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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Len Wallace Lyr Add: song for Cape Breton mine strike (11) Lyrics: song for Cape Breton mine strike 19 Jan 00


In 1992, I was watching TV reports concerning the Westray Mine disaster. My anger over the event was written down in a song called "Men of the Midnight Shift" which became the title song of my third recording (Midnight Shift, 1994).

When I learned about the recent strike at the Prince Mine miners (members of District 26, UMWA), I sat down to write a song for them.

I made contact with the Cape Breton District Labour Council and they asked me to fax them the words. I did. A few hours later, I got a call from the strike lines. Two of the miners wanted to thank me, asked me for the tune.

I told them the song was hurriedly put together, but they assured me that it made the point.

The strikers went back to work, but their struggle still goes on. this song is for them. But it needs a title. Any takers?

Chorus:
Four miles down where the sun don't shine
There's ten brave miners hunkered in a mine
Fighting off the hunger, fighting 'gainst time,
Fighting for the men above walking the line.

A mean wind blows these January days
'Cause the Prince Mine's closing if the boss gets his way.
It's whipping on the pickets, the men of the mine.
It's a hard whipping wind for families on the line.

There's no place to go if they shut the place down.
There's no work above, no job to be found.
The only chance goin' is the heart of the coal.
Either hell in the mine or hell on the dole.

Chorus:
But four miles down where the sun don't shine
There's ten lone miners hunkered in a mine
Fighting off the hunger, fighting 'gainst time,
Fighting for the men above walking the line.

The suits in the office spend all their days
Counting up the dollars from the profits they made
off the backs of the pit men down in the hole
slaving all their days just digging the coal.

Chorus:
But four miles down where the sun don't shine
There's ten lone miners hunkered in a mine
Fighting off the hunger, fighting 'gainst time,
Fighting for the men above walking the line.

Now, they're fighting for a pension, fighting for a wage.
Everyday it's a struggle just to fight down your rage
fighting 'gainst the odds, fighting off the lies,
fighting for a future and fighting for their lives.

Now, there's 10 brave men hunkered in a mine
Fighting for the jobs for the strikers on the line.
They're down in the deeps for the ones they love.
For their brothers, for themselves and their families up above.

Len Wallace


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