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CeltArctic Canadian disaster songs: research project (112* d) Lyr Add: DEATH AT GIANT MINE (Steve Lacey) 20 Jun 06

Here's one from my neck of the woods. In Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, during a terrible labour dispute at one of our gold mines, 9 men were killed in an explosion that was found to have been intentionally caused.

Steve Lacey of Yellowknife (who also sings with me in a quartette called Ceilidh Friends) wrote "The Death at Giant Mine" within a week of the disaster.


'Twas the eighteenth of September; 'twas the year of '92.
The strike had gone on far too long as Yellowknifers knew.
Some men had kept the picket line, while other men had crossed.
But no one in this city guessed how much the strike would cost.

CHORUS: A hard rock miner's work is cold and dangerous at best.
A man on strike still has to pay his bills like all the rest.
The owners have to keep their eye upon the bottom line.
But nine men didn't have to die that day at Giant Mine.

Nine men started down the shaft to go to work that day.
They traveled in an open car, the ordinary way.
Some were locals, some were not, & some had crossed the line,
But none would ever walk out from the depths of Giant Mine. CHORUS:

Explosives lying on the tracks on which the mine-car rolled;
No warning for the men who died there in the dark and cold.
No need to call for rescue teams; there was nothing they could do.
Nothing left but angry pain that quickly spread and grew. CHORUS:

Was it a striker trying just to scare the scabs away?
Was it the owner's carelessness that killed those men that day?
Was it some crazy loner who had once worked underground?
This city won't find peace until these answers can be found.

Actually, although the police charged a man with the murder of the 9 men, many people do not trust the crime has been fully solved.

Moira Cameron

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