The Westwood Rows

 
Performed by:
George Hill
Recorded in:
Chapeltown
Recorded on:
01/07/2009
Recorded by:
Ray Padgett
Genre:
Keywords:
Industrial Strife,
Landscape,
Mining
 

Archival information

TYG:
109
Key:
G
Time Signature:
4:4
Roud id:
0
Laws id:
Master title:
The Westwood Rows
Places Cited:
Westwood Rows,
Chapeltown,
Barnsley,
Yorkshire,
Thorncliffe,
Orgreave,
Cortonwood

Lyrics

1
In nineteen-sixty-nine the Council bulldozed all the Rows;
A hundred years of history turned to rubble and to dust,
A hundred years of memories of the men who fought for work
Were landscaped as they cleared away the past.
That winter saw the miners clam and starve. 

2
Newton Chambers built the Rows for black sheep and for scabs
And eight-hundred-and-fifty men and boys were turned away.
By locking out the miners who’d refused to take a cut
They thought they’d won for ever and a day.
That winter saw the miners clam and starve. 

3
And then they brought policemen to protect the ones who worked,
The ones who took the offers and the anti-union deal.
They built them homes to live in and to shield them from the rage
Of the ones who knew how brotherhood should feel.
That winter saw the miners clam and starve. 

4
In April eighteen-sixty-nine two hundred men attacked.
No-one was harmed. A point was made and pride upheld instead.
They smashed the cottage windows and scattered the police,
Who hid themselves in lavatories, or just fled.
That winter saw the miners clam and starve. 

5
And then in eighteen-seventy, in the first month of the year,
They came again in hundreds, armed with clubs and picks and guns.
They overwhelmed the garrison, subdued the bosses’ men
And once more the police went on the run.
That winter saw the miners clam and starve.

6
With cutlasses the reinforcements came from Barnsley town.
The workers fought again, but this time could not win the day.
Twenty-three men found themselves arrested and in chains.
The York Assizes saw them locked away.
That winter saw the miners clam and starve. 

7
The Thorncliffe and the Westwood Rows lived on a hundred years.
Now there’s a park where once men worked and starved and fought and lost.
From nineteen-eighty-five a swift, short decade did the job
Of covering the evidence of the past.
That winter saw the miners clam and starve.

8
To retail worlds and shopping malls and call centres and parks
And museums and nature walks and landscaped hills we go.
But do we now remember what once stood where we now stand,
At Orgreave, Cortonwood or the Westwood Rows?
That winter saw the miners clam and starve.
At Orgreave, Cortonwood and the Westwood Rows
That winter saw the miners clam and starve.