"New York Mining Disaster 1941" was the first song to be released by the Bee Gees in the United States, and their first song to hit the charts in the US or UK. At the time, rumours circulated that the Bee Gees were the Beatles recording under a pseudonym (the Bee Gees' name was supposedly code for "Beatles Group"), in part because the record referenced NEMS Enterprises (Brian Epstein's management agency, which had just been joined by Bee Gees' manager Robert Stigwood).
The song recounts the story of a miner trapped in a cave-in. He is sharing a photo of his wife with a colleague ("Mr. Jones") while they hopelessly wait to be rescued. According to the liner notes for their box-set Tales from the Brothers Gibb (1990), this song was inspired by the 1966 Aberfan mining disaster in Wales.
The song's lyrics do not contain the song's title. However, some copies were pressed with the title "New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Have You Seen My Wife, Mr. Jones?)", and the bracketed subtitle does appear in the lyrics of the song. In the second and third verses, the lyrical lines get slower and slower, as to indicate that life is about to expire for the miners.
In the movie Cucumber Castle, - the...