A traditional folk song originating in the north-east of England - the 'Delavel' in the song refers to 'Seaton Delaval' a north-east town.

A 'blackleg miner' is a scab who works while the union is on strike. The song captures the emotions of those who encounter scabs, having endured great hardship in an attempt to better the lives of themselves, their families and their co-workers.

It's in the evening after dark
That the blackleg miner creeps to work.
With his moleskin pants and dirty shirt,
There goes the blackleg miner.

Well he grabs his duds and down he goes
To hew the coal that lies below.
There's not a woman in this town-row
Would look at the blackleg miner.

Oh Delaval is a terrible place,
They rub wet clay in the blackleg's face,
And around the heaps they run a foot race
To catch the blackleg miner.

So, dinna gang near the Seghill mine,
Across the way they stretch a line
To catch the throat and break the spine
Of the dirty backleg miner.

They grab his duds and his pick as well,
And they hoy them down the pit of hell.
Down you go, and fare you well,
You dirty blackleg miner!

Oh, it's in the evening after dark,
When the blackleg miner creeps to work.
With his moleskin pants and dirty shirt,
There goes the blackleg miner!

So join the union while you may,
Don't wait till your dying day,
For that may not be far away,
You dirty blackleg miner!

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