King Billy Sessions
  Plodder seam  

Coal seamThe Plodder Seam is a wicked seam
It's part of the Trencher Bone;
It's hot and there's three feet of shale Between
the coal and the rocky stone.
You can smell the smoke from the fires of Hell
Deep under Ashton Town,
O, the Plodder Seam is a wicked seam
It's a mile and a quarter down.

Thirteen-hundred tons a day
Are taken from that mine;
There's a ton of dirt to a ton of rock
And a gallon of sweat and grime.
You crawl behind the cutters
And you scrabble for the coal,
I'd rather sweep the streets
Than have to burrow like a mole.

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The words and music of this song were written by Ewan MacColl just before the Second World War for a group of young Lancashire miners. It has now passed into the oral tradition, and has been collected in several versions.


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