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


Mining Music

The Ballad of Springhill
Copyright Sing Out
by Peggy Seeger, recorded by Ewan MacColl


An audio interview with Peggy Seeger

In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia
Down in the dark of the Cumberland Mine
there's blood on the coal and the miners lie
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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