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Author Mines in music
toadstone

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Joined: 10/09/2007
Location: Father's Dwelling, Big Low

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Mines in music
Posted: 17/09/2011 08:45:08
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The Folk music genre will I think supply the greatest source of material as AR has eluded to. Might be an idea to create a section to cover this encompassing all music genre?

Anyway here are the words of 2 songs I used to perform when I was an itinerant amateur folk singer in my youth. I did sometime ago threaten the Landlord at the Cock & Pullet (Sheldon) that I would give a rendition of said songs but never seemed to have managed it Sad

The first one is sadly very topical and I do apologise if it hits a nerve with anyone.

The Sun And The Moon (Bill Lowndes)

• Chorus:
The people who walk about never ask why
While the rich ones could live while your poor daddy died
If they should ask me, Lord, I'd only cry
Because the sun and the moon tumbled down from the sky

•Whisht, my baby, dinnae you cry
The sun and the moon tumbled down from the sky
Your daddy's away, he'll no be back
He died in the mine when the timbering cracked

•Sometimes he was bad, sometimes he was good
But he worked like a devil down there for our food
Sometimes we were happy, sometimes we would sing
Sometimes together our bodies would cling


•Whisht, my baby, it's time now to rest
I'm tryin' to think what to dae for the best
'Cause the poorhouse is waitin' if I can't pay the rent
And the pittance I got when he died is all spent

•Ach, whisht, my baby, we'll up and away
We'll no stay here one more sad lonely day
We'll go to your gran's where you'll grow up so tall
When you're a man you'll be wisest of all

•Final chorus:
And you'll stand up and tell all those foolish ones why
Why the rich ones could live while your poor daddy died
Ay, you stand up so tall, hold your head high
Put back the sun and the moon in the sky



The second song is called the Song of the Derbyshire Man. I learnt from an old reel to reel recording off one of the very early BBC Folk programs supplied by a Potter friend of mine. Sadly the recording is long gone, however it does exist via myself the words are:


When I was a young man I heard the old tales
Stories and legends of Derbyshire Dales
Of forests and mountains, with rivers decendin'
The warm lights of Castleton when day is endin'.

Chorus
Song of the Derbyshire man
Living his life the best way he can
Here's to the miner, the farmer, the limer
Song of the Derbyshire man.

Well me Mothers an ore crusher down Monyash way
Me Fathers a smelter as many would say
Now me being nimble and that way inclined
They very soon had me down to the lead mining.

Chorus

Well I met pretty Nelly in Buxton Parade
Ah she was a beauty, rock crusher by trade
And soon we were married and now we've a daughter
All livin' in a cottage in Ashford in the Water

Chorus

Well I've worked in the toadstone b'in wet in the shale
Dug flurospar and Blue John and filled up me pail
Seen underground waters with many reflections
from Matlock to Tideswell and other directions

Chorus

Farewell to the Magpie just like an old whore
You've worked out your levels, you've washed out your ore
And now I'm a freeman in my chair reclinin'
I'll never go back again to the lead minin'

Chorus


Just thought of another, "Fourpence a day me lads" but I think it might have been covered by AR's "Come all you bold miners"

Peter.

IP: 81.138.10.87 Edited: 19/09/2011 16:08:05 by toadstone
dwarrowdelf

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Joined: 09/02/2011
Location: Lost in Cwmorthin...and Oakeley too !!

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Mines in music
Posted: 17/09/2011 13:25:03
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Yes! it just goes to show that mining has always been a potentially dangerous activity. And as for hitting a nerve, some of these mining folk songs certainly do! Sometimes music is the only way to come to terms with tragic events and I believe this was a major function of authentic folk songs of the past, many of which are very sad.

On a more academic note, I would very much like to hear the melodies the above songs were set to and will try and investigate this in due course. Many classical composers of the early 20th century both in this country and also notably in Russia, incorporated authentic folk melodies into their own works, thereby preserving them for later generations so to speak.


--

'no one dares to seek the shafts and treasuries down in the deep places: they are drowned in water- or in a shadow of fear.'
IP: 93.97.118.21 Edited: 17/09/2011 15:52:54 by dwarrowdelf
dwarrowdelf

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Mines in music
Posted: 17/09/2011 14:10:16
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On a different, but related topic, it would be an interesting to record some of the sounds in the slate mines and subsequently incorporate them into experimental music.
(I don't have the expertise to do this myself though)

On one occasion, I remember hearing the distant dripping of water a fair way into the Wrysgan slate quarry, and it seemed to me like the distant echoing of unknown footsteps, or the sound of children's voices heard afar off. I did not pursue these sounds to their origins, however, as I felt this would break their undeniable magic....

Although in reality it was probably because I lacked a pair of wellies at the time! Wink

--

'no one dares to seek the shafts and treasuries down in the deep places: they are drowned in water- or in a shadow of fear.'
IP: 93.97.118.21
Roy Morton

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Mines in music
Posted: 18/09/2011 02:49:39
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The Beegees - New York Mining Disaster 1941 released in 1967
Weren't they from the valleys?

--

'Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear'
IP: 81.151.45.234
Tamarmole

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Location: Tamar Valley

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Mines in music
Posted: 18/09/2011 09:30:54
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I was suprised how few folk songs there are about metal mining. When we were putting together the mining sequences for the Edwardian farm TV series we ended up with "a mining we will go my boys" which was the best of a very limited bunch. IP: 81.155.199.93
Vanoord

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Mines in music
Posted: 18/09/2011 09:44:29
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Chicago: "Saturday in the Parc"

Thin Lizzy: "Hafna Good Time"

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel: "Make Me Smile (Cwmorthin Up and See Me)"


--

Filling space until a new signature comes along...
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toadstone

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Mines in music
Posted: 18/09/2011 09:49:30
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Tamarmole wrote:

I was suprised how few folk songs there are about metal mining. When we were putting together the mining sequences for the Edwardian farm TV series we ended up with "a mining we will go my boys" which was the best of a very limited bunch.


I would go with that, most tend to reflect coal mining as that was a major industry in comparison to metal. Perhaps it was just that the metal boys didn't make a song & dance about what they did Laugh Sorry that came out of nowhere!

If I can remember getting my fingers around the guitar chords I'll try to do a recording of Derbyshire Man.

Peter.
IP: 86.152.231.233
dwarrowdelf

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Mines in music
Posted: 18/09/2011 10:00:51
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Any folk songs about slate mining, or are these thin on the ground as well?


--

'no one dares to seek the shafts and treasuries down in the deep places: they are drowned in water- or in a shadow of fear.'
IP: 93.97.118.21 Edited: 18/09/2011 10:01:58 by dwarrowdelf
Tamarmole

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Mines in music
Posted: 18/09/2011 10:09:58
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Over the years I've written one or two metal mining related songs, the best of the bunch being "The Entombment of Rule and Bant" (tune lifted from the "Star of County Down"):

V1: In eighty nine down in Drakewalls mine, down in the forty backs,
two men were clearing a run of ground when the timbers above them cracked,
the timbers they creaked and the timbers they groaned,
the timbers they bent and they bowed,
and with a bloody great crack the timbers broke and the sand began to flow.

Chorus: Down it came, down it came,
an avalanche of sand,
it buried poor Rule and Bant beyond the help of man.

The song (dirge) continues for another three verses, (fortunately with a better outcome than recent events) however I won't inlict them on you. It probably demonstrates why I manage a tourist mine and am not a musician Big Grin
IP: 81.155.199.93
parkus

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Mines in music
Posted: 18/09/2011 12:19:57
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Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but Dropkick Murphys - Buried Alive. IP: 90.245.52.63
Yorkshireman

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Location: Hanover, Germany

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Mines in music
Posted: 18/09/2011 14:19:53
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Here's a Merle Travis song - it's coal mining again, but the last verse does mention slate Smile

DARK AS A DUNGEON
(Merle Travis)

Come all you young fellers so young and so fine
And seek not your fortune in the dark, dreary mine
It will form as a habit and seep in your soul
'Til the blood of your veins runs as black as the coal

Where it's dark as the dungeon and damp as the dew
Where the dangers are many and the pleasures are few
Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines
It's dark as the dungeon way down in the mines

It's many a man I have seen in my day
Who lived just to labor his whole life away
Like a fiend with his dope or a drunkard his wine
A man must have lust for the lure of the mine

I hope when I'm gone and the ages do roll
My body will blacken and form into coal
Then I'll look down from the door of my Heavenly home
And pity the miner a-digging my bones

The midnight, the morning, the breaking of day
Are the same to the miner who labors away.
Where the demons of death often come by surprise,
One slip of the slate and you're buried alive.
IP: 91.43.102.117
mikebee62

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Mines in music
Posted: 18/09/2011 17:08:04
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Roy Morton wrote:

The Beegees - New York Mining Disaster 1941 released in 1967
Weren't they from the valleys?


Hi Roy , I do believe the BeeGees , were from the valleys of Chorlton , Manchester Laugh

--

'Of cause its safe, just dont touch anything !!'
IP: 81.129.71.94
AR

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Location: Knot far from Knotlow in the middle of the Peak District

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Mines in music
Posted: 18/09/2011 21:20:49
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dwarrowdelf wrote:

Any folk songs about slate mining, or are these thin on the ground as well?


The survival of folk songs from the mines has been patchy, even from the coal mines. The great bulk of them come from the North-East and I wouldn't like to say whether this was an accident of recording or down to a stronger local tradition of songwriting. The metal/stone mines may or may not have had traditions of celebrating themselves in song, there's mention that the Peak lead miners had "their own songs" that they sang on the miner's holiday, but only about three complete songs (words only) and a few fragments have survived. The North Pennine song "Fourpence a Day" lasted long enough in folk tradition for its tune to be recorded as well, but that's a real rarity.

I'm slightly surprised that little song came out of the Cumbrian mines as there's a strong tradition of hunting songs in that area, but maybe the lakeland miners preferred to sing about what they did in their leisure time rather than at work!

As for the Welsh slate mines, is there a strong secular song tradition in the area or did the chapel form the creative focus for those of a musical bent?


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I am currently out of the office on leave and travelling through time but will respond to your message when I return last week.
IP: 81.132.143.183
Manicminer

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Mines in music
Posted: 18/09/2011 21:35:00
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Most slate/coal mine areas had a male voice choir. Some of them even sang underground.

--

Gold is where you find it
IP: 95.147.254.252
Strangely Brown

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Mines in music
Posted: 19/09/2011 20:14:06
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dwarrowdelf wrote:

or the sound of children's voices heard afar off.


Oh good, it's not just me who's noted this then.

--

The light at the end of the tunnel is just another mine explorer.
IP: 88.96.57.38
SimonRL

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Mines in music
Posted: 19/09/2011 20:15:51
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owaincbrown wrote:

dwarrowdelf wrote:

or the sound of children's voices heard afar off.


Oh good, it's not just me who's noted this then.


In Wrysgan there might be a good reason to hear that!

--

You no worry about saftey. It no cause explosion yet.
IP: 95.147.254.149
SimonRL

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Mines in music
Posted: 19/09/2011 20:18:36
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Not in music, but in poetry. Always found this one, about the stuggles of the Welsh quarrymen, particularly evocative...

Rain and slate by T Llewelyn Williams

He sat quiet in the grey and jagged waste
With fingertips bruised in the riot of slate
When the east wind knife was ragged in marrow
And the truce of today in his strife with the rain
Would doubtless be broken tomorrow

No need to look as he came through the door
No words, no work, no hopes to soar,
Just wait, wait for the drying wind.

In the kitchen she waited,
In the kitchen she sat,
In the kitchen she listened to rain,
In the kitchen he died as she sat by his side
One cold, dry easterly day.

An epitaph rain accompanied the corpse
To a congested family grave
And there in due course we recorded the date
On - god forgive us -
A slate.


The book it comes from is here: http://www.word-power.co.uk/books/un-o-hiral-I9780955623004/

--

You no worry about saftey. It no cause explosion yet.
IP: 95.147.254.149
Roy Morton

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Mines in music
Posted: 20/09/2011 03:04:29
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Thanks for that Simon, I found it quite moving as well as evocative.

--

'Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear'
IP: 81.151.45.234
dwarrowdelf

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Posted: 23/09/2011 17:23:54
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Many thanks Simon, for posting the above poem. Most haunting and yes, I think the word is "evocative".

Do you know of any more slate mine related poems?

--

'no one dares to seek the shafts and treasuries down in the deep places: they are drowned in water- or in a shadow of fear.'
IP: 93.97.118.21 Edited: 23/09/2011 17:25:51 by dwarrowdelf
lipsi

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Mines in music
Posted: 24/09/2011 20:51:14
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Show of Hands - with "Cousin Jack" a story about the demise of metal mining in Cornwall
Martyn Joseph - with "Please Sir" the demise of coal mining in the Welsh Valleys
Martyn Joseph - with "Proud Valley Boy" the story of Paul Robeson supporting the Welsh Miners
Robert Smith - with "Union Mine Disaster" about the Union (Monument) Mine disaster in the Forest of Dean
Seth Lakeman - also covered Gresford Mine Disaster
Tennessee Ernie Ford - with "16 Tons"

--

Where there's a mine or a hole in the ground. That's where I'm heading for that's where I'm bound So follow me down Cousin Jack (Grateful thanks to Show of Hands)
IP: 86.173.132.205
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