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Canny Miner Lad

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Canny Miner Lad

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Canny Miner Lad
(Ian Campbell)

It's up in the morning and out afore dawn
Wi' your moleskin breeks and your pitboots on
And the sleep in your eyes from the night just gone
He's a fine lad, a canny lad, the miner

It's out of the frost and up through the toon,
Wi' your breath like smoke in the morning gloom,
And you meet wi' your mates at the pithead soon,
He's a fine lad, a canny lad, the miner.

Ye have your last drag o' the day at the gate,
Then it's into the cage you crowd wi' your mates,
Then you drop like a stone to the dark and the heat,
He's a fine lad, a canny lad, the miner.

At first the road's good and you get a move on,
But nearer the face the seam narrows down,
And you're scabbing your back on the roof ere long,
He's a fine lad, a canny lad, the miner.

Whether you're hewing or filling the tub,
Or putting the trams backs along to the road,
It's a hellish hard way to earn your grub,
He's a fine lad, a canny lad, the miner.

There's dust in your eyes and your nose and your hair,
And you're sweating and striving and straining for air,
You've got corns on your hands and your knees rubbed bare,
He's a fine lad, a canny lad, the miner.

Now it's time for your bate, so you eat it and then
There's time for a few minutes crack wi' the men,
Then you're back on the job and you're sweating again,
He's a fine lad, a canny lad, the miner.

When you think you've worked all the hours God sends,
And you fear that you're likely to go round the bend,
Then it's time to come up and breathe fresh air again,
He's a fine lad, a canny lad, the miner.

copyright Melody Trails
From Joseph and Winter, New English Broadsides
SOF
oct97
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