New Music Monday – ‘The Ballad of Springhill’

Today’s New Music Monday is a slight change of pace. This is a cover of a song written by Peggy Seeger and Ewan McColl, called “The Ballad of Springhill” (also known as “The Springhill Mining Disaster”):

If you have difficulty playing the file, or want to listen on your phone, click here:


The Ballad of Springhill


In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia

Down in the dark of the Cumberland Mine

There’s blood on the coal and the miners lie

In the roads that never saw sun nor sky.


In the town of Springhill, you don’t sleep easy

Often the earth will tremble and roar

When the earth is restless, miners die

Bone and blood is the price of coal.


Day still comes and the sun still shines

But it’s dark as the grave in the Cumberland mine.


Three days past and the lamps gave out

And Caleb Rushton got up and and said

There’s no more water, or light, or bread

So we’ll live on song and hope instead.


Eight days passes and some were rescued

Leaving the dead to lie alone

Thru all their lives they dug their grave

Two miles of earth for a marking stone.


I’d love to hear what you think of this song in the comments below. And if you enjoyed it, you can subscribe to the blog by entering your email address in the box on the left hand sidebar. Thanks!


21 comments on “New Music Monday – ‘The Ballad of Springhill’

  1. sheilarlamb says:

    Like it! Harmonizing at the end is really effective. Well done 🙂

  2. Liza says:

    Like this a whole lot. Brought tears to my eyes, especially when they lived on songs and hope. Powerful!!

  3. AG says:

    WHOA I loved this, man! I really, really enjoyed it.

  4. Krystal Wade says:

    I love the songs where you and Ruth sing together. You were made for one another. 😉

  5. Love that song. Great rendition – well done! 🙂

  6. Tania Dakka says:

    Very cool:) Great job!! Slow and melodic:)

  7. I really love this. Powerful vocals. Is that your wife singing? Both of you. Very impressive 🙂

  8. Ashley Nixon says:

    Man, brought chills! I loved the versus sung w/out music! That was wonderful!

  9. alisonwells says:

    Brilliant sound. Loved it.

  10. There seem to be a lot of songs with this theme. I can think of 3 or 4 in my own music collection just offhand.

  11. @Evangelinajo says:

    Vocals beautiful. Instramentals great. Lyrics apparently powerful! I’m a happy endings kind of girl, though. These were effective…they made me practically feel like crying. : ( Intense. Moving.

    Excuse me now please….I need to go read about all those recently rescued miners with the happy ending! Lol : )

  12. Thank the music gods that I can finally get on the computer. I adore this. Absolutely adore it.

  13. Beautiful. Sad, but beautiful. ;c)

  14. davidbeem says:

    Chills! Well done Derek! (BTW, who is the lovely lady singing w/choo?) 😉

  15. Music Monday……it has been too long!

  16. Beautiful version of beautiful poetry. Love it Derek, found the last verse so heartbreaking ( digging their graves all their lives ) truly a horrendous image to me, who prays with closed eyes in a short train tunnell. Best wishes Margaret xx

  17. Jazzygal says:

    Great song..really good. Moving and tells the tale. Loved the harmonies

  18. Deanna says:

    Beautiful! Is that your voice? I like.

  19. conniemaria says:

    Sometimes a change of pace is good and you really took hold of it on this one 🙂 Great lyrics – they really spoke to me! “There’s no more water, or light, or bread, So we’ll live on song and hope instead.” Very feeling song. Great job!

  20. Amy Eyrie says:

    ohhhh ahhhhh. I love this! Great cover 🙂

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