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JennieG Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook (1010* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 15 Dec 20


Last song - I know only of these three songs about the incident at Rothbury. This was a contemporary song written by Roger Grant, a musician who played in dance bands around the Hunter coalfields region. On the first anniversary of Norman's death thousands gathered at Greta (which wasn't a very town in those days) and sang this song. As far as I know, Alan Musgrove is the only person to have recorded it.

A sad day on the coalfields
Roger Grant

Sung by Alan Musgrove

There were sounds of sobs and crying as the daylight floods the sky,
The hour of life has vanished and the long night passes by,
I lift my eyes to heaven and in tears I'll call her son,
Who was taken from his mother by the crack of someone's gun.

Yes, in the hour of sorrow there's one thing I can't conceal,
For my heart is always longing and my thoughts will often steal
Across the bush to Rothbury whose surface leaves a track
To the boys who went on picket and the boy who'll never come back.

There was music at the graveside and in grief the mourners stood,
Still the wind a hymn was humming with the trees upon the hill,
The sun was shining brightly on sad friends from every town,
And the minister started praying for our dead pal Norman Brown.

Yes, in the hour of sorrow there's one thing I can't conceal,
For my heart is always longing and my thoughts will often steal
Across the bush to Rothbury whose surface leaves a track
To the boys who went on picket and the boy who'll never come back.

A sad day on the coalfields


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