“Thanks for doing the correction (Crediting Harry Stamper 9/7 UC),” writes Paul McKenna. “I was also interested to see your item about the Avondale Mine Disaster (9/6 Labor History), especially that it was in 1869. I had thought, for some reason, that it was in 1889. I actually wrote and recorded a song called ‘Blood on Their Hands,’ the first verse of which goes as follows:
In 1889, in the Pennsylvania mines,
Near the little mountain town of Avondale,
110 coal-mining boys and men
Were buried 'neath a mass of rock and shale.
And as they watched outside, their wives and mothers cried
And they begged God to hold back Death's hand,
But in their hearts they knew it was the mine owners who
Had the blood of the workers on their hands.
Oops, I got the year wrong!” McKenna says. “Guess I should have done more thorough research! Also it sounds like they were burned to death rather than being ‘buried 'neath a mass of rock and shale.’ Still a good song, though.”
Here's a link to McKenna’s website, if you want to read the full lyrics of this or any of the other songs, or if you want to purchase a copy of the CD.