2011-07-31

Ballad of Springhill Nova Scotia

U2's Bono sang a verse of the Ballad of Springhill tonight at Magnetic Hill in Moncton. And rightly so, as Springhill, Nova Scotia, is only 95km away. Deep coal mines can be deadly, and the one in Sprinhill was no exception. 1958 was the last time that the "coal was covered in blood and bone" under Springhill, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.

  Version sung by Bono's inspiration: Luke Kelly



Version sung by Bono on Irish TV (and at some of his concerts in 1987).


If you are reading this today, Sunday, July 31st, 2011, you might want to head to Springhill for their music festival. There will be a singalong of the song at 5:30PM at Lions Park.

And don't miss the museum (I've never been).

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According to Wikipedia, some of the surviving minors were offered a free trip to Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Unfortunately for the sole black survivor, he had to stay in a trailer, segregated from his white coworkers.

The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster

In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia
Down in the dark of the Cumberland Mine
There's blood on the coal and the miners lie
In the roads that never saw sun nor sky. (x2)

In the town of Springhill, you don't sleep easy
Often the earth will tremble and roar
When the earth is restless, miners die
Bone and blood is the price of coal. (x2)

In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia
Late in the year of fifty-eight
Day still comes and the sun still shines
(But it's) Dark as the grave in the Cumberland mine. (x2)

Down at the coal face, miners working
Rattle of the belt and the cutter's blade
Rumble of the rock and the walls closed round
(The) Living and the dead men two miles down. (x2)

Twelve men lay two miles from the pitshaft
Twelve men lay in the dark and sang
Long hot days in the miners tomb
(It was) Three feet high and a hundred long. (x2)

Three days past and the lamps gave out
And Caleb Rushton got up and and said
There’s no more water, or light, or bread
(So we'll) Live on song and hope instead. (x2)

Listen for the shouts of the barefaced miners
Listen thru the rubble for a rescue team
Six hundred feet of coal and slag
Hope imprisoned in a three foot seam. (x2)

Eight days passes and some were rescued
Leaving the dead to lie alone
Thru all their lives they dug their grave
Two miles of earth for a marking stone. (x2)


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