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Coal Mining with Folk Arts and Poetry

Coal Mining with Folk Arts and Poetry

This pack brings some background information about coal mining together with songs and poems that can be used in primary schools to explore and analyse the issues surrounding coal mining. The pack has been a partnership project between the National Coal Mining Museum for England and the English Folk Dance and Song Society. There are also audio recordings of all the songs available for free download by clicking on the audio tab at the top of this panel.

There is a wealth of folk music, song and dance associated with coal mining.  The living conditions of mining families also feature in songs, as do tales of child labour and poverty.  There are many songs about the different jobs and roles that people had, and sad laments about mining disasters that occurred.  There is also the rapper dance tradition that grew from coal mining communities in the North East, and tunes that accompanied the dances.

There are strong characters such as Polly (The Collier Lass) and the Bonny Pit Laddie who will help pupils identify with the real lives of children involved in coal mining.  There is also background information on rapper dancing including some website links that can show you examples of the dance in action.

The material presented has all been tried and tested with visitors to the National Coal Mining Museum for England, pupils at Flockton C of E (c) First School, Wakefield (thanks to the East Peak Industrial Heritage Support Programme), and also in The Full English school projects at St John with St Mark CofE Primary School, Bury and Shawlands Primary School, Barnsley.  

All the material can be used to explore themes of local history, industrial revolution, child labour, poverty and social change.  The material is aimed at primary age children and their teachers.

 

More videos

  • Audio 01: Collier Lass - Sue Bousfield

    Download: mp3(3.65MB) ogg(6.96MB)
  • Audio 02: Down in a Coal Mine - Sue Bousfield

    Download: mp3(3.20MB) ogg(5.95MB)
  • Audio 03: Basket Full of Coal Dust - whole song - Bryony Griffith and Josie Wexler

    Download: mp3(4.47MB) ogg(3.60MB)
  • Audio 04: Basket Full of Coal Dust - backing track - Bryony Griffith and Josie Wexler

    Download: mp3(3.51MB) ogg(3.12MB)
  • Audio 05: Basket Full of Coal Dust - cumulative version - Bryony Griffith and Josie Wexler

    Download: mp3(5.73MB) ogg(4.55MB)
  • Audio 06: The Bonny Pit Laddie - Bryony Griffith and Josie Wexler

    Download: mp3(5.56MB) ogg(5.23MB)
  • Audio 07: The Trapper Girl - Bryony Griffith and Josie Wexler

    Download: mp3(6.76MB) ogg(5.20MB)
  • Audio 08: I Can Hew - Josie Wexler and Bryony Griffith

    Download: mp3(6.03MB) ogg(4.93MB)

Digital Archive records related to this item

Note that these links take you to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website which holds the full archival details of the material. Material on the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website is not censored or expurgated and may contain material considered offensive by modern standards.

Maps on the Full English site related to this item

Note that these links take you to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website which holds the full archival details of the material. Material on the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website is not censored or expurgated and may contain material considered offensive by modern standards.