Australian Folk Songs

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Song Of The Miners (1917)

We dig and delve in the darksome mine,
With a flickering candle near;
We delve and dig 'mid the dust and grime
In the long black galleries drear.

And above in the air, in his carriage and pair,
The proud lord rolls along;
He spends our gold, for our strength is sold
To him through injustice and wrong.

We toil and moil while o'er naked limbs
The water trickles and glides;
We moil and toil till our life nought seems
Save a woe that on earth long abides.

And above heaven rings, as the blithe lark sings,
But our children moan and weep,
For the rich man takes what each miner makes
In the pit so dark and deep.

We hew and hammer; each stroke of the pick
Makes fuel for furnace and hearth;
We hammer and hew, that iron made quick
May run to the ends of the earth.

And our brothers in toil who delve in the soil,
Or work 'mid the factory's roar,
Like us are all bound to toil the year round,
While the rich cry ever for more.

But we live and we love, and our tyrants shall learn
We are men with passions and might;
We love and we live, and our rough hearts yearn,
For the day that shall follow our night:

When we'll live joyous lives with our children and wives,
No longer debased by our toil,
Whan each man shall take what each man shall make--
In the pit, the mill, or the soil.

--W. H. UTLEY.


From the NSW Newspaper the International Socialist 27 Jan 1917 p. 1.

This song comes from the collection 'Chants of Labor' first published in 1888. In that collection the last line of each verse is repeated.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory