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Moura Mine

Peter Hicks
Language: English


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Written by Peter Hicks and Geoff Francis.

"This song was written after the Moura mining disaster in central Queensland, Australia, in 1985. The premier of the day, in his headline-grabbing visit to the site of the tragedy, made sure that there was room on his private jet for his media entourage - at the expense of not carrying vital rescue equipment. The subsequent enquiry turned out to be a pure cover up. Less than a decade later, following another similar preventable pit tragedy, Moura Mine was to be permanently closed." Peter Hicks
Working man gets up each morning
Before the sun shows in the sky,
And in the darkness of mid-winter
Sets off to toil in Moura mine,
Where in the pit seams dark and dusty,
Where the air is hot and stale
With the sweat of miners' labouring,
Working man he digs for coal.

One day there's just like any other,
As the working day slips by,
But this day was to be different,
The seventeenth day of July.
Deafening sounds reverberated,
And flames of hell consumed the pit,
The seams stained red with blood of miners,
When the gas explosion hit.

Twelve miners' wives they were widowed,
And their kids were orphaned too,
But the government and mine-owners
Tried to cover up the truth.
And the noble politicians,
All on TV did appear,
And they said the deaths were tragic
As they wiped away their tears,
With bleeding hearts they said no money
Could ever truly compensate
So each week for every orphan,
Thirteen dollars would be paid.

Then they tried to blame a miner,
Who was murdered in the blast,
For himself he could not answer,
So as guilty he was cast;
The papers made out he'd been smoking,
Though they knew it was not so,
And when challenged by the union
The evidence they could not show.

They brought an expert out from England
To determine who's to blame,
But they did not like his findings
So unpublished they remain.
The pit lacked safety apparatus,
Extraction systems were no good,
And the price of this neglecting
It was paid with miners' blood.

And the bosses hearts were broken,
That the funds had not been found,
To make the mines no safer
For the workers underground;
"There's a surplus on world markets
Which has cut the price of coal,
And maintaining profit margins is
What matters most of all."

Working man gets up each morning
Before the sun shows in the sky,
And in the darkness of mid-winter
Sets off to toil in Moura mine,
Where in the pit seams dark and dusty,
Where the air is hot and stale
With the sweat of miners' labouring,
Working man he digs for coal.

Contributed by Marcia - 2008/6/25 - 11:05



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