This song is about a group of miners trapped beneath the surface. The story is told from the perspective of one of them, who shows others a photo of his wife in what are likely his final hours.
Is a very dark song, but it was the Bee Gees' first hit outside of Australia, which they had recently left for England. Later in 1967, they had another hit with a song titled for a place in America: "Massachusetts
There was no mining disaster in New York in 1941, although there was one in McIntire, Pennsylvania, which killed six people. The song, though, was vaguely inspired by the Aberfan tragedy in South Wales. On October 21, 1966, 144 people were killed, 116 of them children, when a waste tip slid down a mountainside; unsurprisingly the story generated massive media coverage, and even 40 years on the name Aberfan is synonymous with the tragedy.
The Gibb brothers wrote the song when they were sitting in the dark on some studio stairs at IBC studio in London imagining they were stuck in a mine accident. They placed it in New York; far from Wales where the Aberfan accident had taken place so as not to offend those who were hurt by it.
"It was dark and emulated a mining shaft," Barry Gibb told The Mail On Sunday, November 1, 2009. "The result was a very lonely sound."
The second verse has one line less than the first verse, which is an example of The Bee Gees intricate songcraft in their early years.
Ben Dirks - Nijmegen, Netherlands
In the biography The Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb, Maurice Gibb is quoted as saying the song is "a total rip-off of the Beatles" although later he is said to have retracted this.
The Barclay James Harvest song The Great 1974 Mining Disaster
is based on this Bee Gees song.
Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
Maurice Gibb recalled in a June 2001 interview with Mojo magazine: "The opening chord doesn't sound like a conventional A minor. Barry was using the open D tuning he'd been taught when he was nine, and I was playing it in conventional tuning. It gives an unusual blend. People went crazy trying to figure out why they couldn't copy it."
This was the first Bee Gees single to include Australian drummer Colin Petersen as an official member of the band. Peteresen would leave the group two years later.
This song was covered by Chumbawamba on their 2000 album WYSIWYG.