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Sea Coal

[Graeme Miles]

The Scottish Heritage website explains sea coal:

[Sea coal is] coal that washes up on the beaches. There must be exposed beds of coal on the sea floor out in the Firth of Forth. After storms at sea, coal washes in and is to be found along the high tide line. There was never a lot of it at any one time or place on the beach but enough to supply the needs of those in the village who appreciated sea coal. It was common practice to always carry a bag with you when you walked the beaches to carry home your black gold.

Jon Boden “came across the works of Graeme Miles through the singing of Robin Dale at the Colpitts pub in Durham.” He and Fay Hield sang Miles' song Sea Coal as the October 18, 2010 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day. This video was recorded at their home on July 26, 2010:

Lyrics

Jon Boden and Fay Hield sing Sea Coal

Sea coal, sea coal, hear the man call

Sea coal, sea coal, hear the man call
If we go buy a bag, we'll have nowt left at all
For we need our bit money to buy bread and meat
And if we must go hungry then at least we'll have heat

Sea coal, sea coal, hear the man call

Who'll buy, who'll buy, hear the man cry
It's just a few shillings for the finest of fuel
Come stoke up your fires now for the weather is cruel
It's a cold place in winter, is old Hartlepool

Sea coal, sea coal, hear the man call

See him, see him, see him at the end of the road
If we don't go buy quick then it all will be sold
I can see by his wagon that small is his load
And if we must go hungry then we needn't go cold

Sea coal, sea coal, hear the man call
Sea coal, sea coal, hear the man call

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Lyr Add: Sea Coal (Graeme Miles).