Culture

Poetry Corner: Working Man

On this day 26th August 1901 the Donibristle Mining Disaster occurred in the Fife coalfield. The disaster occurred when part of Mossmorran peat bog near Cowdenbeath collapsed on sixteen miners 360 feet underground.

Donibristle Mining Disaster

Four miners were lost, as was a four-strong rescue party. All the bodies were eventually recovered but some remained underground until the December of that year. ScotClans

Working Man

It’s a working man l am
And I’ve been down under ground
And I swear to God if l ever see the sun
Or for any length of time
I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down under ground

*********************

At the age of sixteen years
Oh, he quarrels with his peers
Who vowed they’d never see another one
In the dark recess of the mines
Where you age before your time
And the coal dust lies heavy on your lungs

******************************

It’s a working man l am
And I’ve been down under ground
And I swear to God if l ever see the sun
Or for any length of time
I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down under ground

****************************

At the age of sixty four
Oh, he’ll greet you at the door
And he’ll gently lead you by the arm
Through the dark recess of the mines
Oh, he’ll take you back in time
And he’ll tell you of the hardships that were had

************************
It’s a working man l am
And I’ve been down under ground
And I swear to God if l ever see the sun
Or for any length of time
I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down under ground

**********************************

It’s a working man l am
And I’ve been down under ground
And I swear to God if l ever see the sun
Or for any length of time
I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down under ground

***************************
It’s a working man l am
And I’ve been down under ground
And I swear to God if l ever see the sun
Or for any length of time
I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down under ground
God, I never again will go down under ground
Songwriters: Rita Macneil
Working Man lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

5 replies »

    • Hi Mari

      Alexander was my great, great grandfather. I am descended from his daughter Margaret who moved to Australia in the 1920s. So we must be distant cousins?

      • Hi Lyn. I’m one of Mari’s cousins, and I guess yours too. My dad (Alexander Smith) was named after his grandfather whom you referred to. After WWII my dad visited Australia and worked putting pipelines through the outback. His photographs are amazing from that time. I wonder if he looked up his relatives while in Australia, possibly your mother or father, whose mother would have been Margaret. So my dad would have been a cousin to one of your parents.

      • Actually I just realised you are one generation younger. If Alex Smith was your great great grandfather, then Margaret would have been your great grandmother. Are you still in Australia? My sister’s daughter moved to Melbourne from Canada years ago so you actually have a distant cousin living there from your generation!

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