On Strike

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Poems about Miners


Miners Strike

For goodness sake, wife, leave off crying
I’ve only turned out with the rest
We can’t be worse off than we have been
And may be, it’s all for the best

“It can’t be”, Oh! what nonsense, who say so?
The masters and owners must live
Why of course, they will give us the advance, Nell
Don’t say they ain’t got it to give

There you go again, holding a meeting
And saying, “All our prospects are gone”,
That “A little is better than nothing,
And that half a loaf’s better than none”.

I know little Willie is poorly,
But you see wife, it can’t be helped now,
And the rent for the house, must stand over,
In fact we’ll manage somehow

The life of a miner? Why, bless me
It’s as dangerous as any can be,
Why, it’s worse than a soldier in battle,
Or even, a sailor at sea

For the soldier can oft see his danger,
And again, he knows well how to fight
And even the sailor has chances,
But miner’s are murdered outright.

Now, look at Bill’s wife, around the corner
A widow now, with five little brats
And struggling to keep her life together
By mending and making of mats

Why, all he got, when he was living
Was five and six shillings a day
They brought him home, bleeding and mangled
As lifeless, and cold as the clay

I know it’s hard to be starving,
But what is a fellow to do?
If I could, I’d go back tomorrow,
Yes, dear, for the children and you

Now, do hold your head up, Nell darling
You’re making yourself quite ill,
And as for poor me, I’m heartbroken
I’ll go back to work, Nell, I will.

Arthur Brogden.

Painting: The Miners’ Strike (Yorkshire)

Georg Eisler (1928–1998)

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, mima


If you have any Poems… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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