The Super and the Snowman


Performed by: Keith Tomlinson
Recorded in: (1st July 2009) by Keith Tomlinson
Genre: Mining - Coal
Keywords: Humour, Industrial Strife, Mining, Winter
First line:

It was in nineteen-eighty-five, all in the wintertime,



It was in nineteen-eighty-five, all in the wintertime,
The miners were out striking, their jobs were on the line,
And those out on the picket line at the Alamo,
Built themselves a mascot and they made him out of snow.

I'll sing you about the snowman,
His part in the struggle long ago,
I'll sing you about the snowman,
The hero of the Alamo.

There was a Police Super, a mean and moody cop,
The type for cutting corners if it got him to the top,
He sat in his Range-Rover with the heater turned full on,
And watched the pickets freezing, it was his idea of fun.

When the Super saw the snowman, his face it turned bright red,
For the snowman had a bobby's helmet on its head,
And the pickets saw him watching and shouted with a smile,
‘Here's the finest bloody bobby that you'll meet in many a mile.’

The Super ordered, ‘Shift it!’, in voice all harsh and rude,
The pickets told him, ‘Stuff it!’ with a gesture rather lewd,
So he revved up the Range-Rover and he stuck it into gear,
And drove it at the snowman and the pickets standing near.

But the Range-Rover it stopped with a god-almighty crash!
The bumper and the bonnet buckled right back to the dash,
For the heart of the snowman, so pure and white and sweet,
Was a very solid gatepost made of reinforced concrete.

Well, that fixed the Super, he was a broken man,
He became a laughing stock, his hopes went down the pan,
And though you shouldn’t laugh at other people’s grief,
It warmed the pickets’ hearts and brought them some relief.

Well, the miners lost the battle, though the tales will long be told,
Of how they fought the government, the hunger and the cold,
And sometimes one'll laugh and say, ‘But, lad, it weren’t half grand,
When the Super met the snowman at the miners' last stand!’


“The Alamo” was a nickname for Cortonwood Colliery and was associated with the idea of a last desperate stand against the Tory government. The alleged twenty pits due to close turned into nearer two-hundred, a massacre of the industry.

Keith heard the story in the Red Lion pub in Wath and it was quoted as happening at nearby Cortonwood Colliery. Ex-miners in Wombwell  (also near Cortonwood) who had heard the song, said it happened at Cortonwood and gave the name of the Police Superintendent. The incident is also claimed to have happened at Silverwood and Kiveton Collieries – the oral tradition appears to be working!

Written by and performed by Keith Tomlinson

Archival information

TYG: 112
Key: C
Time Signature: 4:4
Roud id:
Laws id:
Master title: The Super and the Snowman
Places Cited in Lyrics: Cortonwood Colliery