I wrote this song as a tribute to my old friend Larry Bell and the 25 other miners who lost their lives in the Westray Mine explosion at Plymouth, Pictou County, NS on May 9th, 1992. Westray Trilogy begins as a memorial to the victims of the disaster and becomes a celebration of their lives and all of the hearts they touched while here with us.
Larry was a very comical and popular individual and I think the first verse captures his spirit to a tee. He was also a guitar player and huge southern rock fan, hence the high energy, southern inspired crescendo to the piece.
Westray was, and is, a controversal and emotional topic especially in these parts. It was not my intention to open old wounds or offend anyone, particularly with respect to the line about "the boss-men". Perhaps within a few weeks of the disaster I was in a store and overheard one gentleman saying to another "somebody better hang for this, not that it'll ever bring them boys back home"....etc. There was a lot of anger in the air at that time, some remains today. This song chooses to end on a high note focusing on the good memories of these men and also is a tip of the hat to the dragermen and proud, courageous people of Pictou County with over 200 years of mining history in the unforgiving Foord seam. - PM
"So remember the Westray miner, a son, a brother, or a friend...
and that just might help keep 'em, until ye meet again."