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The Ballad of the Springhill Mine Disaster

Peggy Seeger


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Lyrics & Music by Peggy Seeger

Peggy Seeger composed "The Ballad of Springhill" (with assistance from Ewan MacColl) based on the 1958 Springhill Mine Disaster
. It was originally performed by MacColl and Seeger as an a cappella duet.
It was subsequently sung by popular folk revival group Peter, Paul, & Mary.
Irish rock stars U2 drew international attention to the memory of the Springhill mining disaster when they included "The Ballad of Springhill" in the playlist for their Joshua Tree Tour in 1987. U2 performed the song at fifteen concerts, although Bono did misrepresent the year in the song by saying "88" and not "58" during a few live performances. In an interview after the 1987 performance on a 25th anniversary television tribute to the Irish band The Dubliners, Bono stated that the first recording of "The Ballad of Springhill" he heard was that sung by Irish folk singer Luke Kelly a member of The Dubliners.
Irish musician Pauline Scanlon recorded "The Ballad of Springhill" on her d├ębut album, Red Colour Sun, featuring Damien Dempsey, although it was re-named The Springhill Mining Disaster.
Richard Brautigan wrote a poem entitled "The Pill versus the Springhill Mine Disaster."
Brian Vardigans wrote a song in 2008 entitled "Springhill" that was sung at the 50th anniversary ceremonies for the victims of the 1958 Bump on 23 October 2008.
Canadian Folk Group Tanglefoot referred to Springhill in their song "Hard Work" from the album "Dance like flames".
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,
In the roads that never saw sun nor sky..

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,
Bone and blood is the price of coal..

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,
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,
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,
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,
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,
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,
Bone and blood is the price of coal..

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,
Hope imprisoned in a three foot seam..

inviata da giorgio - 18/4/2010 - 09:40



Lingua: Inglese

The missing verse:

(sung in the Peggy's version, Dubliners', etc., after the second strophe)
In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia
Late in the year of '58
Day still comes and the sun still shines
But it's dark as the grave in the Cumberland mine,
But it's dark as the grave in the Cumberland mine..

inviata da giorgio - 18/4/2010 - 10:47


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