Rita MacNeil - Working Man
Polydor  (1990)
Folk, Folk, World, & Country, Pop, Vocal

In Collection
#2901

0*
7 inch Vinyl    2 tracks  (08:42) 
   01   Working Man             03:18
   02   Working Man (Extended)             05:24
Personal Details
Purchase Date 23/02/2013
Price £0.49
Store YMCA (Middlesbrough - Old store now closed)
Location Wham Box 3
Details
Cat. Number PO DJ 98
UPC (Barcode) 042287794876
Packaging Sleeve
Spars N/A
Sound Stereo
Extras Promo
RPM 45
Notes
This is actually a promo copy of the single, which has a different tracklisting to the commercial release, however, it is shipped in the sleeve of the commercially available single, but with a sticker over the tracklisting.

The original B side has been replaced with an extended version of the song, and the catalogue number on the record itself is PO98DJ

The extended version is also featured on Rita MacNeil's album "Reason To Beileve", which is also in the collection.

The song has been covered many times, and became somewhat of an anthem around the country, due to the struggling nature of the coalmines up and down the country.

The first time I became familiar with the song was when the Ellington Colliery recorded it as a charity record. I'm not too sure when this was, as the only copy I know of, is the one I recorded off the radio. I don't know if it even got released as a single. It certainly got played on the radio, by Paul "Goffy" Gough, on what was, at the time, Century Radio, to draw attention to the pits' closure. he announces atht e end of my recording.. "We fought and fought, and we got to play it on the radio, and I said I would play it every day for Ellington Colliery, and the great news is it's got another month. And write to your local papers, write to the chronicle, write to the Journal, write to the nationals", and that's where my recording ended. I assume it's to tell them to support the colliery.

If it was released, it's incredibly difficult to find, thanks to every struggling coalmine apparently releasing a version of it since the late 1990s.

Unfortunately, it didn't do much to save the colliery, however, as it was closed in 2003, and pulled down, and just like many other collieries up and down the north east, nothing remains of it except the pit wheel.

I still find it hard to believe that it was a woman who wrote and recorded the song first, considering it was about such a male-oriented subject. Here's what WIkipedia has to say on the subject...

"Working Man" is a song that sparked from a visit to the Princess Colliery in Sydney Mines. For MacNeil it was the stories of hardships the miners had faced on a daily basis, the prompted her to write this song. In her autobiography she notes that the tour guide was suffering from throat cancer, and she had remembered her mother's struggles with it, and as he talked the melody for the song began in her head, complete with lyrics.[44] The song would eventually become a world wide sensation, peaking at number 11 in the UK charts, and the unofficial anthem for coal miners everywhere.