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The Avondale Disaster Come all my fellow Christians, And listen to my tale, And as I sing, pray drop a tear For the deaths of Avondale. 'Twas the sixteenth of September In eighteen sixty-nine; I never shall forget the date Until the end of time. One hundred and eight men Went in the mines, as I am told, Not thinking that before the eve in death they would all lie cold. They left their homes and friends so dear That morning cheerfully And worked along till half-past ten, When the fire they tirst did see. It quickly passed up through the shaft As if propelled by fate; 'Twas then they tried to save their lives, But, alas, it was too late! What they then said or what they done, No one on earth may know; No one may know their harm, Agony, or woe. The breakers burned above them, And, though their friends were brave, 'Twas madness then to try to help, No hand but God's could save. The news of the sad accident The valley soon went round, And quick their fellow miners Came flocking to the ground. The miners' little children, Their darling wives likewise, The hills around them did resound To their sad and mournful cries. To hear those women weeping, And to note their sighs and moans, It would cause your eyes to fill with tears, If your heart was made of stone, . Saying, "Husband, dearest husband, Indeed I am bereft, Since you have gone from this bright world In sorrow I am left." And children in their innocence As through the crowd they ran, Saying, "Tell me, where's my father, Why does he not come home? "What makes the people gather round And mama droop her head?" Alas, they didn't know their papa Was numbered with the dead. They worked along that night And all of the next day; The furnace like a central fire Had all burned away. Their friends and fellow miners To save them they did strive; Among them Jones and Williams Who nobiy lost their lives. Their bodies were all found at last, As on the ground they lie, All ciustered there together In company to die. Among them aged fathers With children in their arms, As if through death's cold valley They would shield them from harm. I never shall forget the sight As through the shaft they came, While weeping friends stood waiting by Their cold remains to claim. And as their souls ascended To God who gave them brcath, They plead against the company Whose greed had caused their death. The widow and the orphant For sympathy we crave, While weeping o'er their loved ones Lying silent in their graves. O may the Lord in pity Never let his mercy fail; Be a father to the orphant, A friend to Avondale. Ballads and Songs of Michigan, Gardner Collected from Mrs. Charles Muchler, MI 1913 DT #784 Laws G7 RG oct96
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