I visited Jock a few times when I lived in Newcastle. He was a retired miner who had lost a leg in a mine accident. He was also a well-known poet for the union newspaper, Common Cause, and had had two books published. I recorded several poems and a lot of labour history from this remarkable man ‘of the earth’. Phly Lobl, a Sydney singer and songwriter, took up my challenge to put the poem to music which she did and it was used on the first release on the Larrikin label ‘Man of The Earth’. It works well as a song and Jock was tickled pink with the result. The third song here has the distinction of being set to music by Hilda Lane.
I intend to add more of Jock’s poems to the site including his most well-known ‘The Red Roll’
Man Of The Earth
Blood on the Coal