The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126607 Message #3499588
Posted By: GUEST,Guest: Bill Jones
06-Apr-13 - 10:54 AM
Thread Name: Coal Mining Songs
Subject: Lyr Add: THE DAY WE STOPPED THE TRAIN (Mick Tems)
In 1985, just after the year-long Miners' Strike and the subsequent closure of Penrhiwceibr Colliery in the Cynon Valley, the Welsh daily The Western Mail reported that coal trains were being halted and being "robbed" of their black gold, not just in the Cynon Valley but everywhere in the South Wales coalfield. To commemorate this mementous occasion, Mick Tems of Calennig wrote this rumbustious song, which goes to the tune of St David's Day:
THE DAY WE STOPPED THE TRAIN
1. Our fathers built this Valley on the wealth from underground,
We fought to win the riches, we stood upright, straight and sound;
Now they've thrown us on the heap, boys, like the spoil we're cast away,
But we struck a blow for Cynon just before St David's Day.
For our hearts were full of sorrow, full of hardship, full of pain;
But we struck a blow for Cynon on the day we stopped the train.
2. We fought to win the strike, Boys, drove the traitors from our midst,
It took a year to beat us, then we topped the closure list;
Have you tried to raise a family on the pittance from the dole
Or faced a bitter winter to poor to pay for coal?
3. There's no need to tell the details of the raid upon the train,
No need to say who planned it - they could do the same again;
But we blocked the line with sleepers, stopped the engine in its tracks,
Poured tons and tons of big, black gold and we went and filled the sacks.
4. Like the bad old nineteen-thirties families scrabble in the heaps,
And your wife counts out the coppers from her empty purse then weeps,
But the poor and the sick and aged no longer freeze like ice,
For we've got our coal at a quarter of Margaret Thatcher's price.
5. Now they tell it through Cwm Cynon, Mountain Ash and Aberdare,
The day McGregor paid his dues - were you there, boys, were you there?
And the fire will still be blazing, blazing late into the night,
For the memories of Saint David's Eve will keep our hopes alight.