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Midlothian Mining Song

[ Roud - ; trad.]

Aaron Jones sang the Midlothian Mining Song in 2009 on the 2Duos (now Litha) CD Until the Cows Come Home. They noted:

Scotland's once thriving mining industry employed tens of thousands of people. This song tells of the mines around the city of Edinburgh, Aaron's home for nearly twenty years. A perilously dangerous occupation, accidents and deaths within the mines happened on an almost daily basis. Aaron got this version from the fantastic singing and playing of George Duff, a stalwart of the city's music scene. Although listed as traditional, we must thank singer/guitarist Rod Patterson who reworked the original melody and lyrics for his version on the classic 1984 Easy Club recording The Easy Club.

This video shows them on BBC Alba (Horo Gheallaidh) in 2010:


Aaron Jones sings the Midlothian Mining Song

Come all Midlothian mining men and listen unto me
You know how we are so oppressed by others' tyranny
For improvement of the mines no leisure time is found
Our children go neglected while we're working underground

From Newtongrange and Arniston, from Polton to Gorebrig
From Birkenside to Lasswade, Cockpen and Bonnyrigg
From Rosewell to Newbattle the Lothian men all say
Were no the likes of other men that work eight hours a day

Our masters are tyrannical that we must confess
For they over tax their workmen and do them so repress
No other occupation so dangerous is found
We cannot call our lives our own when working underground


The sailor he does plough the main and perils does go through
But he sees the danger coming which a miner cannot do
With fallen roofs and fire damp the records can be found
How hundreds yearly lost their lives while working underground

(repeat first verse and chorus)