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The Dust
Author: Ralph Jones
British Coal 
The dust will start to get you when you’Ave just begun
from your first deep breath it will enter your lung
as soon as you enter that dark coal face
that tough uncompromising,damp cold place
the dust get’S on your face,on your skin,in your hair
that can be washed out,but in your lungs it stays there
so you give them your all day after day
slogging on the face to earn your pay
with the cutter churning out that foul,evil stuff
and sooner or later enough is enough
out of respect for you work mates you come out of the face
but they give you less money,someone else takes you place
but the dust it still multiplies and grows
and it takes over your life before you know
but the men in gray suits they think it’S a joke
and the doctor’s ask you“have you had asthma,do you smoke”
all of the time they are looking for a way
that there will be no compensation to pay
your time finally comes,the family gather around
and watch you slowly be put in the ground
the family apply for a funeral grant
but there’S money in the bank,so they “so sorry,we can’t”
so the money you worked so hard to save
they’ll tell them to use it to pay for your grave
the mourners they all pray for your soul
and wonders who’ll be the next to pay the price of coal
a post mortem is done as the law says it must
the report comes back saying“the lungs were full of dust”
a compensation claim is filed,the dust claimed another life
soon a letter arrives addressed to the wife
asking for the death certificate,and a form to fill in
but the wife too has passed on,she was the next of kin
there are son’s and daughter’s,grand children too
but the paymasters tell them “sorry,we can’t pay you”
they can appeal,and try as they must
but they will not win,they won’t beat the dust

  © Ralph Jones
All Rights Reserved

Coal Dust In My Lungs
Black Lung kills almost 1,500
miners each year.

Coal dust has blackened the lungs of miners for hundreds of years, and efforts to end black-lung disease stretch back decades.
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