03/12/2010

The Men of Pike

They came from near and far away
The men of Pike to work that day
The afternoon shift way down deep
Beneath the mountains oh so steep
A long way in but further out
The afternoon shift sets about
A job not flash but hard and trying
A job that holds the risk of dying

From seventeen to sixty two
They start their shift to see it through
For one his first, for all their last
How could they know there’d be a blast?
For all at once no siren whining
Suddenly the worst in mining
Dust and rubble fill the air
A loader driver thrown clear
Just one other finds the light
The rest are hidden from our sight

And so we learn as news is spread
The news that mining families dread
It’s up at Pike there’s an explosion
Faces drop and hearts are frozen
Who, how many, where and why ----
Will they make it ---- will they die

Fathers, husbands, brothers, sons
Coasters, Kiwis, Aussies, Poms
Mates and friends who we are seeking
Methane gas from coal seams leaking
Vents exploded, phones unheeded
Level heads and strength are needed
The world above unites as one
To bring the missing to the sun

Rescue teams are standing by
As holes are drilled and experts try
To find a way that’s safe and sound
To rescue those beneath the ground
Could robots work where men are mortal
To pierce the dangers of that portal
But alas all effort fails
The darkness of the mine prevails

A second blast of rock and thunder
Hope and prayers are rent asunder
A nation weeps and Coasters mourn
Pike falls silent, dark, forlorn
A hole remains within the ground
Devoid of joy, of life, of sound

Another hole within the heart
Of those forever set apart
From those they loved who went to toil
Digging coal beneath the soil
Those who gave their lives that day
To work a shift for honest pay
They wait at rest within their mine
The men of Pike, the Twenty Nine

Written by Sean Plunket

he used to be a journalist/announcer on National Radio.

Our thoughts and sympathy has been with all those involved and touched by this unthinkable disaster. Life is very precious.

2 comments:

Esther said...

Thank you for posting the words to this very powerful tribute song. My daughter was at the Waihi Memorial Service and was moved to tears, bless her. May they Rest In Peace.

Nana E said...

This is so true, Fiona, what a lovely tribute passed on from your site. My youngest daughter (Jacqueline) lives on the coast, and spent two long emotional nights up at the Pike River site on Ambulance Duty. They were all praying and hoping for the rescue of these 29 men, but alas it was not to be. I know the hearts and thoughts of us all go out to those left behind/affected by this tradegy. I agree Esther, may they all R.I.P.