Union Songs

Ballad Of The Westgate Disaster

A song by Lyall Sayer©Lyall Sayer

The great bridge stands in the morning sun
And the welders flash and the diesels hum,
The men who have come from many lands
Are building the future with hard working hands.

For the Westgatc Bridge had long been planned
And great ships would sail under its lofty span,
A graceful arch of concrete and steel
And beneath men started their mid-day meal.

But what use is the power to think and feel
When flesh is weaker than concrete and steel
And as they dig the strong men cry
And all men stand and wonder why.

And as men work in the span overhead
They hear a sound which fills them with dread,
The span falls apart as if cut by a knife
And into the river men jump for their life.

With a howling roar and a plummeting rush
The great span falls to kill and crush.
With a great gust of wind like a giant's breath,
It had been their life now it was their death.

The bodies of men lie deep in the mud
And the waters below are stained with blood.
The span had struck like the crash of doom.
What they built with pride had become their tomb.

So remember the men who died on that day
And build with safety all of the way
For no matter how large, or costly or grand
No bridge is worth more than the life of a man.


Many thanks to Lyall Sayer for permission to add this songs to the Union Songs collection.

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