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William Barras (1803 – 1835) Songtext
von Manning

William Barras (1803 – 1835) Songtext

Down from the sunlight, boys, swinging in a cage
Life underground mirrors the black face mole
Bathed in shadow light

Beat the drum, boys, dust and misery
For a farthing at Wallsend colliery

Out in the morning, we'll be far, far away
From lamps in the burrows
To clear blue overhead with our families

So, beat the drum boys, black coal takers
One more round and we'll make it home again
Over the hills, over the hills

Down in the tunnels where devils may lie
There's no one to turn to, my Marra and I
Counting our pieces like hand crafted gold
Hearing our hearts like the hammers of old
Strike, strike, strike upon the seam
Strike, strike and try not hit a beam

Crouched like some victims and forcing our way
Up through the mixture of iron and clay under toe


Then in a second, a moment of cold
An instant of silence has taken control of my soul
Of my soul under the hills

So, beat the drum boys, black coal takers
There's no more time for memory makers here

There's nothing moving and I can't feel my legs
I hear someone breathing and there's a Davy by my head
Is anyone else alive down here?
Help is on its way, never fear boys

Minutes passing slowly in the damp and the black
There's no more moving from the wall at the back
Will they get to the shaft base in time?
Ponies and dead bodies in the gloom and grime

Imagine myself in the noon day sun
Or standing in the summers rain
Will I ever be home again?
I'm locked beneath a frame

I'll run wild through the trees and the hay
And wash in the northern seas
If God is on our side this time
He'll never let Auld Nick take me away

There's no one coming to set us free
We're all alone now, just Jack and me

Imagine myself in the noon day sun
Or standing in the summer's rain
Will I ever be home again?
I'm locked beneath a frame

I'll run wild through the trees and the hay
And wash in the northern seas
If God is on our side this time
He'll never let Auld Nick take me away

Down in the tunnels where devils may lie
There's only the ghosts of my Marra and I
Guarding the pieces like hand crafted gold
Echoes of axes like hammers of old
Strike, strike, strike upon the seam
Strike, strike and try not hit a beam

The pit mouth was sealed
And the town moved away
Leaving the mixture of iron and clay far below
Below under the hills

So, beat the drum boys, black coal takers
There's no more time for memory makers here

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von Manning

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