The story behind "Miners"

Many listeners have asked me what the song Miners is actually about and how the music video relates to the lyrics.

Miners is indeed not an ode celebrating coal mining. I use ’miners’ and ’coal’ as metaphor because I grew up in a mining region. Coal is deep down underground and it takes lots of hard work to get it out just like bad memories and experiences.
The song is dedicated to all victims of domestic child abuse worldwide. The lyrics are written from the perspective of a grown-up who is remembering their childhood and trying to forgive their parent(s) for their abusive behaviour. I know a couple of people who experienced domestic violence mainly in the form of verbal humiliation and psychological terror when they were kids. They all agree that the experience left scars and affects their adult life even now. I wrote the lyrics inspired by how courageously these people deal with the past traumas and move on.

’Miners’ are a symbol of inner strength and that’s why they are invisible in the music video. In fact, the video is a continuation of the lyrics. It is about sending out a message and raising awareness.

It's the 21st century but children are still abused, yelled at, beaten and punished irrationally like it was Middle Ages. I would like to do more than just write songs about it but I wonder how can domestic child abuse ever be discovered. I guess I cannot walk through streets and watch families frantically thinking which parents could be aggressive at home. Living in Finnish culture I hardly ever see parents raging to their kids publicly. Here people give each other so much personal space and privacy that even thinking about what’s happening in someone’s home is a taboo. Domestic violence is not related to social status and it does happen in ”better” families as well.

It is obvious different cultures have different thresholds when it comes to child abuse. In Helsinki, passengers on a metro train give disapproving looks when a parent is nervous and raises their voice at a child whereas in some parts of the world children are beaten on a daily basis (not to mention they probably work in a factory). Focusing on the area where I live, it seems quite challenging to help anyone I suspect is abused. If I ever feel suspicious about something like that happening in my neighbours’ home, will I have the guts to report it? Listening to the stories of people who grew up being mistreated I say to myself I wish there had been someone to call 112 for them.

Can we act to stop an abusive parent? Is it fair to judge what is happening in other people’s homes? How can we know exactly what is happening? Are parents allowed to hit their own children? These questions don't vanish by paying a monthly contribution to Unicef.

Here are a few websites answering these kinds of questions:
Child Abuse and Neglect – Myths and Facts about child abuse and neglect
Speaking for those who can’t: One child international
Unicef - Behind Closed Doors

It is possible to make an anonymous phone call to organizations like One Child International  (in Finland we have for example Mannerheim League for Child Welfare) and report that there is something wrong with the family next door. But who really takes action like that? Who labels their neighbour a violent pervert? Probably someone who is 100% sure. Let's imagine we report someone: after our anonymous phone call, social workers pay the neighbours a visit and investigate the case. What if they find out that the child is fine, the family is lovely and the sounds of beating and shouting we have been hearing are just some kind of  video game or a violent movie? We might feel stupid but the most important thing is we made sure that the child is safe. There is an unpleasant aspect to this, though. After being reported, the neighbours might face disgrace and rumors that they are bad parents, and because they don’t know who reported them to the social workers, they start hating all their neighbours and probably co-workers and teachers, just in case. So one phone call of help and peace can actually generate lots of hate. Do we want to risk this kind of drama? It is indeed a dilemma. But isn't it much more difficult for the victims to speak out?

According to Unicef, as many as 275 million children worldwide are exposed to violence in their homes, so we should at least consider taking action. We might go wrong but there is a chance we could actually help someone and free them from hell. It's not like we should spy on our neighbours but I think we could care more! Do you? 

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”  

- Albert Einstein

Let's not leave it here, let's do something before those 275 million souls need miners to dig out their bad memories! It can be something as trivial as talking to our friends and listening to what they have to share about their childhood.

- Lucie

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