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Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner

DigiTrad:
DADDY WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE STRIKE
THE BLACKLEG MINERS


Related threads:
Origin The Blackleg Miner (106)
Tune Req: Blackleg Miner (16)
The Blackleg Miner and FAF. (114)
Review: Blackleg Miner revisited (13)
Lyr Req: Dirty Black Leg Miner (14)
Lyr Req: Blackleg miner (9) (closed)
Help: 'duds' in Blackleg Miner (15)


GUEST,JB 26 May 01 - 11:48 AM
Sorcha 26 May 01 - 12:04 PM
Sorcha 26 May 01 - 12:09 PM
nutty 26 May 01 - 12:13 PM
Roughyed 26 May 01 - 12:26 PM
Sorcha 26 May 01 - 01:55 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 May 01 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,JB 26 May 01 - 03:17 PM
Sorcha 26 May 01 - 03:19 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 May 01 - 03:35 PM
Sorcha 26 May 01 - 03:38 PM
dick greenhaus 27 May 01 - 01:19 PM
Alice 27 May 01 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,Andrew 04 May 07 - 05:29 PM
Little Robyn 04 May 07 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,Andrew 04 May 07 - 05:44 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 May 07 - 06:14 PM
Wolfhound person 05 May 07 - 04:06 PM
Little Robyn 05 May 07 - 04:53 PM
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Subject: Black Leg Miner and unknown
From: GUEST,JB
Date: 26 May 01 - 11:48 AM

Looking for two songs actually, both of which I heard sung by Christy Moore around 1970 and both related to workers unions.

The first one is called "Black Leg Miner" I can remember the first lines went something like:

It´s in the evening after dark When the black leg miner goes to work With his moleskin trousers and dirty shirt There goes the black leg miner

Don´t even know the title of the other song. Again I can remember a part which goes something like:

Tora lura lura loo I´ll tell you something awful true You wouldn´t have your telly now If it wasn´t for the union

Would really appreciate any input on these and perhaps someone might even know who wrote them. I suspect Ewan McColl could have been involved in at leat one song.

Thanks.

JB


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACK LEG MINER
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 May 01 - 12:04 PM

Found this on Black Leg Miner, but it's Ewan McColl instead of Christy Moore?:

Black Leg Miner

s³. i mel. oryg.: Ewan McColl
Well, it's in the evening after dark
When the black leg miner creeps to work.
In his moleskin pants and dirty shirt
There goes the black leg miner.

Well, he grabs his pick then down he goes
To dew the coal that lies below,
And devil the women in this town row
Will look at the black leg miner.

And Dalabole is a terrible place,
Where they rub wet clay in the black leg's face.
Around the heaps they run a foot race
To catch the black leg miner.

And do not go near the Skeghill Mine,
For across the way they've stretched a line
To catch the throat and break the spine
Of the dirty black leg miner.

Well, they grab his pick and duds as well
And hurl them down the pit of hell.
So down you go and fare thee well,
You dirty black leg miner!

So, join the union while you may,
Don' t wait till your dying day.
For that may not be fare away
You dirty black leg miner!

from: http://czteryrefy.szanty.pl/data/dskgrtx/teksty/blackleg_miner.html


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Subject: Lyr Add: IF IT WASN'T FOR THE UNIONS
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 May 01 - 12:09 PM

And the other one:

If It Wasn't For The Unions
(Irish trad / Matt McGinn)

Toora loora loora loo
I'll tell you something awfu' true
Wouldn't have your telly the noo
If it wasn't for the union

I had a boss in Aberdeen
The nicest fella that ever was seen
He must have thought me helluva green
Before I joined the union

I had a boss named Allardyce
He was really helluva nice
Except for the way he loaded the dice
Before I joined the union

A pal of mine has bought a car
A second-handed Jaguar
He wouldn't hae travelled half as far
If it wasn't for the union

The bosses they were doing fine
Little children working down the mine
They'd have them on the assembly lines
If it wasn't for the union

So men and women all agree
It's time to rise up off your knee
And raise the banner of unity
Forward with the union

Tune: The British Army
from:http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/i/ifiwunio.html



Click Here for discussion of "Union."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: nutty
Date: 26 May 01 - 12:13 PM

"Black Leg Miner" is actually in the DT HERE

My source says that in 1844, Irish, Cornish and Welsh miners were imported to Tyneside to break "The Great Coal Strike". On August 15th there was a battle which resulted in a great number of miners on each side being severly injured although no one was killed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: Roughyed
Date: 26 May 01 - 12:26 PM

Steeleye Span recorded Blackleg Miner on their first album 'Hark The Village Wait' and from memory the sleevenotes said that the song had only been collected once and it was from someone in Bishop Auckland Co. Durham in 1949.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 May 01 - 01:55 PM

I did look in DT, but for Black Leg Miner, not Blackleg Miners.......Oh well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 May 01 - 02:51 PM

Good heavens, you're slipping, Sorcha!  Mind you, I tend to think of this song as being so well-known as scarcely to be worth mentioning, but that would be a regional phenomenon; I doubt if it's often heard in America, and when it is, people probably think it's Irish...(sigh).

As Swan mentioned, this song has -unless new information has come to light- been found only once in tradition as such, sung by W. Sampey of Bishop Aukland in County Durham (18th. November 1949).  A.L. Lloyd printed it in the first edition of his book Come All Ye Bold Miners (Lawrence and Wishart, 1952) and it took the fancy of a great many Revival singers, among them Ewan MacColl and (much) later, Christie Moore.  They are all, whether they know it or not, singing Mr. Sampey's song.  Lloyd gave a text in more-or-less standard English, but didn't indicate whether or not this was exactly as sung.  Some years later, he printed another set (Folk Song in England, Lawrence and Wishart, 1967) with modified, dialectal text and a slightly variant tune (this is the one quoted in the DT); typically, the only provenance he gave for it was a reference to his earlier book.  Whence the variations is a mystery.  In his notes to the second edition of CAYBM (1978) he remarks that the song has become popular and acquired melodic variants since his publication of it; whether these should be considered traditional in the strict sense is hard to say; it is not impossible that the song may have persisted elsewhere than just in Mr. Sampey's repertoire, though on balance it does seem most likely that Lloyd was the significant agent of transmission.  Lloyd also refers to what may be a variation or parody of it, The Yahie Miners, noted by George Corson in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, and published in Coal Dust on the Fiddle (Philadelphia, 1943).  I haven't seen that book, so I don't know how close it may or may not be to the Durham song.

Oh, presumably Nutty's source would be Karl Dallas' 100 Songs of Toil?  I don't think he was suggesting that this song was specifically about the events he mentioned, just illustrating the kind of strong feelings that existed.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: GUEST,JB
Date: 26 May 01 - 03:17 PM

Excellent!

Not only do I have the lyrics again to both songs, but I´m also delighted to get the background to the Black Leg Miner, especially that piece of info. from Malcom.

Thanks again for all the contributions.

JB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 May 01 - 03:19 PM

Malcolm, my dear, we are "destructing" and "reconstructing" my bath room this morning, so yea, I'm not spending too much time searching, (grin) I am Loo Less! Help!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 May 01 - 03:35 PM

Bathroom Reconstruction... yes, I've suffered from that a number of times and it's no fun: they always seem to disconnect that vital piece of plumbing at just the wrong moment.  Mind you, since you are now apparantly an  Angel,  I'm sure you will rise above such mundane things!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 May 01 - 03:38 PM

Yes, indeed. I was going to point that out, but decided not to be conceited, ('nother grin!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 27 May 01 - 01:19 PM

Malcolm- Thanx for the info. One minor correction--that's George Korson (with a K). A fine collector of coal mining songs, particularly in Pennsylvania, US.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: Alice
Date: 27 May 01 - 11:14 PM

I remember bill sables sang this along with Les B. when bill and Allan were here in Montana (Mudcat Adventure last June). We were in Jardine, MT, an old mining town on the edge of Yellowstone. I'd forgotten about the song. Thanks for the thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: GUEST,Andrew
Date: 04 May 07 - 05:29 PM

Funny that this should be thought of as a Durham song, with the two places being mentioned (Seghill and Seaton Delaval) being in Northumbeland (between Blyth and Whitley Bay). Maybe that suggests that it was known by more than one person at some point before Lloyd collected it (or that one person moved)?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: Little Robyn
Date: 04 May 07 - 05:42 PM

Ray and Archie Fisher were singing it in the early 60s (maybe late 50s even). Ray lives at Whitley Bay.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: GUEST,Andrew
Date: 04 May 07 - 05:44 PM

me again - just saw that this version is set in Dalabole and Skeghill - I've heard people sing these town names before. Does anyone know if they are real places? Delaval and Seghill makes more sense to me at the moment, with them being neighbouring pit villages in the north east...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 May 07 - 06:14 PM

Dalabole is in Cornwall and Skeghill is in Cumberland: I think that someone has just mis-heard Delaval and Seghill in transcribing from a record. Ray and Archie will have got the song from revival sources, almost certainly.

Although the song had dwindled in popularity by the time Mr Sampey's version came to light, it was presumably once better-known; and presumably also in the area it refers to. I seem to recall somebody saying in another thread here that members of their family had known it, but this was inconclusive as they weren't able to show that that pre-dated the first edition of Come All Ye Bold Miners.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:06 PM

Ray in all probability had it from Johnny Handle et. al, and he will have had it from Lloyd directly and / or Come all ye bold miners.
I'm sure she would sing Delaval and Seghill, since she only lives a few miles from them.

The fact that it was collected in Co. Durham is probably not remarkable - miners in previous generations were a mobile lot, relocating up to twice a year in the old bonding system, as anyone who's done any family history research in this area will testify.

The miners of Delaval would have suffered with the decline of the Delaval family fortunes (post 1815), though most could have moved to new pits. They were also involved in the New Hartley disaster which happened only a mile from the village. So its not surprising if they were noted for aggression to the imported blacklegs.

(Though IIRC, the Cornish tin miners some owners imported mainly worked in Durham pits)

As a complete aside Seaton Delaval now supports the best ice cream shop in the area, always having queues at the door in hot weather.
Not as good as those in NZ, though, Little Robyn!

Paws


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Black Leg Miner
From: Little Robyn
Date: 05 May 07 - 04:53 PM

Thread creep: Rush Munro icecreams here in Hawke's Bay - the best in the world!
Hi Julia.
Robyn


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