Poems on the Coal Industry

Poems on the Coal Industry

By John Robinson

To see more poems by John visit www.robbiejohnbob.bravehost.com

 

Coal

The mines are a closing 
The last whistle sounds 
It's the dole you are bound for 
No more work underground

For all the coal miners 
Who suffered and died 
Who sweated and toiled 
With their sons by their side

From Lanark to Derby 
Where the pit wheels once turned 
Still the working folk suffer 
Has nothing been learned?

The spirit's unbroken 
The history lives on 
Though the fires have gone out 
Recollections are strong

Through strike and disaster 
Through hardship and pain 
The stories won't leave us 
They'll be told yet again

To break the trade unions 
The North was betrayed 
There's no place for forgiveness 
There's a price to be paid

The banners still flutter 
The old men still curse 
While the profits are lining 
The businessmans purse

 

From the Somme to the coalfields 
To Depression and strife 
To the oft broken promise 
Of a much improved life

 

Such a heartless destruction 
Of a proud way of life 
They cut through communites 
Like a cold surgeons knife

 

Remember the miners 
And remember them well 
And to those who deceived them 
You can all go to hell

The Last Northumbrian Coal Mine

Six hundred years of sweat and toil 
In that deep and dark abyss 
The entrepreneur has spoken 
Blown a tasteless goodbye kiss.

 

Two hundred men and boys 
Crushed and gassed and drowned 
New Hartley, 1862 
Beneath that cold, cold ground.

 

At Burradon, 1860 
Seventy six were burnt and maimed 
They were only slaves and chattels 
No need to be ashamed.

 

No sick pay, no such benefit 
No mercy from the rich 
Like the Paddies in the famine 
Left to die within that ditch.

 

Families torn asunder 
Communities destroyed 
Where the hell was the compassion? 
The obligation's null and void.

 

We'll not forget you Thatcher 
And your heartless decimation 
Your ultimate achievement 
A bitter, divided nation.

 

Northern coal helped build this country 
While the Irish laid the rails 
Betrayal comes easier than honour 
All that's left are old men's tales.


Posted in Memories on Sep 05, 2017

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