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Tank's Poetry
united states mine rescue association
Mine Disasters in
the United States


Mining Music

Collier Sweetheart (Scotland)
performed by Ewan McVicar, accompanying himself on guitar and mouth organ



My mother said I could not have a collier
If I did it would break her heart
I didnít care what my mother told me
I had a collier for my sweetheart

But one day up Cadgerís Loan
The siren screamed at Pit Four head
All of Plean ran to find out
How many living, how many dead?

Lowsing time in the Carbrook Dook
The young shotfirer fired his shot
Dynamite blew up the section
Twelve lads dead, seventy caught

Their holiday bags were lying waiting
The men were lying down below
The wee canaries they died too
Salty tears in the sad Red Rows

The young shotfirer had no certificate
My young collier gave his life
Fate was cruel to my sweetheart
And I will never be a wife

My mother said I could not have a collier
If I did it would break her heart
I didnít care what my mother told me
I had a collier for my sweetheart


About this song:

Ewan McVicar was asked to write songs with the P5 class in East Plean Primary School, near Stirling.

Ewanís mother was born in Plean and Ewan remembered that his grandfather, Hugh Reynolds, had told him about being in a mining disaster.  Ewan's grandfather had heard the sound of the 1921 explosion when he was hewing (cutting coal) in the next-door pit.  Ewan looked up old newspapers to get details of what happened.  Then he and P5 wrote this song.



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