The Price of Coal

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Poems about Miners

The Price of Coal

Volunteers of the 1877 Disaster

The sound of heavy pit boots marchin’ up the street
Wiz better than ony alarm cloak tae git me oan ma feet,
Anither day is startit and little did a ken
The sorrow this day wid bring afore the cloak struck ten.

The weans a’ ready fur the school oan this wet an’ windy morn
A went tae the door tae see them awa’ when I heard the dreaded horn,
Ma mither rushed oot passed me, her face was filed with fear
The horn wis blastin’ louder, blood was rushin’ in ma ear.

Rushin’ tae the pit-head, trippin o’er the stanes,
Everybody runnin’, some trailin’ alang their weans.
Silence when we reached it, a tear at every e’e,
Wringin’ hauns an’ prayin’, “God, please, yiv goat tae hear wur plea!”.

They’re bringin’ up mare bodies, the number’s noo a hunner an’ ten
Everybody’s watchin’, hopin’ the faces they’ll no ken,
Don’t let it be my faither or ma wee brither Drew
He never wantit tae go doon the pit, bit joabs they were few.

Through the crowd I heard a soun’ o’ ma mither sorely cryin’
A pushed an’ shoved tae reach her, through the deid an’ the the dyin’,
Ma faither wis lyin’ lifeless, never to speak again.
He must have suffered terrible, but noo he’s free frae pain.

We didna hive tae wait long afore we goat mair news,
They’ve noo brocht up ma brither, we knew him by his shoes.
Oh God, ye wurnae listenin’ an’ I feel so sick wi’ rage!
Oor Drew wis only just a wean – thirteen years of age.

Wull someone tell me why whit happened doon that pit?
Some bloody thing went bang, wull someone tell me whit?
An’ whit of a’ the bodies still doon in the black hole?
Whit a price we’ve hud tae pey the day, whit a bloody price fur coal.

Etta Morrison (Gray) Born 1 Dixon Street, Dixon’s Rows, Blantyre.


Etta told me that she based her poem on an actual family that suffered loss on that day, 22nd October 1877.


If you have any Poems… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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