Drawing a comparison here with the folk tradition of putting the verse to music. Melinda’s COLLIERS’ STRIKE SONG is undergoing that process at this time in long honoured working class tradition. Melinda McNally Kendall’s entire story is one of poverty, struggle and class schisms, possibly even extending to the way in which she was viewed by the Kendall Family and a childhood in which her father was gaoled in connection with a fencing payment dispute in Castlereagh. That incident coincided with her being taken into the HILL household where she is listed as SERVANT on the census. She lived from 1852 onwards as a single mother and two of her daughters were school teachers as was Melinda herself.  The Rochdale Cooperative Movement was certainly associated with the Coal Mines of the Illawarra by the 1890s and Melinda had written her poem by 1885 with the inclusion of the chorus known now to have originated in Rochdale in 1795. 

Be that as it may, this post includes an audio of an early 20th century poem by THOMAS WILFRED NATHAN. Peter Knox found THE LANE BELOW THE FLATS in a copy of the BULLETIN and in conjunction with members of the band PASPALUM, set it to the music below. 



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