Digital Tradition Mirror

Durham Lockout

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Durham Lockout
(Tommy Armstrong)

In our Durham County, I am sorry for to say
That hunger and starvation is increasing every day
For the want of food and coals, we know not what to do
But with your kind assistance, we will stand the struggle through

I need not state the reason why we have been brought so low
The masters have behaved unkind, as everyone well know
Because we won't lie down and let them treat us as they like
To  punish us they've stopped their pits and caused  the  present

The pulley wheel have ceased to move which went so swift around
The horses and the ponies too are brought from underground
Our work is taken from us now, they care not if we die
For they can eat the best of food and drink the best when dry

The miner and his marra, too, each morning have to roam
To seek for bread to feed the hungry little ones at home
The flour barrel is empty now, their true and faithful friend
Which makes the thousands wish today the strike was at an end

We have done our very best as honest working men
To let the pits commence again, we've offered to them ten
The offer they will not accept, they firmly do demand
Thirteen and a half percent or let the collieries stand

Let them stand or let them lie to do with them as they choose
To give them thirteen and a half we ever shall refuse
They're always willing to receive, but never inclined to give
Very soon they won't allow a working man to live

With tyranny and capital they never seem content
Unless they are endeavoring to take from us percent
If it was due, what they request, we willingly would grant
We know it's not, therefore we cannot give them what they want

The miners of Northhumberland, we shall forever praise
For being so kind in helping us, those tyrannizing days
We thank the other counties too, that have been doing the same
For every man who hears this song will know we're not to blame

by Tommy Armstrong (1848-1919)
recorded on Tommy Armstrong of Tyneside (Topic)

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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