Twenty-six men went to work on that day,
Down deep in the mine on the ninth day of May.
Nobody really knows just what went wrong,
But the family and friends know they are gone.
They were mining the coal in the old Foord seam,
With danger of rock falls and methane unseen
The old folks had known of the trouble it had been
But the jobs they were needed, the times they were lean.
As the miners were nearing the end of their shift
The fog over Plymouth was beginning to lift.
Suddenly from deep down within the ground
Came a blast that was felt for miles around.
So they gathered the families at the local fire hall
To wait for the news, oh, any word at all.
As the draegermen searched for their loved ones they prayed
But their prayers were not answered and they lowered the flags.
Well the draegermen they searched round the clock but in grief
The dangers they encountered were beyond belief.
They found fifteen men, all of them dead from the blast
And the doctors told their loved ones it was painless and fast.
Then they called off the search with men still trapped below
All hope was lost and the sorrow did grow.
What happened at Westray should never have been
They were warned of the danger again and again.
Just ten days before the explosion took place
Inspectors told of coal dust too near the working face
The reports had stated something better be done.
But no action was taken, not a thing by no one.
Oh no action was taken, not a damn thing was done
Not a damn thing was done.