspired me to write Ghost of Appalachia that is on my myspace page. It is just part of life around here and throughout any of the coal states.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GEST
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 09:42 PM

Here are a few from GEST Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador:
The Mountain Is Gone
Twenty-Five Miners
A Place We Call Home
Goodbye To Saint Lawrence
Dark As A Dungeon
The Rawdon Hills
My INCO Hat
Blackleg Miner
The Mines Of Avondale
Swingin' And Diggin'
Little Darling


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Subject: Lyr Add: RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Billy Edd Wheeler)
From: Kent Davis
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 11:20 PM

"Red-winged Blackbird" is my favorite. It's found on Kathy Mattea's CD "Coal" http://www.mattea.com/KathyMatteaHome2008.html and also on "Voices" by Herdman/Hills/Mangsen http://www.mystrands.com/album/34503

It doesn't seem to be in the D.T.

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD
(Billy Ed Wheeler)


Oh, can't you see that pretty little bird
Singin' with all his heart and soul
He's got a blood-red spot on his wing
And all of the rest of him's black as coal.


Of all the colours I ever did see
Red and black are the ones I dread
For when a man spills blood on the coal
They carry him down from the coal mines dead.


Oh, fly away you red-winged bird
Leave behind the miner's wife
She'll dream about you when you're gone
She'll dream about you all her life.


Oh, can't you see that pretty little bird
Singin' with all his heart and soul
He's got a blood-red spot on his wing
And all of the rest of him's black as coal.

Kent


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Kent Davis
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 11:44 PM

Blind Alfred Reed's "Explosion in the Fairmont Mines" seems to be a re-working of "Dream of a Miner's Child". Here's a video of John Lilly, editor of GOLDENSEAL magazine, performing it.

http://trailerstarlounge.ning.com/video/john-lilly-explosion-in-the

My speakers aren't working, so I can't vouch for the the sound quality of the clip. Here's a link to a CD with the song: http://www.properamerican.com/006.html

Kent


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 02:39 AM

Check out ' 100 Songs of Toil ' by Karl Dallas, great section on coal mining songs, mostly traditional and lots by Tommy Armstrong who was known as The Pitmans Poet.



Dave H


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 04:17 AM

Of course there is also A.L.Lloyd's "Come All Ye Bold Miners"


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: mouldy
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 05:49 AM

One that affects me is "The Colliers" by Seth Lakeman, based on the Gresford mining disaster. I first heard it 2 years ago, barely 3 weeks after my husband was killed in a mine explosion in Siberia, in a very similar way to the song, and in a similar scale disaster.

I find it very hard to listen to many of the songs now.

Andrea


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: richd
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 06:00 AM

Bankley wrote:

'and there's gotta be a lot of Welsh mining songs....'

for some reason, there don't seem to be a lot of older Welsh mining songs, and not too many modern ones either. There's songs sung by Dave Burns, like Maerdy (Last Pit in the Rhondda), 'Roll on The Day', and the words to 'The Bells of Rhymney, by Idris Davies who was a Collier. There's also a number of sentimental songs by Max Boyce, including 'Dew its Hard' and 'The pit head baths a Supermarket Now' Tracy Curtis, an activist and singer from Ammanford sings 'Amman Valley Miners'. As far as I know there's nothing equivalent to either the miners' songs of the NE of England or of the States. My Grandafther, who was a miner a singer and Union activist and my father who was a collier didn't sing anything directly about mining, and there doesn't seem to a history of union songs as a means of propaganda as there is in the States.The only song about a Welsh subject in either of the two books mentioned by the Daves' above is 'The Gresford Disaster' Where organising songs like these are needed then it tends to be American songs. The repertoire of Welsh Choirs tends to be mix of light opera, Spiritituals and Welsh Hymns. The hymns are another matter- tales of a people held in bondage, forced to slave for an oppressor etc, and its these that I've heard sung in times of dire need, but apart from that its the first verse of the Red Flag and Mae Hen Wlad.In contemporary terms, there's only a couple of pits left, the rest is open cast/mountain top scrape which people don't sing about. The music scene for younger people in the old mining town where I live is thriving, but not with songs about mining. It's heavy metal, with little reflection and could have been produced anywhere. I don't know in detail about the experience of the Welsh Language speaking part of the coalfield, beyond what friends tell me, but it seems to be much the same.

The problem with most of the songs about the Aberfan Disaster is that they are not Welsh mining songs, but song about Wales.

What was sung was hymns. Welsh Hymns, lots of them

Now, what i hope is that someone will come along and tell me how wrong I am and provide a list of wonderful songs and singers!


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: bankley
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 07:52 AM

thanks richd... maybe those most affected didn't want to much revisit these things in song....

case in point.... The Buffalo Creek flood in West Virginia in 1972, when the dam holding back a lake of coal sludge broke, after heavy rains and wiped out the town... 125 killed, many more injured and left homeless... two of my friends from Ireland found out about this through some W.Va musicians... did their research and wrote a song called 'Blackwater' They visited the community later on, played a small concert there and presented their song... it opened up a lot of feelings in the listeners that had mostly been buried for years..but they were very grateful that somebody had set their story to words and music... when they were all but forgotten by everyone else esp. the Company and Gov't... there were settlements, but really a few crumbs was just another insult... anyhow, I'll leave you with the 1st two verses... and Jayto, I'll send you an MP3 of it


       "I don't sleep well when it rains
         Just feel the raindrops beat the ground
         And I'm back there running from the horror
         Everytime I hear that sound

         From deep inside the mountain cried
         As stinkin' mud began to slide
         One crumblin' dam just couldn't hold
         Blackwater back anymore"

'Blackwater' by Enda Cullen , Ian Smith...


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Mick Tems
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 08:27 AM

Mining Songs From Wales

Yr Wyf I Little Collier (Calennig)
When The Coal Comes From The Rhondda (Calennig, additional words Mick Tems)
When April Came To Rhymney (Idris Davies, tune Mick Tems)
The Miner's Life (to the tune of Calon Lan, Mick Tems)
The Pontypridd Collier In Search Of His Wife (Mick Tems)
Can Y Streic (Song Of The Strike, tune Mick Tems)
Heroes, Rhondda Heroes
Working Today, Sir (South Wales)
The Miner's Doom (tune: Adieu To Dear Cambria)
A Tale Of Two Rivers (words and tune, Mick Tems)
A Bitter Cry For Help
New Song Of The Lock-Out In South Wales
A Song On The Present Lock-Out In South Wales and Monmouthshire Mines
Abernant
The Awful Explosion At Mardy
Can Ar Y Lock-Out
Can Newydd
The Colliery Explosion at Pennygraig (sic)

Jon Heslop, who witnessed the 1984 strike when he lived in South Wales, wrote the classic Old Soldiers. He wrote The Blackleg Drivers as a protest against the Thatcher-approved illegal motorway convoys as a consequence of the miners' strike.

Sorry, but I don't have enough time to list a proper catalogue.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TAMWORTH COLLIER (Drummond Smith)
From: Ythanside
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 09:11 AM

The Tamworth Collier

I am a jolly collier lad,
From Kettlebrook just like me Dad,
And I've worked at pits both good and bad,
And I'm proud to be a miner.

ch.
Swing yer pick and the coal is fallin',
Shovel it quick and clear yer stallin',
Gie it some stick and bear the maulin',
Down on the face yer a different race,
And there ain't no grace when yer diggin' up coal.

I was just fourteen years of age
When first I dropped in a mining cage,
Scared to death for a paltry wage
As I learned to be a miner.

Along the cut in the snow and sleet
In me boots too big for me bony feet.
From a wintry morning down to the heat
I went to be a miner.

But the Glascote lads were golden then,
All decent honest gentle men,
And I wish to God they were here again
That taught me to be a miner.

Along the Watlin' I did go,
To the face at the Coppice, down below,
Swingin' me lamp where the trees do grow
To the roof above the miner.

I've been a miner all me days,
And seen things change in many ways,
But, looking back through the dusty haze,
I'm glad I was a miner.

written by Drummond Smith


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: topical tom
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 09:35 AM

I hope this has not been mentioned yet:
Don't go down in the mine, Dad (It's also in the Digitrad
Click here


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Musket
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 10:42 AM

Never did sing mining songs myself, probably through having been a miner many years ago.

However, the BBC radio ballad "The Big Hewer" contains many wonderful songs that Ewan McColl wrote for the radio ballad. I used to have it on tape, (open reel....) but lost it over the years.

Some of the songs appear on "Songs from the Radio Ballads - Ewan McColl & Peggy Seeger, Vols 1 & 2" that you can get via the BBC still, but the actual radio ballads? Perhaps somebody knows if they are available?

It has it's own thread but The Ballad of Springhill, whilst relating a disaster in Nova Scotia, is a sensitive poweful song, and shows Ewan & Peggy at their joint song writing best.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Ken Brock
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 12:09 PM

Many of the radioi ballads have been issued on CD


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Musket
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 12:36 PM

Must admit it was a while since I last searched. Must try again,

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 12:49 PM

Cropper Lads

Down Boys Down


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: DonMeixner
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 01:15 PM

Tom,

I think that is more correctly entitled "The Dream of the Miner's Child". It is in my Bradley Kincaid song book as such anyway.

A great song. Not specifically about coal I don't believe but any mining song could be construed as a coal mining song I supose.

Don


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 01:19 PM

THe Radio Ballads are all on CD. Available from CAMSCO. Of course.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 01:53 PM

Not that I'm an real expert on mine songs - but:

Close the Coalhouse Door
Miner's Lifeguard
Byker Hill
Collier Lad (come a kissing me)
Collier Lad (We can hew, boys, we can hack it out, etc)


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 20 Feb 09 - 03:52 PM

Don't forget "The High Blantyre Disater" from the west of Scotland.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: TonyK
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 10:35 PM

I was fortunate enough to catch a few cuts from Jewell Ridge Coal, a new CD by Jeni and Billy on the WJFF radio show Ballads and Banjos. She's the granddaughter of a miner and her song writing and the sound or her voice is right out of the hills. It's excellant. I haven't been able to put it away for weeks. Tazewell Beauty Queen is my favorite cut. http://www.jeniandbilly.com/music.html


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jayto
Date: 22 Feb 09 - 11:15 PM

I appreciate all of ya'll listing these songs for me. I have never heard of the majority of them. I have my hands full now hearing and tyring to learn them.
Thanks
JT


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Bagpuss
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 04:13 AM

Trimdon Grange - which I think is in the DT.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: bald headed step child
Date: 23 Feb 09 - 10:09 AM

The CD "Classic Mountain Songs from Smithsonian Folkways" contains a song by The Phipps Family called The Red Jacket Mine Explosion.

It's set to the tune of Red River Valley.

45 miners killed at Keen Mountain, Va April 22, 1938.

Powerful song.

BHSC


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: JohnB
Date: 24 Feb 09 - 10:05 AM

I was thinking and reading the thread at the same time (wow) I saw
Byker Hill, Springhill Mining Disaster and Blackleg Miner metioned.
I don't think I saw Coaltown Road or Trimdon Grange.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: heatherblether
Date: 24 Feb 09 - 11:43 AM

Skewen Main 1925 by Chris Hastings and Huw Pudner is another song welsh mining song ,about the closure of the Skewen Main colliery near Swansea.
HB


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Nikkiwi
Date: 24 Feb 09 - 06:24 PM

"Miners refrain" - gillian welch
"Schoolday's end" - ewan maccoll


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Feb 09 - 11:31 PM

Don't forget "The Coal in the Stone."


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: fumblefingers
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 12:01 AM

Merle Travis - Songs of the Coal Mines

Black gold
The Harlan County Boys
Payday Come Too Slow
The Browder Explosion
Bloody Brethitt County
Here's To The Operator
The Miner's Wife
The Courtship of Second Cousin Claude
Miner's Strawberries
Paw Walked Behind Us With A Carbon Lamp
Preacher Lane
Dear Old Halifax


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: DannyC
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 08:20 PM

You might wanna here this contemporary one. It's a powerful song called Reclaimed Land

These folks made a serious song, boys.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 09:38 PM

'42 Years' by Nimrod Workman.
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 01:44 AM

Coal mining songs from BC:

A Miner's Life's an Unco Bubble
Are You from Bevan?
Bowser's Seventy Twa

Check Jack O'Donnell's book of Nova Scotia mining songs (not sure of the title - he used to be musical director for Men of the Deeps).

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: oldhippie
Date: 03 Mar 09 - 07:16 AM

Coal Tattoo - Tom Juravich


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Mick Tems
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 10:11 AM

What about the South Wales mining song The Best Little Doorboy, recorded by Ewan McColl?


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 11:11 AM

Jez Lowe was mentioned early on. There's a song at the back of my mind from one of his albums which I've been struggling to remember. Age, stupidity and the drink don't help at such times.

The chorus was something like:
    When the sun is hanging in the sky
    Hours are long, long are the sighs
    Down in the darkness where we lie
    Passing our life away

I seem to remember it starting as:
    Times are hard, days are long
    I wish I was a rich man's son
Another verse is:
    If I was a sailor, I'd sail the main
    And rob the ships from France and Spain
    And if we lost, perhaps we'd gain
    For the French might raise our pay

I'll have to dig out the (vinyl) album and check it out.

Lhiats,

Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE NORTH COUNTRY MINER'S WIFE (Davenport
From: RTim
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 12:04 PM

How about this one - one of my favorites and I sing it often
Tim Radford

THE NORTH COUNTRY MINER'S WIFE.
Bob Davenport.

One day while in the North Country
A lassie there I spied
All dressed in deep mourning
So bitterly she cried
She lost her man killed down the pit
Crushed by a fall of stone
So short a time she lay with him
So long she'll lie alone.

Now they were 17 years old
When their married life began
And at the age of 19 years
She bore to him a son
A few more months she had
To be for him a wife
So short a time together
Before he lost his life.

Long as she lives she'll never forget
That cruel winter's day
Long as she'll live she'll curse the pit
That took her man away
The owners think one day her bairn
Will take its father's place
But she'd sooner see him go to jail
Than go hewing at the face.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Willa
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 01:29 PM

Max Boyce's Rhondda Grey


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 01:41 PM

John Tams' arrangement of The Gresford Disaster


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: meself
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 02:49 PM

Dirty Yankee/Yahi Miners, variation on same base as Blackleg Miner, discussed at length in a couple of earlier threads.

Coal Town Road, by Alister MacGillvary.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Brian Kell
Date: 04 Mar 09 - 04:07 PM

The best Christmas present I have had for a long while was a copy of "the Elliotts of Birtley" by Pete Wood. Herron Publishing Wellington Road Todmorden Yorkshire Ol14 5DY (ISBN 978-195406-823-3). Some cracking songs and a lot of background. I served my singing apprenticeship at the Elliots Cub in Birtley, Co Durham in the late 60's and will never forget it. My other major reference is Come all you Bold Miners by A. L Lloyd but that's been mentioned before. Gan canny.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: 2581
Date: 10 May 09 - 02:08 PM

Here are 25 excellent American coal mining songs that I don't believe have been mentioned in any of the previous posts:

1. Dirty Black Coal - Ralph Stanley
2. Coal Miner's Grave - Hazel Dickens
3. High Flyin' Bird - Billy Edd Wheeler (in my view, the greatest coal mining song that no one knows about... it was covered by Jefferson Airplane, Richie Havens and others many years ago, but frequently the lyrics were changed...)
4. Lawrence Jones - Si Kahn
5. Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia - Utah Phillips (covered by Emmylou Harris, Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, Kathy Mattea and others)
6. Which Side Are You On? - Florence Reece (written in 1933 by a miner's wife in Harlan County, KY, during the bloody coal wars; now sung throughout the world! great cover versions by Pete Seeger, Natalie Merchant, Billy Bragg & Dick Gaughan)
7. Deep Mine Blues - Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time
8. Coal Mine Blues - IIIrd Tyme Out
9. Coal Minin' Man - Ricky Skaggs
10. The Dying Miner - Woody Guthrie (but check out the cover version by Bucky Halker & the Complete Unknowns)
11. Last Train From Poor Valley - Norman Blake
12. Crooked Road - Chris Knight
13. Miner's Lullaby - James Low - not to be confused with
14. Miner's Lullaby - Utah Phillips (check out the version by Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin)
15. Trip to Hyden - Tom T. Hall
16. Mother of A Miner's Child - Gordon Lightfoot
17. Rich Man's Coal - Special Consensus
18. High Sheriff of Hazard - Tom Paxton
19. Brookside Strike - Si Kahn
20. Don't Come Out of the Hole - Blue Highway
21. '31 Depression Blues - New Lost City Ramblers
22. The Old Coal Mine - Larry Sparks
23. Hole in the Ground - Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time
24. Dusty Diamonds - Lex Romane
25. Jenny's Gone Away - Michael Kline & Rich Kirby

There are many more, not to mention dozens and dozens of brilliant British coal mining songs.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 10 May 09 - 07:50 PM

Union Miners.
The Midlothian Miners' Song
Jez Lowe: Black Diamonds, You won't make old bones
Allan Taylor: Roll on the Day
Bob Davenport: "Wi' me pit boots on".
Gill Bowman: "Winter Sun"


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,raredance
Date: 10 May 09 - 11:06 PM

Below is the list of songs from "'And Now the Fields Are Green' A Collection of Coal Mining Songs In Canada" by John C O'Donnell. University College of Cape Breton Press, 1992. Some of the songs have already been mentioned above, but many other have not. I have a copy of the book if anyone has interest in the details of a particular song.


APPRECIATION OF A DECEASED BROTHER
ARE YOU FROM BEVAN?
ARISE YE NOVA SCOTIA SLAVES.
AT FOURTEEN I'M TRAPPING.
BALLAD OF SPRINGHILL, THE.
BALLAD OF THE FRANK SLIDE, THE.
BALLAD OF JB McLACHLAN, THE.
BILLY, COME WITH ME.
BILLY, THE PIT HORSE.
BLACK AROUND THEIR EYES, THE.
BLACK-EYED MINER, THE.
BLACK IS THE COALDUST.
BONNY LABOURlNG BOY, THE.
BOOTLEG COAL
BOOTLEG TRUCKMAN.
BOOTLEGGER ME.
BOWSER'S PENITENTS
BOWSER'S SEVENTY-TWA
BOYS OF THE RESCUE CREW, THE
BUMPS, THE.
CALEDONIA.
CALEDONIA EXPLOSION, THE.
CANNY MINER LAD, THE.
CAPE BRETON COAL.
CAPE BRETON COAL MINERS, THE.
CAPE BRETON MINER MAN
CAPE BRETON SILVER.
CHAIN RUNNER'S SONG
COAL BY THE SEA, THE
COAL IS KING AGAIN
COAL MINER UNDER THE SEA, THE.
COAL MINING DAYS.
COAL TATTOO
COAL TOWN ROAD
COLLIER'S RANT
COMPLAINTE DE SPRINGHILL, LA.
CZAR OF BC
DARK AS A DUNGEON
DISASTER AT NUMBER I-B
DON'T GO BELOW
DON'T GO DOWN IN THE MINE, DAD
DOWN AMONG THE COAL
DOWN DEEP IN THE MINE
DOWN DEEP IN A COAL MINE
DOWN IN A COAL MINE
DOWN IN SPRINGHILL'S BUMPY MINE
DUST IN THE AIR
END OF AN INDUSTRY, THE
FAREWELL TO CALEDONIA.
GEORGE ALFRED BECKETT.
GOVERNMENT STORE, THE.
HONEST WORKING MAN, THE
I'M ONLY A BROKEN DOWN MUCKER.
I WENT TO NORMAN'S.
I WORK IN THE PIT
JIM McLACHLAN SONG
JOE HILL
JOLLY MINER, THE.
JOLLY WEE MINER MEN
KELLY'S COVE.
LITILE PINKIE ENGINE
MAN WITH A TORCH IN HIS CAP, THE
MEN UNDERGROUND, THE.
MINER, THE
MINER, THE (WITH A SHOVEL IN HIS HAND)
MINER'S CRY, A
MINER'S EPITAPH
MINER'S LAMENT
MINER'S LIFE, A
MINERS' MEMORIAL HYMN
MINES OF AVONDALE, THE
MINING COAL
MIRACLE AT COLLIERY TWO
MIRACLE AT SPRINGHILL, THE.
NEW ABERDEEN GOVERNMENT STORE, THE
NEW WATERFORD'S FATAL DAY.
1938 DISASTER, THE.
1925 STRIKE SONG, THE
NO 12, NEW WATERFORD
NO 26 MINE DISASTER, THE
NO 26, ONE MILLION TON
NORDEGG BALLAD, THE
OMEN, THE
ON CUMBERLAND'S RUGGED MOUNTAIN
ORAN: THA FAILEADH A' GHUAIL
PEGGY GORDON
PERCY MORRIS
PHANTOM PAN CREW, THE.
PLAIN OLE MINER BOY
PLUCK ME STORE, THE
RAP HER TO BANK
REMEMBER THE MINER
RESCUE FROM THE SPRINGHILL COAL MINE
ROLL ALONG, UNITED MINERS.
RORY DAN, THE MINER
RUN, BOWSER, RUN
SCENT OF COAL, THE
SCHOOLDAYS END
SEVEN LAMPS NORTH
SHE LOVES HER MINER LAD
SHIRT TALE, A
SIXTEEN TONS
SONG OF THE ESTEVAN MINERS.
SORENESS OF MY SOUL, THE
SPRINGHILL DISASTER OF 1958, THE
SPRINGHILL MINE DISASTER 1891
SPRINGHILL MINE EXPLOSION OF 1956, THE
STEP BY STEP
THA FAILEADH A' GHUAIL
THIRTY -INCH COAL
UNDERNEATH THE SEA
UNKNOWN MINER'S GRAVE
WESTVILLE MINERS
WHEN I FIRST WENT TO CALEDONIA
WHEN YOU'RE DONE LOADING COAL
WORKING MAN
YAHIE MINERS, THE


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Bardford
Date: 10 May 09 - 11:52 PM

There is a companion CD to a book called Coal Dust Grins by Alberta photographer Lawrence Christmas. Cambria Publishing
Kind of an awkward-to-navigate site, but some fine portraits & bios of Canadian miners, and this: Coal Dust Grins

Wasn't there a similar thread a while back?


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 17 May 09 - 06:02 PM

Some Jez Lowe songs have been mentioned but not, I think, 'These Coal Town Days', on the end of coal mining in a town.


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Subject: Woddy Guthrie's "The Dying Doctor"
From: 2581
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 11:12 PM

Does anyone know if Woody Guthrie's "The Dying Doctor", a/k/a "The Company Town Doctor", is included on any CD or vinyl LP ? I have never been able to find it...


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: irishenglish
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 11:44 PM

Coal Creek Mine-by Green Bailey, as done by the Oysterband, as well as Swan Arcade's Coal Not Dole. Ashley Hutchings wrote a good one for a project I believe he abandoned about coal mining called Black Jack Blue John and Galena


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Mr Red
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 07:02 AM

Dave Webber (UK) wrote one in the 80's while at the Somers TFC when it was in the Somers Arms. Can't remember its name.

then there is:
Coal Hole Cavalry
and in NZ I came across a song on a Blues LP called "Pnuemoconiosis Blues" on the subject often called "Miner's Lung" in the US.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Bob
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 01:41 PM

Alex Glasgow's 'Close The Coal House Door' sang by the Wilson Family from the North East of England.
Bob.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Rog Peek
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 04:26 PM

Dogs at Midnight - Tom Paxton
There Goes The Mountain - Tom Paxton
No Christmas In Kentucky - Phil Ochs

Rog


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Subject: North Country Miner's Wife
From: 2581
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 01:17 AM

Hey, Tim --
Where can I find "The North Country Miner's Wife" (Bob Davenport) that you posted the lyrics for? Best wishes, Tony


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Bill the sound
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 08:22 PM

Just a few good Welsh songs
Mardy by Dave Rogers
Farewell to the Rhondda by Frank Hennessy
Both Recorded by Dave Burns
If I Had a Son by Phil Millichip
Recorded by Phil-Vin Garbutt and several other artists


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 09:58 AM

All the Nova Scotia songs I know are already noted, but Martyn Joseph has some sweet Welsh songs (Please Sir, Dic Penderyn, Proud Valley Boy, etc.)

My Young Man by Kate Rusby is also a nice song.

By the way, yesterday was Davis Day in NS. Read the link for the history.

Davis Day


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE DURHAM LOCKOUT (Tommy Armstrong)
From: GUEST,MikeL
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 03:24 PM

The Durham Lockout by Ian Campbell also written and performed by Tommy Armstrong


In our Durham County, I am sorry for to say
That hunger and starvation is increasing every day
For the want of food and coals, we know not what to do
But with your kind assistance, we will stand the struggle through

I need not state the reason why we have been brought so low
The masters have behaved unkind, as everyone well know
Because we won't lie down and let them treat us as they like
To punish us they've stopped their pits and caused the present strike

The pulley wheel have ceased to move which went so swift around
The horses and the ponies too are brought from underground
Our work is taken from us now, they care not if we die
For they can eat the best of food and drink the best when dry

The miner and his marra, too, each morning have to roam
To seek for bread to feed the hungry little ones at home
The flour barrel is empty now, their true and faithful friend
Which makes the thousands wish today the strike was at an end

We have done our very best as honest working men
To let the pits commence again, we've offered to them ten
The offer they will not accept, they firmly do demand
Thirteen and a half percent or let the collieries stand

Let them stand or let them lie to do with them as they choose
To give them thirteen and a half we ever shall refuse
They're always willing to receive, but never inclined to give
Very soon they won't allow a working man to live

With tyranny and capital they never seem content
Unless they are endeavoring to take from us percent
If it was due, what they request, we willingly would grant
We know it's not, therefore we cannot give them what they want

The miners of Northumberland, we shall forever praise
For being so kind in helping us, those tyrannizing days
We thank the other counties too, that have been doing the same
For every man who hears this song will know we're not to blame

Mike Landsborough


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: TonyK
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 05:16 PM

Music of the Coal, that Dick mentioned above, is indeed fine. I also like Coal Tatoo as done by Billy Edd Wheeler, the author.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: gnu
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 05:27 PM

Subject: RE: King Coal Dumping on Jean Ritchie and ALL OF US!
From: gnu - PM
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 12:50 PM

Thought I would put in a plug for olddude's song Appalachia. It's in the list on this page.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 07:09 PM

Jez Lowe has been mentioned a few times but he really is the modern master of coal mining songs:

Cursed be the Caller
Last of the Widows (one of the most beautiful & tragic songs ever written)
Mike Neville Said it So it Must be True (a wonderfully wry reflection on the devestation of the industry)
Greek Lightning ( a song that many sons of miners - like me - will weep to)
& many more!


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: jaze
Date: 14 Jun 09 - 11:50 AM

Springfield Mountain Coal Miner- sung by Kate Wolf


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Allan C.
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 06:22 AM

A few years back Kenny Ray Horton and a guy who later changed his name to Garth Brooks put together a song that Kenny recorded called, "Canary Song". There are some clips out there on the net of some other folks doing it; but Kenny's version is the best. Part of the lyrics are:

We'd always bring a bright canary
Our link to the world of air
For we knew while she kept singing
We wouldn't suffocate down there.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Rumncoke
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 10:26 AM

Shouldn't that be 'while he kept singing' - hen canaries are not renowned for their song.

Anne Croucher


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Allan C.
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 07:40 PM

Good point. Maybe I'll give the song another listen. It could be that I transcribed incorrectly.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CANARY SONG
From: Allan C.
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 05:35 PM

I double checked the lyrics. Unfortunately, they do have the canary as a "she". Good song, though. The whole thing goes like this:

CANARY SONG

While the mocking bird warbles
Near the mountain spring
Down in a mine a canary sings
In a deep, dark hole where men didn't belong
They listened to their lives in a canary's song

I remember mountain mornings
So quiet I could almost hear
The wind in the red-tail's feathers
And the breathing of the deer

Those old tracks seemed to go forever
And as a child I'd walk all day
Finding diamonds in the cinders
And taking chunks of coal away

As morning faded to evening
Then so, too, came my time
To follow down in my daddy's footsteps
And leave the mountain for the mine

We'd always bring a bright canary
Our link to the world of air
For we knew while she kept singing
We wouldn't suffocate down there

While the mockingbird warbles
Near the mountain spring
Down in a mine a canary sings
In a deep, dark hole where men didn't belong
We listened to our lives in a canary's song

And we'd listen for the sunrise
For wings against the sky
We'd listen for the dreams
That make men try

Once again I left the mountain
To find work when the mine shut down
Those old tracks don't go on forever
They end in this old part of town

All I brought was this canary
As I awake in dreams of home
I pray I'll hear a bird singing
And hear a silence before the storm

While the mocking bird warbles
Near the mountain spring
In a cold water room a canary sings
Living in this hole where I don't belong
I listen to my life in a canary's song


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Braddie
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 05:03 PM

Can anyone help please - a now deceased uncle used to sing about a Pontypridd miner who was looking for his wife it started "Now me and my jam tart for the market made a start" .... I would love to learn the words does anyone know the rest of it please - it went on to list lots of Welsh towns where he looked for her and ends up "I found her drinking in the Butcher's Arms". The listener is left wondering if this was a pub or a guy who sold meat!

Thanks,

John


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Subject: Lyr Add: FIRE IN THE HOLE (M Daring & J Sayles)
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 05:20 PM

I don't see it mentioned in this thread, but this is a very nice mountain sounding piece written for the movie "Matewan"......an EXCELLENT film btw.

FIRE IN THE HOLE
(Mason Daring & John Sayles)

You can tell 'em in the country, tell 'em in the town
The miners down in Mingo laid their shovels down.
We won't pull another pillow, load another ton,
Or lift another finger till the union we have won.

cho: Stand up boys, let the bosses know!
Turn your buckets over, turn your lanterns low;
There's fire in our hearts and fire in our soul
But there ain't gonna be no fire in the hole!

Well, Daddy died a miner, grandpa he did too,
I'll bet this coal will kill me 'for my workin' days are through;
In a hole that's dark and dirty, an early grave confined
I plan to make a union for the ones I leave behind.


(Written for the movie Matewan; Recorded on soundtrack album from
Daring Records)......This one is already in the DT but I think it belongs on the thread.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Santa
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 09:54 AM

With a North East England bias, not enough Tommy Armstrong in the list, I think? I don't think he was credited with Trimdon Grange but there are also Oakey Street Evictions, The War between the Cages, and others. The Eliots of Birtley were mentioned, with the Jack Eliot LP for Topic giving us Rap Her To Bank and Cotia. Look to the singing of Johnny Handle, and his time with the High Level Ranters.


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Subject: Lyr Add: INVALID MINER (Roger Watson)
From: Young Buchan
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 10:14 AM

Two by Roger Watson. No 2 Top Seam is in the DT but Invalid Miner isn't.

At 14 Jim left school
With other lads the same,
And like his father had done before
A miner he became, my boys, a miner he became.

A collier lad so bold
One of the best was he
And at the age of 45
They made him a deputy.

A deputy he'd been
For only just a year
When a gas explosion down the pit
Put an end to his career.

The doctors did there best
For a good three months and more
Until they came and told him straight
He never would see any more.

The doctors did there best
For a good twelve months or more
Until they came and told him straight
He never would walk any more.

He's on the welfare now.
It pays his children's keep,
A load of coal four times a year
And a pension every week.

But what they'll never do
No matter how hard they try
Is to give him another pair of legs
Or another pair of eyes.

I emphasise again that this is by Roger Watson, because there is a (quite possibly apocryphal) story that someone once sang it at a club where Roger was present and didn't even credit him. Roger, thinking he might innocently have thought it was traditional, went up to him at the break and asked if he knew who had written it. The reply was "Yes. But I'm not telling you. F*** off and find your own material!"


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE EASINGTON EXPLOSION (Jock Purdon)
From: Young Buchan
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 10:42 AM

By Jock Purdon. As far as I can see not in DT. I tend to sing it to Winding Banks of Erne (Durham Miners' Lockout) though Jock had a slightly different tune.

The Easington Explosion

Come listen all you mining lads that take the road inby.
I'll tell to you a dreadful tale how 80 men did die.
In Easington in '51 men saw the gates of hell
And those that lived to see the sight, never lived the tale to tell.
CHO:God comfort all you miners, your wives and children all;
They strike no medals for mining men but they still are heroes all.

It was on the 29th of May a dreadful twist of fate
Found the fore shift on the face, the back shift on the gate.
Explosion wracked the quarter seam, killing all but one
Leaving many the miner's happy home without father, brother, son.

It was firedamp beneath the seam, it was coal dust fed the flame
That roared outby till it was spent, then roared back in again,
Twisting all the roof supports from out their proper bed
And leaving us in mourning for the dying and the dead.

Inside the hour from Houghton-Le the rescue party come.
They listened for the voices, but the voices all were dumb.
The death of hope was firedamp, the gas the miners dread;
And two rescue men with yellow birds were numbered with the dead.

Now time has dried the widows' tears and stilled the orphans' cry;
For some the memories linger on, for some the echoes die.
"God comfort you" a woman cried and her words I still recall
"They strike no medals for mining men, but you still are heroes all."


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE AUCHENGEICH DISASTER (Norman Buchan)
From: GUEST,EK Anne
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 11:42 AM

Here are the words of a song about the Auchengeich disaster on 18th September 1959, in Lanarkshire, Scotland, when 47 men died in an underground fire.

THE AUCHENGEICH DISASTER

1) In Auchengeich there stands a pit,
    The wheel above, it isna turnin'.
    For on a grey September morn
    The flames o' Hell below were burnin'.

2) Though in below the coal lay rich
    It's richer noo, for aw that burnin'
    For forty seven brave men are deid,
    Tae wives an' sweethearts ne'er returnin'.

3) The seams are thick in Auchengeich,
    The coal below is black an' glistening
    But och, its cost is faur ower dear,
    For human lives there is nae reckoning.

4) Oh, coal is black an' coal is red,
    An' coal is rich beyond a treasure;
    It's black wi' work an' red wi' blood --
    Its richness noo in lives we measure.

5) Oh, better though we'd never wrocht,
    A thousand years o' work an' grievin'.
    The coal is black like the mournin' shroud
    The women left behind are weavin'.

6) Repeat v1.

This song was recorded by Dick Gaughan on the Topic themed LP "The Bonny Pit Laddie", where it was mistakenly described as traditional. In fact, it was written by the late Norman Buchan (who was a teacher at the time and later a member of Parliament) and was first published in book form in his little red book '101 Scottish Songs' -- Collins Publishers -- in 1962, where it was credited to Tormaid (which is Gaelic for Norman).
The tune he used was 'Skippin' Barfit through the Heather', because it was the singing of this song by Jessie Murray at a People's Festival ceilidh in Edinburgh in 1951? (organised by Hamish Henderson) that first aroused his abiding interest in traditional music.

There's also a great site for those with interest in mining --

www.scottishmining.co.uk (sorry, no clicky)


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: 2581
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 07:48 PM

Young Buchan --
   Do you know where I can find "No. 2 Top Seam", "The Invalid Miner" and "The Easington Explosion" on a CD or LP?
                         Best wishes, Tony from Kentucky


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Martha Burns
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 08:52 PM

Boy, coal miners were a singing bunch!
With all of these songs, there's one of my favorites that no one has mentioned, and that's THE SHOOFLY.

As I went a-walking one fine summer's morning,
It was down by the furnace I chanced for to stroll.
I spied an old lady, I'll swear she was eighty,
At the foot of the dirt bank, a-looking for coal.

ETC.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY FATHER WAS A MINER (Seamus Kennedy)
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 02:36 AM

Here's one I wrote and recorded on my 'On The Rocks' CD a few years ago.

MY FATHER WAS A MINER
(Seamus Kennedy, Gransha Music)


I wrote this song for my friend Bruce Cunningham of Scranton, PA, whose father Jim was a coal-miner in the Lackawanna Valley mines. Bruce related several stories about his dad to me one night in the Banshee Pub in Scranton, and I mentioned that they'd make a good song. He immediately challenged me to write one. This is it. Thanks to Bruce and to his dad for the inspiration.


My father was a miner
As his father was before him,
Hacking out the anthracite
From the Pennsylvania clay,
He left school at fifteen,
Was down the mines at sixteen,
At nineteen he was married
And soon I was on the way.

At seven every morning,
My mother made him breakfast,
Then he'd walk down to the pithead
With all the other men.
He'd swing his old lunch bucket,
As she watched him from the window,
Wond'ring if this was the day
That she would not see him again.

His name is Jim Cunningham,
from Lackawanna County,
Like all his childhood buddies
He toiled at digging coal.
Risking black-lung and cave-ins,
And flying red-hot splinters,
And bleeding ruptured eardrums
After "Fire in the hole!"

While crawling in a shaft one day
To hew a brand-new coalface,
He didn't hear the timbers creak
Or the rumble overhead,
But a hand reached in and grabbed him,
And pulled him from the tunnel,
Just another second later
And my dad would have been dead.

Well, he finished out his shift,
There was no time off for dyin',
That night he told my mother,
And she began to keen and moan,
She threw his supper on the table,
Her eyes were red with cryin'.
Saying, "If you go down tomorrow,
I won't be here when you come home."

So now he drives a truck
For a bakery here in Scranton,
And once a week I help him
With deliveries round the town.
He lived to see us growin',
And it keeps my mother happy,
But sometimes I think for one more day,
He'd love to go back down.

One morning having coffee
In a nearby Dunkin' Donuts,
An older man came in
And sat down not too far away.
My father brought me over,
And said, "Shake hands with Ray Hinkley,
If it hadn't been for him, son,
I would not be here today."

I whispered, "Thank you, Mr. Hinkley."
As I took his hand and shook it.
My tears fell hot and heavy,
So I could scarcely see.
He put a big hand on my shoulder,
And pulled me close beside him,
Saying, "Your dad and I are miners,
He'd have done the same for me."

My father was a miner,
As his father was before him,
Hacking out the anthracite
From the Pennsylvania clay.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Young Buchan
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 05:28 AM

Tony from Kentucky:

I am confident that Easington is on Jock's vinyl LP Pitwork Politics and Poetry.

The wonders of the Internet inform me that No 2 Top Seam is on Muckram Wakes' Pick and Malt Shovel and June Tabor's Cut Above. I guess they are also vinyl.If you just want a tune it too goesto Winding Banks/Lockout

I don't know of a recording of Invalid Miner. I got it from a version published in a tiny British folk magazine in the 60s called either Spin or Sing Out but NOT the American magazines of the same name! :-<


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Young Buchan
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 07:50 AM

The pit at Wardley near Gateshead was closed in 1969 when the coal seam gave out into a chalk one. Dave Douglass who worked on the final shift there told me this was written by one of the miners and sung as they went down for the last time. Usual Lockout tune.

We have withstood the sweeping hand of Robens and his gang.
'Gainst each and every gaffer's trick we stood firm to a man.
We thought we'd got a living wage, but bad luck did us appal,
For the only seam that held our hopes has struck a great white wall.

When first we saw that line of white a peeping through the coal
The gaffer said, "Lads, never mind, it's nothing but a roll."
But day by day it grows and grows, and we're finished one and all,
For there's not a lot of coal to mine when you dig a great white wall.

And there it gleams among the coal, so white and clear and bright
And the dust comes up like London fog or a steamer's smoke at night.
Just like a great white whale she sits, so wide and deep and tall;
But she'll break our backs and take our jobs, will Wardley's great white wall.

In many a long struggle just to earn a living wage
The gaffers and the Union lads together did engage.
No quarter was expected, whatever may befall:
But it's beat us both and closed the pit, has Wardley's great white wall.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Raker john
Date: 10 Nov 09 - 01:48 PM

These are a few off the top of my head:

Paradise - John Prine
Coal Tattoo - Billy Ed Wheeler
Red-Winged Blackbird - Billy Ed Wheeler
You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive - Darrell Scott
Dark As A Dungeon - Merle Travis
Nine Pound Hammer - not sure of the author
The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore - Jean Richie


I'd love to find a comprehensive list of coal mining songs (preferably American) so if anyone knows of one, please post it - thanks!


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Rog Peek
Date: 11 Nov 09 - 10:54 AM

Gresford Disaster Trad?
No Christmas in Kentucky - Phil Ochs
Dogs at Midnight - Tom Paxton
The Coal Owner and the Poor Pitman's Wife - Trad
The High Sheriff of Hazard - Tom Paxton

Rog


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD MINER (from John Moreton)
From: Kevin Sexton
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 03:32 AM

My favourite is 'The Old Miner', from Roy Palmer's "Songs of the Midlands" (1972); collected by John Moreton in the early 1960s, from an unnamed source. Palmer notes: "Sung by an old miner in Haunchwood Pit, Nuneaton, Warwickshire... The pit is now closed. The informant originated in Durham, where he had learned the tune. The words were his own."
Recorded by Silly Sisters on "No More To The Dance" (1988)and by Dere & Dorothy Elliott in the 70s:-

Oh who'll replace this old miner
And who will take my place below?
And who will follow the trepanner?
Who, dear God, when I go?

Oh who will wield this heavy pick
That I did wield for forty years?
And who will hew the black black coal
Who, dear God, when I go?

Oh who will ride the miner's train
That takes him to the dark coal face
Who'll take my place upon that train
Who, dear God, when I go?

Oh who will load the great iron tub
And who will strain his bending back
And who will work sweat and ache like hell
Who, dear God, when I go?

And who will cry when the roof caves in
When friends are lying all around
And who will sing the miner's hymn
Who, dear God, when I go?

For forty years I've loved the mine
For forty years I've worked down there
Now who'll replace this old coal miner
When I've paid, God, my fare?


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,xXxSKIDxXx
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 02:44 PM

does anybody know the song coal loading johnny?if so who sings it?


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Subject: Lyr Add: WORKING MAN (Rita MacNeil)
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 05:05 PM

This is one of the best:

Workingman - RITA MAcNEIL Cape Breton

It's a workingman I am and I've been down underground
And I swear by God if I ever see the sun
Or for any length of time, I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down underground

At the age of sixteen years, oh he quarreled with his peers
Who vowed they'd see never see another one
In the dark recess of the mines, where you age before your time
And the coal dust lies heavy on your lungs

It's a workingman I am and I've been down underground
And I swear by God if I ever see the sun
Or for any length of time, I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down underground

At the age of sixty-four, oh he'll greet you at the door
And he'll gently lead you by the arm
Through the dark recess of the mines, he can take you back in time
And he'll tell you of the hardships that were there

It's a workingman I am and I've been down underground
And I swear by God if I ever see the sun
Or for any length of time, I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down underground

It's a workingman I am and I've been down underground
And I swear by God if I ever see the sun
Or for any length of time, I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down underground

It's a workingman I am and I've been down underground
And I swear by God if I ever see the sun
Or for any length of time, I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down underground

No, I never again will go down underground


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 28 Feb 10 - 09:15 AM

Just a couple more verses of "Workingman" that I have picked up from somwhere, but unfortunatly no idea where that was. Most probably not written by Rita MacNeil. Does any one else know their origin(s)

At the age of 65 I pray to God I'm still alive
And the wheels above the mine no longer wind
And they've finally closed the hole
Where for years they/we clawed for coal
And never again will we go down underground.

At the age of ninety two
And his time on earth all through
Friends and family we all gathered round
We cast his ashes to the wind
For we promised our old friend
That he ne'er again would go down underground

Apologies to the author(s) of these verses for not crediting them, its due to my age.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 02:54 PM

The Molly Maguires by the Irish Baladeers
1968 - Avoca 33-ST-162 LP

I have a scratch on my record
and can't make out the last verse of
Up went O'Reilly
about O'reilly talking to Saint Peter
and being denied entrance and
docked for the time he was away


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: open mike
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 06:45 PM

refresh...sing a song in memory of the miners who died this week.

also see: http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=126607


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Aneirin
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 06:09 PM

Welsh mining songs - "Merthyron y Glo", Niclas y Glais (TE Nicholas)
(Chwi ddewrion y dwfn erwau tywyll...)

Also, from Kent is "Garden of England":-

To the garden of England strangers came one day
From the north to work down the mines.
To the garden of England strangers came one day
And they walked hand in hand with their wives.

And the children played in the green fields
And sang their songs, and danced away the years,
Coming home, kicking leaves by the roadside,
Coming home, walking hand in hand.

To the garden of England strangers came one day
Riding horses down narrow country roads.
To the garden of England strangers came one day
Linking arms and forming battle lines

And the children (etc.)

In the garden of England our children play games
Linking arms and forming battle lines.
In the garden of England our children play games
Of police facing picket lines

And they play no more in the green fields
Or sing their songs, or dance away they years.
Now they all link arms by the roadside,
Facing strangers, forming battle lines.

To the garden of England strangers came one day
Driving horses down narrow country lanes.

Sorry - but I've fogotten who wrote it. All I recall is that she was married to a Kent miner.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,ollaimh
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 09:11 PM

alistar macgillvary's coal town road is one of the greats.

but don't forget stings "we work the black seam together"


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Mr Fox
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 07:36 PM

Also, from Kent is "Garden of England":-Sorry - but I've fogotten who wrote it All I recall is that she was married to a Kent miner.

Most likely Kay Sutcliffe who also wrote the lyrics of 'Coal Not Dole'


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 08:41 AM

I have nor read the full thread so if "Morley Main" by Keith Marsden has already been mentioned I am sorry, but it deserves another mention anyway!!
Beautiful song , sung by Keiths wife Val of Cockersdal, on their CD "Picking Sooty Blackberries".If you are a female singer well worth listening to.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Ray Stephens
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 12:58 AM

Merle Travis sang a lot of traditional coal mining songs as well as his own original compositions. Does anyone know in which category "Miner's Strawberries" falls?


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 06:40 AM

I only know:

Dark as a Dungeon
Coal Tattoo
Bells of Rhymney


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Mick Tems
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 07:55 AM

The centenary of the Tonypandy Riots has just passed in the Rhondda Valleys, when 12,000 miners went out on strike to protest at the bullying attitudes of the massive Cambrian Combine chain of collieries, who locked out miners at the Ely colliery in Penygraig. The Home Secretary, Winston Churchill, sent armed troops into the Valleys, an incident remembered in a folk song (to the tune of Clementine):

"Tonypandy, Tonypandy,
Tonypandy, don't forget;
Tonypandy, Tonypandy,
All the Welsh remember yet..."

When The Coal Comes From The Rhondda was a rallying-cry inspired by The Tonypandy Riots. And BBC-1 Wales showed Sophie Evans (runner-up in the theatre audition show Over The Rainbow) singing All The Nice Girls Love A Miner, a 100-year-old Rhondda Valleys parody to the tune of All The Nice Girls Love A Sailor, which was another song inspired by the Riots.

Churchill's reputation was blackened, as far as South Wales was concerned, by his actions in the Riots. As late as the 1960s, South Wales mothers scared their naughty children by telling them: "You be good, or else I'll send Churchill to get you!"


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: 2581
Date: 25 Dec 10 - 12:03 PM

Merle Travis wrote "Miner's Strawberries" in 1963. It is included in his album, "Songs of the Coal Mines".


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,paul67
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 05:26 PM

does anyone know the welsh song about a boy that picks coal with his grandfather? "when he wasnt looking i rubbed coal dust in my face", cmon dygi cmon i said we dont want anymore...


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: 2581
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 11:32 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: 2581
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 12:43 PM

Check out these classic coal mining songs. Chuck Ragan's cover of "Coal Tattoo" (Billy Edd Wheeler) may not be done in a folk style, but it is brilliant nonetheless!

West Virginia Mine Disaster (Jean Ritchie)

You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive (Darrell Scott)

Coal Tattoo - Chuck Ragan


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 01:11 AM

A new song by environmental science writer Andy Revkin: Black Bird, a ballad inspired by the story of his bandmate's great grandfather's death.

On his New York Times "Dot Earth" blog post, Songs of this Fossil Age: A Coal Miner's Death Foretold, he tells the story and links some other songs of his, as well as other coal mining songs. Among the comments to the post, he mentions the Music of Coal website, which focuses on songs of the southern Appalachian coalfields.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLOOD ON THE COAL (Christopher Guest)
From: Mr Happy
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 09:26 AM

BLOOD ON THE COAL [Christopher Guest, 2003]


It was April 27 in the year of 91
Bout a mile below the surface and the warm Kentucky sun
The late shift was ending and the early shift was late.
The foreman ate his dinner on a dirty tin plate

Blood on the tracks, blood in the mine,
Brothers and sisters what a terrible time.
Ole 97 went in the wrong hole,
Now my number 60 has blood on the coal,
Blood on the coal, blood on the coal.

The slag pits were steamin' it was 7:25,
Every miner worked the coal face,
Every one of them alive
The train came round the corner,
You could hear the trestle groan,
But the switcher wasn't listnin' so he left the switch alone!

The walls began to tremble and the men began to yell,
You could hear that lonesome whistle like an echo out...well
They dropped their picks and shovels and to safety they did run,
For to stay among the living in the year of 91!

An Irishman named Murphy said "I'll stop that iron horse!"
And he stood to thwart its passage
And it crushed him dead of course.
And I hope he hears the irony when ere this tale is told,
The train that took his life was burning good Kentucky coal, Hey!


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACK DIAMOND
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 03:46 PM

This is one I posted somewhere before because it is in the DT..but I will repeat it because it is about the coal miners of Black Diamond, Washington..pretty close to Seattle and where we had Rainycamp. Lots of Welsh were there..in fact, they used to come to Seattle to the Welsh sings, and when a group of them walked in the door the singing went up exponentially..goodness they were great.

It is about real live miners who were buried in a common grave..5 were Italian and one was perhaps Slavic? The gravestone says Morte in Esplosione.

Black as a miner's face
Black as a foreman's heart
Black as the weather when we buried them together
Cause we couldn't tell their bones apart...couldn't tell their bones apart

Green the few dollars we earn
Green the wet wood we must burn
By the banks of Green River the miners' children shiver
And they know that it soon will be their turn
Know that it soon will be their turn

White for our sliver of soap white for our last ray of hope
White for the coffin that our town has seen so often
Carried up that wet mossy slope
Carried up that wet mossy slope

Red for the sun we hear shines
And red for the red danger signs
And the fires underground that will burn the year around
In the tunnels of the Black Diamond Mines
Tunnels of the Black Diamond Mines..


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD WORKINGS (Maldwyn Morgan)
From: Paul Burke
Date: 03 Mar 12 - 03:18 PM

OLD WORKINGS
Maldwyn Morgan

Unseen, darkness fills the place where men
Took to task a million years of trees.

Black water runs on rails that have sung
The song of trams.

The end of the tunnel, where the mountain won,
Is wet with drippings and with tears -

A tired symphony of echoes.
That water jack; was it Dai's or Twin's

Or Gareth's - who should have been a clerk!
Look! Those timbers notched by Rees -

Flower stems holding up a forest.
That tram - the chalk mark, what does it say?

Number three hundred and four - a scribbled essay
On living with coal.


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: 2581
Date: 20 Mar 12 - 01:42 AM

An Australian songwriter, Raymond Crooke, recently wrote a coal mining song based on the true story of Charles Scott Howard, a Kentucky coal miner and mine safety activist. Mr. Howard took a video of unsafe conditions underground at the mine where he worked. He showed that video at a public hearing held by MSHA, the American government agency that enforces mine safety laws. He was disciplined for doing so by his employer, Cumberland River Coal Company. Mr. Howard filed a safety discrimination case against the company and prevailed, but later (in May, 2011) he was fired by the coal company because of his safety complaints. Mr. Crooke's song tells the story of Charles Scott Howard. It's called "Big Coal Don't Like This Man At All". Check it out below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljtxjFKB718


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: GUEST,Marv
Date: 28 Apr 12 - 10:42 PM

Does anybody have the lyrics of a song that has the line "leavin nothin behind but some words on a stone"?


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Subject: RE: Coal Mining Songs
From: GUEST,SD Williams
Date: 07 Nov 12 - 05:31 PM

I just recorded this song I wrote in 1985 about the Wilberg Coal Mine fire in Utah. Wanted to share it. Click here


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Subject: RE: Coal Mine Songs
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 08 Nov 12 - 04:20 AM

Thanks for sharing it SD, Certainly worth the 27 years wait for this recording.
It looks like a real family presentation from the list of those involved in the recording.


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Subject: Dust in the Air
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 10 Dec 17 - 12:12 PM

re
GUEST,raredance-
Date:?10 May 09 - 11:06 PM
... songs from "'And Now the Fields Are Green' A Collection of Coal Mining Songs In Canada" by John C O'Donnell. University College of Cape Breton Press, 1992.

... Dust in the Air

video link here sung by Canadian choir Men Of The Deeps

/mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=163264


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