> Martin Carthy > Songs > New York Mine Disaster, 1941
New York Mine Disaster, 1941
[Barry & Maurice Gibb]
New York Mining Disaster 1941, released in 1967, was the first UK hit song of the Bee Gees. It was inspired by the 1966 Aberfan mining disaster in Wales; similar to Leon Rosselson’s song Palaces of Gold.
Martin Carthy sang New York Mine Disaster, 1941 on his 1998 album Signs of Life, accompanied by himself on guitar and by Eliza Carthy on fiddle. He commented in the record’s sleeve notes:
Hamish Henderson, poet, songwriter, collector, doyen of the School of Scottish Studies, champion of humanity in general and imagination in particular, wrote in the ’60s that the folk revival depended for its continued existence on its capacity to throw up fresh thinkers. At the risk of having an immediate degree conferred on me from the university of the bleedin’ obvious, I’ll say that doesn’t apply simply to folkies. A pretty good illustration of the way the craft of songwriting has broadened as ordinary people write about extra-ordinary events is the Bee Gees’ song New York Mine Disaster, 1941 which, whether or not it refers to an actual event, is a great piece of collective imagination.
Jon Boden sang New York Mining Disaster 1941 as the 29 April 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.
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