This recording by Peter, Paul and Mary is my favourite of the
60s Folk Revival versions of this song.

Over the years there were three major disasters at the Springhill Mine. The last one was in 1958 or thereabouts.


FOR JIMB — 7 Comments

  1. The song is so very moving.

    What a terrible disaster – as are all the mining disasters through the years.

    I do not understand how it is that we tolerate the safety infractions (as noted in the post below). This is one reason I believe capitalism to be a true evil. Why, as a society, we don’t see it is something I can never comprehend.

  2. Capitalism is a true evil, but I think human beings are very much “out of sight, out of mind”, aren’t they? We’re all guilty of that (well, I am). If you don’t see the damage at first hand it’s easy to pretend it isn’t there.

  3. I wonder, did we fail as badly as it seems? I still sing this song, I am the last performer I know of still singing the old freedom songs. I think the songs and I am an embarrassment to whites who want to think we passed a civil rights law so that is no longer a problem and blacks who want to forget the white folks who were marching too.

    And yet, miners still die, most of the in socialist China and Boliva where English and American liberals do not have to think about them, Africans starve in Africa, and face massive prejudice in North America and Europe. The prejudice is actually worse in China or so I read.

    Resurrection happened. We live in the age of the kingdom of God but we do not act like we do. Do we proclaim that the duty of America is to take responsibility for its company’s environmental disasters in India and elsewhere or that Canadians could treat Mexico like Canada? That England has residual responsibility for the mess in Nigera and its consumption if their oil? Nope, we obsess over Tiger Woods’ attempt to win the masters and the obvious major issue for mankind, the sex life of Mary Glasspool.

    On another rather more conservative blog, the authors re-posted a piece written by Bp. Wright about proclaiming resurrection. The bishop has a point, and what is the response? Yup, the holier-than-god types obsessing over the word “Easter” and its undoubted pagan roots.

    It is cold and grey in Chicago today. And I am feeling bleak in my soul.


  4. Buy lots of Billy Bragg, Chumbawamba, Chris Wood and Waterboys records, Jim. There’s still an undercurrent of socialism in England. Perhaps because we never wore ourselves out fighting against apartheid and Vietnam like you had to in the US.

    In fact, with the Labour Party now slightly right of Margaret Thatcher, being a militant socialist is not only cool in the UK, it must be the default position of the artistically inclined.

  5. Always difficult for me to comment on this stuff. I remember clearly as a child being woken in the middle of the night with the pit rep. banging on the door to tell us there had been a roof fall and my father was one of those trapped…and then to understand what Thatcher did to him in the 84/5 strike.
    A very appropriate reminder as the election bandwagons get underway.