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The Avondale Mine Disaster, song lyrics

Song: The Avondale Mine Disaster
Lyrics: Unknown

Music: Unknown
Year: 1869 or early 1870's
Genre: Ballad
Country: USA

Good Christians all, both great and small,
    I pray you lend an ear,
And listen with attention while
    The truth I will declare;
When you hear this lamentation,
    I will cause you to weep and wail,
About the suffocation
    In the mines of Avondale.

On the sixth day of September,
    Eighteen sixty-nine,
Those miners all then got a call
    To go work in the mine;
But little did they think that (day)
    That death would soon prevail
Before they would return again
    From the mines of Avondale.
This song was originally posted on
The women and their children,
    Their hearts were filled with joy,
To see their men go to their work
    Likewise every boy;
But a dismal sight in broad daylight,
    Soon made them turn pale,
When they saw the breaker burning
    O'er the mines of Avondale.

From here and there, and everywhere,
    They gathered in a crowd,
Some tearing off their clothes and hair,
    And crying out aloud-
"Get out our husbands and our sons,
    Death He's going to steal
Their lives away without delay
    In the mines of Avondale."
This song was originally posted on
But all in vain, there was no hope
    One single soul to save,
For there is no second outlet
    From the subterranean cave.
No pen can write the awful fright
    And horror that prevailed,
Among those dying victims,
    In the mines of Avondale.

A consultation then was held,
    'Twas asked who'd volunteer
For to go down this dismal shaft,
    To seek their comrades dear;
Two Welshmen brave, without dismay,
    And courage without fail,
Went down the shaft, without delay,
    In the mines of Avondale.

When at the bottom they arrived,
    And thought to make their way,
One of them died for want of air,
    While the other in great dismay,
He gave a sign to hoist him up,
    To tell the dreadful tale,
That all was lost forever
    In the mines of Avondale.

Every effort then took place
    To send down some fresh air;
The men that next went down again
    They took of them good care;
They traversed through the chambers,
    And this time did not fail
In finding those dead bodies
    In the mines of Avondale.
This song was originally posted on
Sixty-seven was the number
    That in a heap were found,
It seemed that they were bewailing
    Their fate underneath the ground;
They found the father with his son
    Clasped in his arms so pale.
It was a heart rendering scene
    In the mines of Avondale.

Now to conclude, and make an end,
    Their number I'll pen down-
A hundred and ten of brave strong men
    Were smothered underground;
They're in their graves till this last day,
    Their widows may bewail,
And the orphans' cries they rend the skies
    All round through Avondale!


1 - The Avondale Mine Disaster occurred on September 6, 1869, at the anthracite coal mine near Plymouth, Pennsylvania, Luzerne County, USA, killing 110 men and boys.

2 - The song is incorrect, as both of the "Two Welshmen brave", Thomas Williams and David Jones, both died.