Union Songs

The Birchgrove Park

A poem by Merv Lilley©Merv Lilley 1963
Tune by Bill Berry

- [play]

The night fell dark on the quiet sea
The Birchgrove Park rode restlessly
A collier on the short run down
Of nineteen men there were eight men who drowned

A sudden lurch as she slid below
The way that all the colliers go
If home bound men had battened down
There’d be eight good men who would not have drowned

Oh Sydney waters are green and cold
Take life from men with a freezing hold
They say that men on the colliers drown
When the cargo rolls – not battened down

Oh beckoning lights of Sydney Town
Still beckoning men as the ship goes down
It is for the love of your winking lights
That colliers drown on lonely nights


Many thanks to Merv Lilley for permission to add this poem to the Union Songs collection.

Bill Berry sings this song on the MUA centenary CD "With These Arms" accompanied by Tom Flood on harmonica

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