Protest Song Lyrics (logo)
Protest Song Lyrics Song lyrics categories Social Justice songs by Year Top 10 songs Musical Links About Protest Songs website

The Hard Working Miner, song lyrics

Song: The Hard Working Miner
Lyrics: Patrick J. O'Neill

Music: to the tune of "I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day"
Year: c. 1870 or later(1)
Country: USA(2)

I'm a hard working miner, you can see by my hands,
Although I am friendly and free.
A dollar a day is a very small pay
For a man with a large family.
I didn't come here, boys, to boast or to brag,
But just for to tell you my troubles,
I work day and night and the world I must fight
And load coal with my pick and my shovel.

I work in the mines where the sun never shines
Nor daylight does ever appear;
With me lamp blazing red on the top of my head
And in danger I never know fear.

Just think of the poor man, who works in the mines
With the mules and the rats underground;
Where the smoke is so thick you can cut it with a stick,
And can weigh it on scales by the pound.
My face it is black from the dust of the coal,
Though my heart it is open and free;
I would share my last loaf with the man that's in want,
Though I earn it hard you can see.
This song was originally posted on

Now, my kind friends, I will bid you good-bye;
I cannot stay here any longer,
I'll pick up my pack, throw it o'er my back,
And I think I will make my road shorter,
I have a wife and small family at home in the house,
And to meet me I'm sure they'll be glad,
They will stand at the door when I'm on my way home,
And they'll say to their mama, "here's dad."


1 - This was written during the Long Depression of 1873-1896.

2 - Assumed to be from the United states because of the reference to a "dollar".