A Miners Best Friend

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Poems about Miners

A Miner’s Best Friend
(Until 1986)

Miners Canary

He’s with me always, by my side
My friend, protector and my guide.
He is my life, my hope, my breath
For he detects the smell of death.

The gas that through the tunnel spills
And in a single moment kills
Is stripped of all its power and force
By my canary friend, of course.

Who would have thought a tiny bird
Could mean so much, it’s so absurd.
And yet my safety so relies
Upon this angel in disguise.


Did you know that until 1986, miners were still using canaries to detect dangerous gases underground. These tiny birds are so sensitive that the smallest amount of gas would cause them to faint and fall from their perch, giving the miners immediate warning of the dangers and giving them chance to escape the tunnel. The miners became quite attached to these life saving birds, and often would enjoy their singing as they worked.


If you have any Poems… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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