When the Coal Blew Away (Maurie [Moz] Mulheron Do you know how heavy the winds blow here? His smile was rising from ear to ear The old miner sat back, he'd a story that day About the time on the coast when the coal blew away All the mines around Bulli and further away Were being worked each week for only two to three days Just enough to stop them from getting the dole While the mine-owners secretly stockpiled the coal cho: The winds were so heavy on the coast that day The winds were so heavy that the coal blew away! So the miners formed a strong picket line To try and stop the coal from leaving the mine From Sydney they trucked in the scabs each day With police on guard to keep the miners at bay With scabs loading coal by the railway track The miners stepped forward, the mood blacker than black The sergeant stood between them with a gun and a sneer I'll shoot the first Commie who tries to interfere! cho: A fifty ton load was sent on its way Scheduled for Sydney the very next day The miners withdrew, full of anger, despair No victory this time, no hope in the air The train slowed down just near Waterfall The guard heard laughter and this is what he saw From a wagon some miners jumped onto the track With shovels, grins and faces smeared black cho: With his lantern he searched up and down the train No coal could be seen, he searched in vain And the headlines in the paper read the very next day The winds were so heavy, the coal blew away! Now as you listen to my story today You might think it strange that coal could blow away But the miners with their shovels in the wagon that night Swear it is true and I reckon they're right cho: The winds were so heavy on the coast that day The winds were so heavy that the coal blew away! notes: Maurie Mulheron writes "Great true story about a union victory down here in the Illawarra that occurred in September 1938 at the Old Corn Beef Mine. The story is told in the song. After the scabs had loaded the coal, 8 miners stowed away on the train and spent the next couple of hours shovelling out the scab coal onto the track as the train headed north to Sydney. The next day, when the police investigated, the Miners Federation explained to them that they knew nothing about the missing coal. By way of explanation, the union suggested that it could have been the heavy winds that had blown the night before! The "Bulli Times" ran a headline: "THE COAL THAT BLEW AWAY". By the way, after the coal had been shovelled off the train by the 'stowaway' miners, the Detective-Sergeant raced down to Thirroul the next day to interview the miners. An astute fellow, he visited Arthur McDonald, one of the miners. "Don't insult my intelligence," said the policeman, "by trying to make me believe that the bloody wind on the South Coast blew all that coal away. We think you bastards did it." Copyright Maurie Mulheron 1996 MG Apr98
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