Anthony Reilly

On Springthyme SPRCD 1002
John Watt & Davey Stewart - Shores of the Forth

Anthony Reilly, the first of three songs in John Watt & Davey Stewart's Mining Trilogy was written by Ivan Freiman and set to music by Archie Fisher. The song takes a cynical look at the reporting of mining disasters by the mass media. Eany Meany – a poem by John, highlights the migration South by thousands of families after the closure of many of the Fife coalfields. Schooldays Over – a fine song from the pen of Ewan MacColl deals with boys going down the pit for the first time.

1: As I made my way down the street to the colliery,
As I to my work was a-making my way;
I heard the sad news and I heard the men talking,
Young Anthony Reilly has worked his last day.

2: And old Emlyn Williams lies dead in the fan-house,
The roof has caved in and the sides have gave way;
It’ll be in the papers, splashed over the headlines,
What a big coup the newshounds will pocket this day.

3: Willing hands to the rescue of poor stricken comrades,
To move the big rocks and discover their fate;
Upon the next payday there’ll be a collection,
Not a newspaper owner will be there to donate.

4: It’s in the newspaper splashed over the headlines,
A capital story upon the front page;
But there’s blood on the girders in the old Parker fan-house,
And weeping dependents go with the cortege.

5: When the coal merchant calls and ye pay yer good money,
Count well the bags as he lays them aside;
Ye’ll be counting the cuts and the knocks and the bruises,
Ye’ll be counting the lives of the men who have died.

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