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Page 17

The Last Northumbrian Coal Mine

Six hundred years of sweat and toil
In that deep and dark abyss
The entrepreneur has spoken
Blown a tasteless goodbye kiss

Two hundred men and boys
Crushed and gassed and drowned
New Hartley, 1862
Beneath that cold, cold ground  

At Burradon, 1860
Seventy six were burnt and maimed
They were only slaves and chattels
No need to be ashamed

No sick pay, no such benefit
No mercy from the rich
Like the Paddies in the famine
Left to die within that ditch

Families torn asunder
Communities destroyed
Where the hell was the compassion?
The obligation’s null and void

We’ll not forget you Thatcher
And your heartless decimation
Your ultimate achievement
A bitter, divided nation

Northern coal helped build this country
While the Irish laid the rails
Betrayal comes easier than honour
All that’s left are old men’s tales