Tank's Poetry
united states mine rescue association
Mine Disasters in the United States

Mining Music

Bricklayer's Accident Report
by Ray Stevens

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Dear sir I write this note to you to tell you of me plight,
For at the time of writing, I am not a pretty sight,
Me body is all black & blue, me face a deathly grey,
And I write this note to tell you why I'm not at work today.

While working on the 14th floor, some bricks I had to clear,
But, to toss them down from such a height, was not a good idea,
The foreman wasn't very pleased, he is an awkward sod,
He said I'd have to cart them down the ladders in me hod.

Now, shifting all those bricks by hand, it was so very slow,
So, I hoisted up a barrel and secured a rope below.
But, in me haste to do the job, I was too blind to see,
That a barrel full of building bricks is heavier than me.

And so, when I untied the rope, the barrel fell like lead,
And clinging tightly to the rope, I started up instead.
I shot up like a rocket, til to my dismay I found
That halfway up I met the bloody barrel coming down.

Now, the barrel broke me shoulder and to the ground it sped,
And when I reached the top, I banged the pulley with me head.
I clung on tightly, numb with shock, from this almighty blow,
And the barrel spilled out half the bricks, fourteen floors below.

Now, when these bricks had fallen from the barrel to the floor,
I then outweighed the barrel and so started down once more.
Still clinging tightly to the rope, me body wracked with pain,
Halfway down, I met the bloody barrel once again.

Now, the force of this collision, halfway down the office block,
Caused multiple contusions and a nasty state of shock,
Still clinging tightly to the rope I fell towards the ground,
And I landed on the broken bricks the barrel had scattered round.

Well, I lay there groaning on the ground I thought I'd passed the worst,
But the barrel hit the pulley wheel and then the bottom burst.
A shower of bricks rained down on me, I didn't have a hope.
For, as I lay there bleeding I let go the bloody rope.

The barrel being unsecured, then started down once more.
And it landed right across me as I lay there on the floor.
It broke three ribs and my left arm, and I can only say,
That I hope you'll understand why Murphy's not at work today.

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