Saturday, August 18, 2007


Miners have been on my mind lately, what with the Utah disaster, and the fact that last week I was in Springhill, Nova Scotia, visiting a Miners' Museum (and being very glad, as we went down a shaft, that neither of us ever had to work in a coal mine.) It reminded me of this song my Irish grandmother used to sing to me when I was little. There is a long, sad tradition of disasters in coal mines. Interestingly, the two old miners I have met both said they would do it all again, they loved the camaraderie so much.

Don't go down in the mine, Dad

by Robert Donelly and Will Geddes, 1910

A miner was leaving his home for his work,
When he heard his little child scream;
He went to his bedside, his little white face,
"Oh, Daddy, I've had such a dream;
I dreamt that I saw the pit all afire,
And men struggled hard for their lives;
The scene it then changed, and the top of the mine
Was surrounded by sweethearts and wives."

CHORUS: "Don't go down in the mine, Dad,
Dreams very often come true;
Daddy, you know it would break my heart
If anything happened to you;
Just go and tell my dream to your mates,
And as true as the stars that shine,
Something is going to happen today,
Dear Daddy, don't go down the mine!"

The miner, a man with a heart good and kind,
Stood by the side of his son;
He said, "It's my living, I can't stay away,
For duty, my lad, must be done."
The little one look'd up, and sadly he said,
"Oh, please stay today with me, Dad!"
But as the brave miner went forth, to his work,
He heard this appeal from his lad:


Whilst waiting his turn with the mates to descend,
He could not banish his fears,
He return'd home again to his wife and his child,
Those words seem'd to ring through his ears,
And, ere the day ended, the pit was on fire,
When a score of brave men lost their lives;
He thank'd God above for the dream his child had,
As once more the little one cries:


1 comment:

  1. Wow! What a great (?) song. I keep checking to see if there is anything new on the miners who have been stuck for 2 weeks now. I think unfortunately there is no way they have survived. But I do hate to hear them say that they may never find them. I think that's just sad for the families to not have their loved one to bury.

    ~ Wolf Lover Girl


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