Song & Fiddle: Pound a Week Rise





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Published on Jul 1, 2011

I don't have a great voice but I do like singing and as I've just got myself a couple of nice condenser microphones I thought I'd try them out with a song.

This is "Pound a Week Rise" - a song about the miners' strike in the 1960s written by Ed Pickford (YouTube user folksinger43). I first heard this on John Doyle and Liz Carroll's album Double Play. This arrangement is similar to their arrangement with a driving guitar and a fiddle solo. However, I play in E minor (instead of F minor) and have put in the reel The Maple Leaf which I believe was written by Darach de Brun.

There's information about Lord Robens on Wikipedia:

The guitar is tuned Open-G (DGDGBD) with a capo on the second fret.


Come all of you colliers that work down the mine
From Scotland to South Wales, from Teesdale to Tyne
I'll sing you a song of a pound a week rise
And the men who were fooled by the Government's lies

And it's down you go, down below, Jack
Where you never see the sky
And you're working in a dungeon
For a pound a week rise

In nineteen sixty, a few years ago
The mineworkers' leaders to Lord Robens did go
Saying, "We work very hard, every day we risk our lives
And we ask you here and now for a pound a week rise"

Then up spoke Lord Robens, and he made this decree
"When the output rises then with you I will agree
To raise up all your wages, to give to you fair pay
For I was once a miner and I worked hard in my day"

So the miners they went home, they worked hard and well
With lungs full of coaldust in the bosom of hell
The output rose by sixteen, eighteen per cent and more
And after a year it had risen above a score

Then the miners they went to get their hard-won prize
To ask Lord Robens for their pound a week rise
Robens wouldn't give a pound, he wouldn't give ten bob
He gave them seven-and-six and said, "Get back to your job"

So come all of you colliers, take heed what I say
And don't believe Lord Robens when he says he'll give fair pay
For he'll tell you to work hard, to make the output rise
You'll get Pie in the Sky instead of a one pound rise

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