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Gresford Disaster

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The Gresford Disaster

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The Gresford Disaster

You've heard of the Gresford Disaster,
Of the terrible price that was paid;
Two hundred and forty two colliers were lost,
And three of the rescue brigade.

It occurred in the month of September
At three in the morning the pit
Was racked by a violent explosion
In the Dennis where gas lay so thick.

Now the gas in the Dennis deep section
Was heaped there like snow in a drift,
And many a man had to leave the coal-face
Before he had worked out his shift.

Now a fortnight before the explosion,
To the shotfirer Tomlinson cried,
"If you fire that shot we'll be all blown to hell!"
And no one can say that he lied.

Now the fireman;s reports they are missing
The records of forty-two days;
The collier manager had them destroyed
To cover his criminal ways.

Down there in the dark they are lying.
They died for nine shillings a day;
They have worked out their shift and now they must lie
In the darkness until Judgement day.

Now the Lord Mayor of London's collecting
To help out the children and wives;
The owners have sent some white lilies
To pay for the poor colliers' lives.

Farewell all our dear wives and children
Farewell all our comrades as well,
Don't send your sons down the dark dreary pit
They'll be doomed like the sinners in hell.

Recorded by Ewan MacColl (Steam Whistle Ballads?)
Note: the Gresford disaster occurred on Friday, Sept. 22 1934.
     Actually, 265 miners died.RG
tune is another Botany Bay variant.
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