Union Songs

The Black Diamond Disaster

A song by Phyl Lobl©Phyl Lobl 2005
Vocals Phyl Lobl
Arranged and accompanied by Michael Roberts
Flute: Chris Wheeler

- [play]

The Black Diamond Disaster

Black diamonds had been hunted at Kembla mine for years
A quest laced with danger that drew bitter tears
From wives and friends and children of the ninety six who died
When a rush of fire blasted through the Kembla mountainside,
The mountainside.

Bangalow & Sassafras, Cabbage Palm and Cedar
Witnessed the mine's hot breath burn the Casurina
Peppermint and Lilly Pilly caught the coal dust flight
When day turned to night.

A miner's light ignited in the thirty acre goaf,
Did profit motif close all minds to danger from the roof?
Wheelers, shifters, clippers and miners breathed the air
Filled with deadly afterdamp 'cause owners didn't care,
They didn't care.

The owner kept his distance and purse strings tight
He'd made his wealth from miners working with no safety light
Then chose to pay for churches to buy his soul a place
While compensation payments were a national disgrace.
A disgrace

Unions fought for justice through strikes and picket lines,
For miners' rights & wages and safety in the mines
I hope new working laws don't change the state of play
It must not be for nothing the miners died that day
Died that day.


Many thanks to Phyl Lobl for permision to add this song to the Union Songs collection.

Find more of Phyl's work in this collection

Visit Phyl's website at http://phyllobl.net/

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