The Ballad of Springhill

The band U2 pays tribute to The Dubliners’ late Luke Kelly in this great performance from 1987. This ballad was written by American folksinger Peggy Seeger and English singer Ewan McColl and recounts the story of the “1958 Bump” in Springhill, Nova Scotia.

The Ballad of Springhill

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 roads that never saw sun or sky,
Roads that never saw sun or sky

In the town of Springhill you don’t sleep easy,
Often the earth will tremble and roll,
When the earth is restless miners die,
Bone and blood is the price of coal,
Bone and blood is the price of coal.

In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia,
Late in the year of ’58,
The day still comes and the sun still shines,
But it’s dark as the grave in the Cumberland mine,
Dark as the grave in the Cumberland Mine.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Lakes of Pontchartrain

I was looking for version of The Lakes of Pontchartrain to post and so very happy to find this live video recording from just this summer. I wish I could have been at this gathering of talents. And I don’t know a much better example of the tradition than the way the music is shared here between the likes of the wonderful Mary Dillon, John Spillane, and others.

The Lakes of Pontchartrain

It was one fine March morning, I bid New Orleans Adieu
And I took the road to Jackson Town, my fortune to renew
I cursed all foreign money, no credit could I gain
Which filled my heart with a longing for, the Lakes of Pontchartrain

I stepped on board of a railroad car beneath the morning sun
I rode the rods till evening and I laid me down again
All strangers there no friends to me ’til a dark girl towards me came
And I fell in love with the Creole Girl, by the Lakes of Pontchartrain

I said “Me pretty Creole Girl, me money here’s no good,
If it weren’t for the alligators, I’d sleep out there in the wood”
“You’re welcome here kind stranger, from such sad thoughts refrain”
“For me Mammy welcomes strangers, by the Lakes of Pontchartrain”

Continue reading