Union Songs

The San Jose Mine

A song by Jack Warshaw ©Jack Warshaw 2010

Estoy Frank Lobos Ramirez
I work in the San Jose Mine
Thirty two compañeros are with me
Down at the end of this line
We sweat where the sun never shines
In the land where copper is king
Buried way down in the mine
We wait and we hope and we sing

Go tell my sweetheart I love her
Give her this letter I write
God only knows if we’ll make it
Out of this dark endless night

Ten years I’ve been driving this tunnel
Loading the rich copper ore
To make the bright metal we treasure
And count up my wages once more
The company suppressed all the warnings
Miners have died here it’s true
They said it was safe to continue
It depends on your point of view


We know that our loved ones are waiting
Day and night keeping watch overhead
They tell tender stories about us
We sing and write letters instead
Simpatico is our fair country
Simpatico sweethearts and wives
Give thanks to our people so gentle
Who dream they may see us alive


It was early one morning in August
The main shaft started to groan
Next moment without any warning
There was ten million tons of stone
Will the company learn by experience
Will our brothers be safe from now on
Or will it be adios compañeros
Down in the San Jose mine

Final Chorus


Many thanks to Jack Warshaw for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection

Jack writes:
'Press report 29 August 2010: The Chilean mine collapse was the result of a race for profits by mine owners at a boom time in the price of copper and gold, combined with a scandalous disregard for safety, according to trade unionists. Former football player Frank Lobos Ramirez is one of the trapped miners.'

See more of Jack Warshaw's work in this collection.

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