One form the pen of Alex Glasgow and Jon says, “I think I learnt this from the Colpitts but can’t really remember. We recently had The Wilsons at our club (www.royaltraditions.com) and this one brought the house down.” Alex was a Socialist and songwriter who grew up in the North East of England and this song was originally about the struggles of the regions coal miners. You’ll note that there is an extra verse added here about the Aberfan disaster – “Close the coalhouse door boys, there’s bairns inside…” and you’ll read more, including a couple of later miners strike era additions on this Mudcat thread. Regulars of a certain age will at least be familiar with his singing of the theme music for When The Boat Comes In, but that’s hardly the pinnacle of his achievement, as he also wrote several of the episodes of that series. This song title is also shared by a musical play written by Alan Plater that included some of Alex’s songs amongst a series of sketches. There’s also mention of When The Tyne Slides By, a song cycle created for another BBC series, as his masterpiece in this Wiki entry. It’s worth a few minutes as is this Guardian obituary from Alan Plater, still poignant and perhaps more so almost 10 years on.
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