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Origin: Coal Not Dole (Kay Sutcliffe)

05 Aug 00 - 03:26 AM (#271800)
Subject: Lyr Add: COAL NOT DOLE (K Sutcliffe and J Goss)^^
From: Liz the Squeak

COAL NOT DOLE
(Credited to Kay Sutcliffe and John Goss)

It stands so proud, the wheel so still,
A ghostlike figure on the hill.
It seems so strange there is no sound
Now there are no men underground:
What will become of this pit yard,
Where men once trampled, faces hard?
Tired and weary, their shift done,
Never having seen the sun.

Will it become a sacred ground?
Foreign tourists gazing round
Asking if men once worked here,
Way beneath the pithead gear:

Empty trucks once filled with coal,
Lined up just like men on the dole.
Will they e'er be used again,
Or left for scrap just like the men?:

There'll always be a happy hour
For those with money, jobs and power.
They'll never realise the hurt
They do to them they treat like dirt:

from the singing of Coope, Boyes and Simpson - 'Funny old World'
The tune is 'See amid the Winter Snow'.

Hope it works. LTS


05 Aug 00 - 04:21 AM (#271813)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Coal not Dole
From: Roger in Sheffield

Good Morning and Thanks Liz you have reminded me to go buy a CB&S CD, I've been meaning to for a while. Is it Mr Simpson that has a solo record out? Have you heard it and if so what do think?

RiS


05 Aug 00 - 06:14 PM (#272012)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Coal not Dole
From: Liz the Squeak

Wouldn't know - can't tell them apart, and haven't been anywhere to buy folk stuff for ages.... Towersey soon though!!

LTS


06 Aug 00 - 04:56 AM (#272244)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Coal not Dole
From: Roger in Sheffield


06 Aug 00 - 05:00 AM (#272247)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Coal not Dole
From: Liz the Squeak

What did you want to say Roger? Spit it out mate....

LTS


06 Aug 00 - 05:04 AM (#272248)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Coal not Dole
From: Roger in Sheffield

was just lookin - never meant to say nuthin......
But since I am here do you have any CB&S recordings, have you seen 'em live or just heard them on the radio like Me

RiS


06 Aug 00 - 06:10 PM (#272526)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Coal not Dole
From: Liz the Squeak

Yes, Funny old World, & We're here because we're here; yes, at Cecil Sharp House for the 'We're here because we're here' do for Rememberance Sunday last year..... no, never heard them on the radio.

This appears to have turned into our own personal page, want to continue on PMs?

LTS


26 Apr 07 - 12:42 PM (#2036389)
Subject: who wrote coal not dole?
From: synbyn

Wondering who was the writer of chumbawumba's song coal not dole? as other songs on same LP are not credited either & are trad arr?
Any help appreciated


26 Apr 07 - 12:47 PM (#2036396)
Subject: Lyr Add: COAL, NOT DOLE (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: The Borchester Echo

COAL, NOT DOLE
(Kay Sutcliffe, wife of a striking miner.)
^^
It stands so proud, the wheel so still
A ghostlike figure on the hill
It seems so strange there is no sound
Now there are no men underground
What will become of this pit yard
Where men once trampled, faces hard
Tired and weary, their shift done
Never having seen the sun

Will it become a sacred ground
Foreign tourists gazing round?
Asking if there once worked here
Way beneath the pithead gear
Empty trucks once filled with coal
Lined up like men on the dole
Will they ever he used again
Or left for scrap just like the men?

There'll always be a happy hour
For those with money, jobs and power
They'll never realise the hurt
They cause to men they treat like dirt.


26 Apr 07 - 12:57 PM (#2036405)
Subject: RE: who wrote coal not dole?
From: synbyn

hey, that was quick! thanks!
I'm researching the Kent coalfield at the moment, for no reason other than that's where my interest's taken me, and can't find much in the way of local material- I suspect the miners, coming from other parts of the country as Kent had no expertise in this area, brought their traditions with them and I guess took them when they moved on. The CHIK website is a new local historical initiative which takes a step back from the emotive view more prevelant in the 1980s- emotive because real people were losing jobs, but the Kent mines were always marginal & the NCB apparently planned to close them as early as 1960. An engineman at Tonbridge shed told me that Tilmanstone coal congealed into a blob on the fireman's pricker (sic) like burning plastic, and that Tonbridge residents who stole steam coal couldn't get it to burn on their home fires, so it seems that even then it was being mined too early. Maybe the nodding donkeys will come.
Thanks again, countess!
Bob


26 Apr 07 - 03:12 PM (#2036500)
Subject: RE: who wrote coal not dole?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Steam coal can be of many different types; I think you need a better definition of the coal peculiar to the Tonbridge area.
See http://www.coalpetrography.com/steamcoal/
Steam coal


26 Apr 07 - 03:25 PM (#2036511)
Subject: RE: who wrote coal not dole?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Googling for Tilmanstone coal, it seems the coal was OK for industrial purposes (main market for steam coals). Other factors (thickness of seams, accessibility, water invasion, costs, etc.) seem to have been the reasons for unprofitability.

See http://www.dover.gov.uk/kentcoal/exhibition/tilmanstone.asp
Tilmanstone


26 Apr 07 - 03:28 PM (#2036513)
Subject: RE: who wrote coal not dole?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Forgot to say thanks to countess Richard for the song. A reference would be appreciated if you have one.


27 Apr 07 - 03:26 AM (#2036870)
Subject: RE: who wrote coal not dole?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)

Lyrics also posted in 2000 in Lyr Add: Coal not Dole , but with no more information I think.

Mick


27 Apr 07 - 03:43 AM (#2036878)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: The Borchester Echo

References? Mmmmmm, tune is as for See Amid The Winter Snow (written by John Goss as Humility in the late 19th century). As Coal Not Dole it's also done by the Oysterband and Coope Boyes & Simpson.


27 Apr 07 - 03:54 AM (#2036883)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: Kevin Sheils

Also by Swan Arcade on Circle Dance the Hokey Pokey charity CD. First version I heard, I think.


27 Apr 07 - 03:54 AM (#2036885)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: GUEST,Gadaffi

Hello Bob!

If you want info on the Kent coalfields, try Simon Evans or Paul Cowdell. Yhe latter lives in East Ham but comes from Newchurch and was researching some of Kent's tradition as part of an MA thesis. Both met members of the Snowdown Colliery band. I also have a bespoke CD of songs given ti me by the late Peter Kennedy recorded by a lady whose family worked in the mines in the Eastry area.


27 Apr 07 - 06:21 AM (#2036963)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: synbyn

Hi all!
Thanks for the leads- from what i can gather, Kent coal burned hot, and so was useful for steel-making which unfortunately was in decline at the same time. The early history of the Kent mines is Enronesque! Mick was talking about steam coal for railway engines, which in any case were withdrawn from Kent in June 1961, so another market gone. The power stations took some as pulverised fuel, apparently.
Coal Not Dole song lyrics moved me because of their understatement/ resignation/ underlying anger- I guess most industries have similar tales to tell, with the manufacturing moving east (one theory is that it was the opening up of eastern Europe that really broke the British Mining industry)- and from a recent visit to France they're facing the same. How on earth we get away rom writing songs about the disappearing I don't really know. Certainly Kay Sutcliffe anticipated the tourist trail. Is she still actively singing/writing?


27 Apr 07 - 06:27 AM (#2036966)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: synbyn

and hello gadaffi- almost sure i know who you are, but can't PM you to find out! My phone number's under Nellies in About Kent Folk if you'd like to give me a ring- or see you at the sweeps maybe!


27 Apr 07 - 06:43 AM (#2036979)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: synbyn

just found this on tyoutube- video of chumbawamba singing cnd
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB8ublmImNU- as this hasn't come up blue, maybe it's not a clicky. I'm still in the pigeon era... let's try

youtube coal not dole
.......


10 May 07 - 10:34 AM (#2048047)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: synbyn

More info on the Kent fields from the grandson of the 'strongest miner in Betteshanger': the last thing miners wanted was for their children to follow them down the pit, it was dreadful work- very hot, very deep and very dangerous, especially for the rippers. The estates built for miners on the outskirts of Ramsgate & Deal were of good solid houses (don't know about Aylesham, Elvington & Hersham)and were far better than most agricultural workers could aspire to. I'm told the local power station was built to use Betteshanger coal but this proved not possible & it went over to oil almost immediately. Any further info or anecdotes gratefully received- though I guess on this site there are plenty of other songwriters also gathering!
Thanks for the leads- and I'll try & catch up with guest Gadaffi asap!
Bob


10 May 07 - 11:38 AM (#2048117)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: GUEST,buspassed

Norma Waterson sings a wonderfully moving version on 'Mighty River of Song' compilation


11 May 07 - 11:24 AM (#2049255)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: GUEST,Henryp

Kay Sutcliffe; Aylesham Miners' Wives Support Group

    We formed our Miners' Wives Support Group here in Aylesham at the time of the 1972-74 strike. It was very different to 1984--more of a community support group, not very political. But we kept it together, so when it came to 1984 we already had the basis for a group.

    We called a meeting to relaunch the support group after hearing about the miners going back to work in Nottingham. We were expecting maybe ten or 15 women, but we got 50. There were mixed feelings about what we should do, but we decided to go and hold a women's demonstration up there. We went to the local NUM and they said that, as the Kent mines came under the Leicestershire region of the Coal Board, we should demonstrate there. It was one of the first women's demonstrations in the dispute.

    I was politically aware before the strike--I read the papers like everyone else--but I wasn't involved in anything. The experience of the strike made me aware of the political situation of other minority groups--the Greenham Common women, people in Ireland, blacks and ethnic minorities. I saw how corrupt society was, and how the police were used against those groups.

    A group of the local NUM, including my husband, went to picket the Wivenhoe docks in Colchester to stop coal imports coming in. They were all arrested and put in jail. We had a women's meeting that night, and on the spur of the moment we decided to get in a Dormobile and go down there. There were only about 12 of us, and we weren't even dressed for a demonstration! Some of the women had come to the meeting dressed for a social gathering, not in warm clothes, but we decided that was what we were going to do.

    It was the first time we had ever been in a confrontational situation with the police. We couldn't believe how many police there were, and only a handful of us. They threatened to arrest us for walking on the road. We felt very intimidated by them. We were conscious that some of them weren't police--they didn't have police numbers. We knew the state used the military to police the strike.

    I'm much more confident and much more involved in local issues today, and I'm more aware of the world political situation. I can give my own view now, whereas at one time I might have just taken my husband's point of view, or wondered whether I was right. It was an eye-opener, not just for me but for everyone involved.

    From Issue 283 of SOCIALIST REVIEW Published March 2004 Copyright Socialist Review

Kay Sutcliffe has not registered the poem Coal Not Dole as her own, but is always pleased to know when it has been used. It was John Tams who had the inspiration to set it to 'See amid the winter snow'.


11 May 07 - 05:26 PM (#2049501)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: concertina ceol

Well that's one view but not very balanced IMHO. The NUM exec served themselves not the poor miners who were left to starve or break the strike - what choice. People and villages suffered decades later while scargill enjoyed his mansion. Lions led by donkeys.


05 Jul 07 - 10:52 AM (#2094702)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: synbyn

Just by way of thanks- I've written one song now which takes the story of a mining family from the General Strike to the aftermath of the Kent pit closures- a bit ambitious for 7 verses! I'm still sandpapering it, but have sung it out at the Beacon club. The tune is done, but I'm finalising two lines which I think could send the song in one direction or the other, and I'm still working on the outcome- is it to be seen as a good thing that children don't follow their fathers down the mine? All of those I've spoken to have suggested that the main aim of miners was to ensure their children didn't have to work in such dangerous conditions. So thanks again.


05 Jul 07 - 11:13 AM (#2094719)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: Folkiedave

Scargill had every weapon of the state thrown against him, including the secret service and every single national newspaper. The Mirror printed unsubstantiated lies as Roy Greenslade later admitted.

The executive of the NUM got no more wages than the striking miners.

He did not own a mansion - he owned a bungalow in Worsborough village and drank in the local John Smith's pub.

Scargill said that if the miners lost the strike the pits would close and Britain would rely on imported coal. Thatcher, Heseltine and the rest denied that was true.

40% of our electricity is still coal-fired and that is imported mainly from Eastern Europe. We still have vast reserves of coal and we could still produce the cheapest deep-mined coal in western Europe.

Now, tell me who was right.


05 Jul 07 - 11:27 AM (#2094735)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: The Borchester Echo

single national newspaper

Not the Morning Star.
Those who read the others are those who don't know Arthur Scargill was right.

[I speak as the first woman reporter to attend an NUM conference].


05 Jul 07 - 12:30 PM (#2094793)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: GUEST,Georgina Boyes

Kay Sutcliffe's poem, 'Coal Not Dole', was first recorded by Eve Bland of 7.84 Theatre Company on 'Which Side Are You On' (WSR1) in 1985. The tune for that version was written by Paul Abrahams and is the one that Swan Arcade recorded and that Norma sings on 'Mighty River of Song' - Norma also led the incomparable (but never formally recorded) Blue Murder version.

As Henryp says, John Tams suggested setting the poem to 'See Amid the Winter Snow' when he was producer for the first Coope Boyes & Simpson album.

Sad to see that the lies spread at the time of the Miners' Strike are still believed today.

Georgina


06 Jul 07 - 04:51 AM (#2095422)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: synbyn

Stepping into a ---field here- but I'm basing the song on what I have actually been told by those I've spoken to, bearing in mind that they are relatives of those who were there, and the oral history, tryingto get their words into a song. Long time ago wrote a song about mercenaries in Angola based on info which proved to be utterly false ( wrote a song about writing that song too...) which cured this writer of basing songs on newspaper/TV. Where the truth rests depends on the point of view- and these are real people we're talking about, not pawns.


21 Sep 07 - 07:08 AM (#2154156)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: synbyn

Once again , thanks to all who contibuted to this thread- the song is done, now, and was sung at the Kent concert of the Deal Festival last weekend...(Deal being one of the Kent communities with a miners' estate)... it's called 'I'll go down and you shall follow', and though it is a contentious subject it aroused no hostility. As there's a fair glossary to this song, I'll post it a bit later, but thanks again.
Bob


25 Sep 07 - 08:47 AM (#2156984)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: Wolfgang

Thanks for coming back. I love follow-ups with new information.

Wolfgang


25 Sep 07 - 10:07 AM (#2157030)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: GUEST,Gadaffi

Gavin Atkin, Paul Cowdell and myself have been musing over possible guests to invite for a festival of traditional music in Frittenden next Spring.

It transpires that Kay Sutcliffe and her father live in Aylesham on the former Kent coalfield. Also, the original tune was 'Oh, Tannenbaum!'


25 Dec 07 - 06:40 AM (#2222309)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: Bonzo3legs

Lord Sutch's solution for shortening the dole queues - make them stand closer together!!!!!


19 Aug 08 - 08:06 AM (#2417609)
Subject: RE: info/ADD: who wrote Coal Not Dole?
From: GUEST,GUEST dulcimer player

The See amid the winter snow tune is also used by Shelley Posen for his song No more fish, no more fishermen on his Ols Songs Home album, he makes the point that he heard the tune set to Coal not Dole.


14 Jan 09 - 04:56 AM (#2539418)
Subject: RE: Origin: Coal Not Dole (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: r.padgett

Can someone please pm me with Kay Sutcliffe's contact information please as I/we are interested in including this key mining song of some 25 years ago on the Yorkshire Garland website

Many thanks

Ray


14 Jan 09 - 07:40 AM (#2539515)
Subject: RE: Origin: Coal Not Dole (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

Nobody's yet metioned that it is also on "Little Rock to Leipsig" by the Oyster Band.


19 Jun 09 - 09:14 AM (#2660144)
Subject: CHIK project
From: GUEST,fran

Hi,
I saw Bob posted a mention to the Kent CHIK project - do you have any idea what happened to the original oral history interviews as no one can give me a clear answer on where there are, if they have been transcribed or archived? Sounded like a great project in theory but totally inaccessable for research!! I'm an oral historian looking at women against pit closures and have ended up going with the Iris Preston collection in Mass Observation at Sussex University. It's a fantastic archive and I'm currently on the hunt for a coal not dole t-shirt!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Fran


14 May 10 - 03:02 PM (#2906992)
Subject: RE: Origin: Coal Not Dole (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: BDenz

I first heard it by Oyster Band and do it a capella using their melody. Wherever I sing it, people think it's about THEIR coal mines, be they US, British or Canadian. I kind of like that.


14 May 10 - 05:57 PM (#2907101)
Subject: RE: Origin: Coal Not Dole (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: Herga Kitty

And of course the "See amid the Winter Snow" tune was used by John Warner for "Bring out the Banners"!

Kitty


14 May 10 - 06:24 PM (#2907131)
Subject: RE: Origin: Coal Not Dole (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: Susan of DT

The tune was also used by Shelly Posen for No More Fish, No fishermen


25 Oct 10 - 11:40 AM (#3015023)
Subject: RE: Origin: Coal Not Dole (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: r.padgett

I am in the process of recording my own collection of mainly traditional songs with booklet and would like to include Coal not Dole please?

Hope this is ok

I have permission also to record and include Man of The Earth and North Wall, if anyone is interested, and Orgreave!

Thanks
Ray


12 Jan 11 - 06:59 AM (#3072797)
Subject: RE: Origin: Coal Not Dole (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: GUEST,Kay Sutcliffe

Thank you all for your interest in Coal Not Dole - a poem I wrote during the 1984/85 Miners Strike which I felt captured the feelings of many of our community members at the time. As a miners wife it was important to me that people understood how strongly we felt about the situation and our heritage. The loss of our mining communities all over the country has hit hard to everyone that was involved. I love the version by the Oysterband - especially when followed by the tune of 'The Bells of Rhymney'. I also feel that the acapello version from Chumbawamba sums up the emotion of the words. The song has been published through BMG music.


12 Jan 11 - 10:46 AM (#3072949)
Subject: RE: Origin: Coal Not Dole (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: r.padgett

I have to admit taht this is on my new CD too, I put this through normal MCPS/PRSA so any royalties due will no doubt go to BMG hope this is ok!

Happy to send you a copy of my CDs and booklet Kay, need address

I lived through the time of the 1984/5 Strike and travelled daily from Barnsley to Doncaster and saw many things and felt many emotions during this time.

I travel daily past Barnsley Main pit head gear on Pontefract road into Barnsley, a constant reminder of mining

Orgreave by Henry Clements is also a very moving song

Ray


18 Feb 11 - 07:32 AM (#3097849)
Subject: RE: Origin: Coal Not Dole (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: GUEST,Jo

Hello Kay,
I'd like to include a slightly adapted version of your 'Coal not Dole' song in a local amateur production about a well that was dug by hand using work house labour in the 1800s in Woodingdean, just outside Brighton.
Would this be ok with you?
Many thanks,
Jo


18 Feb 11 - 07:38 AM (#3097852)
Subject: Lyr Add: COAL NOT DOLE (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: GUEST,Jo

Having referred to 'slightly adapted lyrics' I realised it might be a good idea to post them!

I would like to use these in a production of a play about the Woodingdean Well, near Brighton.

It Stands so proud, the wheel so still
A ghost-like figure on the hill
It seems so strange there is no sound
Now there are no men underground.

What will become of this old well
Where men once dug their path through hell?
Tired and weary their shift done
Never having seen the sun.

Will it become a sacred ground?
Foreign tourists gazing round
Asking if men once worked here
Way beneath this pit up here.

And did shovels weak and sharp
Hit chalky rocks beneath the dark?
Will they ere be used again?
Of left for scrap just like the men.

There'll always be a happy hour
For those with money, jobs and power.
They'll never realize the hurt
They do to them they treat like dirt.


20 Apr 12 - 07:00 PM (#3341053)
Subject: RE: Origin: Coal Not Dole (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: GUEST,Paul Abrahams

Yes, I composed the tune. It was part of the score I wrote for a play called 'The Garden of England' in 1985 and performed by the theatre company 7.85. I've only recently realised just how much the song has got around.


03 Mar 15 - 09:13 PM (#3691259)
Subject: RE: Origin: Coal Not Dole (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: GUEST,Bill Dodds

Does anyone have the chords to this song please? It's fantastic.
Bill


04 Mar 15 - 04:21 AM (#3691306)
Subject: RE: Origin: Coal Not Dole (Kay Sutcliffe)
From: Dave Hanson

It's usually sung unaccompanied.

Dave H