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GUEST,Gerry Lyr Req: Hard Times in Comer's Mines (Andy Irvine) (4) RE: Lyr Req: Hard Times in Comer's Mines (Andy Irvine) 18 Oct 18

These are the lyrics in the booklet. I haven't checked to see whether these are the lyrics he actually sings.

(Andy Irvine)

In 1930 my daddy, said he
Stay out of the mines, take a warning from me
With dust you’ll be choked and a pauper you’ll be
And you’ll wheeze like the bagpipes of Patsy Touhey

It’s hard times in Comer’s mines
Hard times we know

To dig out the coal you must lie on your side
For the seam it is just 18 inches high
Eight hours a day for pie in the sky
And your pay so low and your expenses so high


Nixie Boran was invited to go
To a union congress held in Moscow
But the Department of Foreign Affairs it said no
For Red Russia we’ll never allow
But Nixie stowed away on a ship
And he landed in France and continued his trip
Says he, ‘In old Ireland we must get a grip
‘And we’ll form a union for miners now’


The huts that we live in are built very poor
And the holes in the roof let the rain in go leor [I don't know what that means]
To keep ourselves warm you can be very sure
With mud we have plastered the walls
The rain washes it off all over the floor
My wife she sits weeping, what can she do more
On a wet winter’s night how the children they bawl
And the captain in comfort at Luxury Hall


The money we earn, well it is very slight
And we pay for our tools which doesn’t seem right
The denonat-ers   and the gel-ig-nite
The candles, the fuses, the fittings
The rent for our hut is a half a crown out
And we pay for the new church 5 bob a shout
At the end of the week you can have little doubt
We are sick of these wrongs for the slimmest of pickings


We go to the strike without further delay
For a small increase in our miserable wage
And coal for our families for which we would pay
The cost of its production
So Nixie our demands conveyed
We were ignored, no offers were made
And the church it stepped up its holy crusade
For our militant union’s total destruction


Peadar O’Donnell he entered the fray
And he went to the bakers in Dublin, they say
Two car-loads of bread were delivered that day
And supporters doled out more
Street meetings in Dublin were held every night
Urging support for the miners on strike
But after 6 weeks we were losing the fight
And we wondered how long we could hold out for


On Sundays at mass our bold parish priest
Compared our union to the mark of the beast
And some of our neighbours they shared his belief
That Nixie was Satan invested
They tried to stop Nixie attending at mass
And they stationed themselves to not let him pass
But we all stood beside them like snakes in the grass
And Nixie and family went in unmolested


We found it too hard to endure all this hate
From the might of the church and the power of the state
Our only desire was to better the fate
Of the men who worked in the mine
So we joined up with Larkin in Thirty-Three
And the coal mine owners at last did agree
Our victory was small, but t’was still victory
For we felt that we’d struck a blow for mankind


Well, I’ve finished me song and I’ll go away
But now in conclusion I’d just like to pay
Homage to Nixie, there’s much more to say
‘Bout the times that came to pass
John Fitzgerald, Jimmie and Tom
Walsh was their surname but now they are gone
And all those brave men that their names may live on
For they fought for the rights of the working class

Refrain (x2)

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