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Avondale Mine Disaster

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The Avondale Mine Disaster

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The Avondale Mine Disaster
Good Christians all, both great and small,
  I pray you lend an ear,
And listen with attention
  While the truth I will declare;
When you hear this lamentation,
  'Twill cause you to weep and wail,
About the suffocation
  In the mines of Avondale.
On the sixth day of September,
  Eighteen sixty-nine,
Those miners all then got a call
  To go work in the mine;
But little did they think that [day]
 That death would soon prevail
Before they would return again from
The mines of Avondale.
The women and their children,
  Their hearts were filled with joy
To see their men go to their work
 Likewise every boy;
But a dismal sight in broad daylight,
  Soon made them turn pale,
When thev saw the breaker burning
  O'er the mines of Avondale.
From here and there and everywhere
  They gathered in a crowd,
Some tearing off their clothes and hair,
  And crying pout aloud;
"Get out our husbands and our sons
  Death he's going to steal
Their lives away without delat
In the mines of Avondale"

But all in vain, there was no hope
  One single soul to save,
For there is no second outlet
  From the subterranean cave.

No pen can write the awful fright
  And horror that prevailed,
Among those dying victims,
 In the mines of Avondale.

A consultation then was held.
  'Twas asked who'd volunteer
For to go down this dismal shaft
  To seek their comrades dear;

Two Welshmen brave, without dismay,
  And courage withouc fail,
Went down the shaft, without delay,
  In the mines of Avondale.
When at the bottom they arrived,
 And thought to make their way,
One of them died for want of air,
 While the other, in great dismay,

He gave a sign to hoist him up,
 To tell the dreadful tale,
That all were lost forever
 In the mines of Avondale.

Every effort then took place
  To send down some fresh air;
The men that next went down again
  They took of them good care;

And traversed through the chambers,
  And this time did not fail
In finding those dead bodies
 In the mines of Avondale.

Sixty-seven was the number
  That in a heap were found.
It seemed that they were bewailing
  Their fate underneath the ground;

They found the father with his son
  Clasped in his arms so pale.
It was a heart-rending scene
  In the mines of Avondale.

Now to conclude, and make an end,
  Their number I'll pen down-
A hundred and ten of brave strong men
  Were smothered underground ;

They're in their graves till the last day,
  Their widows may bewail,
And the orphans' cries they rend the skies
  All around through Avondale!

From Pennsylvania Songs and Legends, Korson
Collected from John J. Quinn, PA 1946
DT #713
Laws G6
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