Across the Border

Coal


What was it like
Dying that way
Did you have time
To hope and pray?
What was it like
When the roof fell in
Did you have time
For those thoughts within

Was there a moment
When you thought of the past
Did you feel any regret
At a life passed so fast
Was there a moment
When you cried aloud
For a life lived to the full
For which you were proud

And the pithead baths
Are full of the living
But deep below ground
Are the lives that might be ending
And in the slate grey terraces
They wouldn’t want for more
Than a son or a husband
To walk through the door

Did you think of your girls
Waiting at home
As you ended your life
Afraid and alone
Did you think of their future
Without your love
Up in the freedom
Of the air above

And did you have time
To cry for your wife
For whom you had promised
To be there for life
And did you have time
To send her a kiss
To pray for her future
And all that you’d miss

And the pithead baths
Are full of the living
But deep below ground
Are the lives that might be ending
And in the slate grey terraces
They wouldn’t want for more
Than a son or a husband
To walk through the door

And did you think of your friends
So near and so far
Scrubbed and shining
And singing arias at the bar
And did you think of your friends
At the Saturday game
Celebrating the tries
And toasting their fame

So did you have time
In that second of sight
Before the night of eternity
Turned out your light
And did you have time
To think of us all
And the perfect life
We wanted for you

And the pithead baths
Are full of the living
But deep below ground
Are the lives that might be ending
And in the slate grey terraces
They wouldn’t want for more
Than a son or a husband
To walk through the door

(Jameson/Rowley)