Song Lyrics

Cumberland Mines

by Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl

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[the specific lyrics Joni sang are unknown]

© 1959

Footnotes to Cumberland Mines

Late in 1963, Joni wrote out a list of 28 songs in her repertoire- of which this was one. All were presumably considered for performing at the 1963 'early' session in Saskatoon (released on Archive Series 1) although this one was not recorded.

There are several different songs about the October 23, 1958 “bump” collapse at No. 2 Colliery of the Cumberland mines in Springhill, Nova Scotia. Maurice Ruddick, a 46 year-old African Canadian, was one of the seven last miners to be found alive after the disaster.

Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl composed The Ballad of Springhill (most likely the same song as Cumberland Mines), which they originally performed as an a cappella duet in 1959. They recorded if for their 1960 Folkways album New Briton Gazette Vol. 1.

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