Friday, 14 January 2011

The Blackleg Miner (c.NZ287748)

One of the most infamous English folk songs of the 19th century, The Blackleg Miner is set in and around the Northumberland villages of Seaton Delaval and Seghill. An uncompromising statement aimed against mining strikebreakers, it has been revived and reused countless times over the years – most recently during the UK Miners’ Strike of 1984-85. It needs little more in the way of introduction, and nothing in the way of explanation…

The Blackleg Miner

It’s in the evenin’ after dark,
When the blackleg miner creeps ter wark,
In his moleskin pants and dirty short,
There goes the blackleg miner.

He taeks his pick and doon he goes,
To hew the coal that lies below,
There’s norra woman in this toon row,
Would look at the blackleg miner.

For Delaval is a terrible place,
They rub wet clay in the blackleg’s face,
Around the pits they run a foot race,
To catch the blackleg miner.

Divvn’t gan near the Seghill mine,
For across the top they’ve stretched a line,
To catch the throat and break the spine,
Of the dirty blackleg miner.

Well, they taek his pick and duds as well,
And they hurl them doon the Pit of Hell,
So off you go and fare thee well,
Yer dirty blackleg miner.

So join the union while you may,
And divvn’t wait till yer dying day,
For that may not be far away,
Yer dirty blackleg miner.


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