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Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)

Related threads:
Aberfan disaster 40th anniversary - 21 Oct 1966 (32)
Lyr/Tune Req: Song about Aberfan by George Holden (7)
Aberfan - 43 Years ago today! (28)
Lyr Req: Grey October (9)
BS: Aberfan Memorial Petition (19)
Lyr Req: Close the Coalhouse Door (about Aberfan) (3)


Suibhan 26 Sep 97 - 01:54 PM
Alison 26 Sep 97 - 08:32 PM
bigj 28 Sep 97 - 07:55 PM
Wolfgang (Hell) 29 Sep 97 - 05:52 AM
Dave Barnes U.K. (dave.barnes@lis.co.uk) 29 Sep 97 - 11:10 AM
Barry 29 Sep 97 - 05:04 PM
bigj 30 Sep 97 - 08:01 PM
Wolfgang (Hell) 01 Oct 97 - 03:45 AM
dcollins@inc.co.uk 18 Aug 98 - 06:57 PM
Barry Finn 18 Aug 98 - 07:09 PM
Bob Bolton 19 Aug 98 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,kombibob@ozemail.com.au 11 May 01 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 11 May 01 - 06:19 AM
nutty 11 May 01 - 09:49 AM
Wolfgang 11 May 01 - 09:55 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 11 May 01 - 10:57 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 11 May 01 - 11:01 AM
Mark Cohen 11 May 01 - 06:43 PM
radriano 11 May 01 - 07:39 PM
GUEST,Thom Parrott 18 Jan 04 - 11:54 AM
songs2play 18 Jan 04 - 05:55 PM
BanjoRay 18 Jan 04 - 06:40 PM
Gareth 18 Jan 04 - 06:54 PM
Leadfingers 18 Jan 04 - 08:28 PM
Susanne (skw) 18 Jan 04 - 09:20 PM
Leadfingers 19 Jan 04 - 06:59 AM
Gareth 19 Jan 04 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,g.davies6733@ntlworld.com 05 Feb 04 - 03:21 PM
Gin Crewe 05 Feb 04 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,I. C. Rapoport 07 Feb 04 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,Van 07 Feb 04 - 02:21 PM
richd 08 Feb 04 - 08:07 AM
Megan L 08 Feb 04 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,davecollins@onetel.com 22 Feb 04 - 02:02 PM
Catherine Jayne 22 Feb 04 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,graham sutton 17 Mar 04 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 17 Mar 04 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Li'l Aussie Bleeder. 17 Mar 04 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Mike Green 12 May 04 - 04:48 PM
Durham-Mike 12 May 04 - 05:43 PM
LindsayInWales 12 May 04 - 09:13 PM
LindsayInWales 12 May 04 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,Alan 12 May 04 - 09:55 PM
GUEST 31 May 04 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,Guest 02 Jan 06 - 02:48 AM
bfdk 02 Jan 06 - 06:39 AM
Lancashire Lad 02 Jan 06 - 01:12 PM
BB 02 Jan 06 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 03 Jan 06 - 10:31 AM
Chris in Wheaton 03 Jan 06 - 02:13 PM
Tig 03 Jan 06 - 05:15 PM
Girl Friday 07 Jan 06 - 05:50 PM
Girl Friday 06 Feb 06 - 05:06 PM
danensis 07 Feb 06 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,J C 08 Feb 06 - 02:58 PM
12string growler 08 Feb 06 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,J C 09 Feb 06 - 04:35 AM
GUEST,helen Pentecost 14 Oct 06 - 01:53 PM
Zany Mouse 14 Oct 06 - 02:09 PM
richd 14 Oct 06 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,ibo 14 Oct 06 - 08:18 PM
Leadfingers 15 Oct 06 - 06:36 AM
eddie1 15 Oct 06 - 07:46 AM
bradfordian 16 Oct 06 - 06:13 PM
bradfordian 16 Oct 06 - 06:23 PM
Andy Jackson 16 Oct 06 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,tim readman 27 Oct 06 - 11:28 PM
GUEST,Timo_Tuokkola 14 Jul 08 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,spb=cooperator 14 Jul 08 - 06:48 PM
Andy Jackson 15 Jul 08 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,OldNicKilby 16 Jul 08 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,Dougieb 02 Aug 08 - 09:07 AM
mark gregory 03 Aug 08 - 04:42 AM
Dougieb 04 Aug 08 - 03:48 PM
Susanne (skw) 04 Aug 08 - 05:42 PM
Dougieb 05 Aug 08 - 04:24 PM
Susanne (skw) 05 Aug 08 - 07:12 PM
Jack Blandiver 06 Aug 08 - 04:43 AM
Dougieb 16 Sep 08 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,philip thomas survivor of aberfan 12 Jan 09 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Stuart Reed 28 Jan 09 - 09:31 PM
GUEST 08 Feb 09 - 07:29 PM
Greenm 17 Mar 09 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,Angela Suprano 25 Jun 09 - 11:48 PM
GUEST,Angela Suprano 26 Jun 09 - 12:06 AM
Ms Mouse 26 Jun 09 - 12:11 AM
GUEST,Gethin 03 Nov 09 - 04:34 PM
GUEST 19 May 10 - 05:28 AM
GUEST 20 May 10 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,jack Warshaw 07 Jun 10 - 09:49 AM
GUEST 05 Jul 10 - 11:02 AM
GUEST 05 Jul 10 - 11:11 AM
Larry The Radio Guy 05 Jul 10 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,Nathan Collins 25 Oct 10 - 12:28 PM
Leadfingers 25 Oct 10 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 26 Oct 10 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,Colin Wilkie 26 Oct 10 - 08:14 AM
richd 26 Oct 10 - 12:48 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Oct 10 - 02:24 PM
bobad 26 Oct 10 - 04:12 PM
Tug the Cox 26 Oct 10 - 07:35 PM
Reinhard 27 Oct 10 - 01:54 AM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Oct 10 - 09:50 AM
richd 27 Oct 10 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 28 Oct 10 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Oct 10 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,Dave Collins 08 Dec 10 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,Don Wise 26 Jan 13 - 03:52 AM
Jim Dixon 06 May 13 - 12:25 PM
Jim Dixon 06 May 13 - 01:20 PM
Jim Dixon 06 May 13 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Lavengro 07 May 13 - 07:11 AM
Bugsy 08 May 13 - 03:21 AM
GUEST,Mobo 19 Dec 13 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Mobo 19 Dec 13 - 05:33 PM
GUEST,Alison Johnson 21 Oct 15 - 02:04 PM
Leadfingers 22 Oct 18 - 03:47 AM
The Sandman 23 Oct 18 - 04:54 AM
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Subject: Songs about Aberfan
From: Suibhan
Date: 26 Sep 97 - 01:54 PM

Does anyone know any songs about the mining disaster in Aberfan, Wales in 1966? Or would someone like to write one?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Alison
Date: 26 Sep 97 - 08:32 PM

Hi

I don't know if it's strictly about Aberfan, but there is a song called, (I think), "Close the coal house door, there's blood inside."

I'm not sure of the lyrics, or title for that matter hopefully someone else will know.

The rest of the verses go on to say, "There's bones / bairns (ie children) inside."

Hope I've jogged someone elses memory.

Slainte

Alison


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: bigj
Date: 28 Sep 97 - 07:55 PM

The song 'Close the Coalhouse Door' was written by Alex Glasgow, a songwriter from North East England, for his musical of the same name - a very poignant and powerful work that was performed in British theatres some 25 years ago. Last I heard Alex had gone to live in Australia. I think that Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger wrote a song about the Aberfan tragedy but - for the lfe of me - I can't remember the name of it. Perhaps someone could scour one of the Oak songbooks of theirs that were published some years ago,


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Wolfgang (Hell)
Date: 29 Sep 97 - 05:52 AM

I did a little (re)search on the web, but only came up with the information that the first BeeGees hit, "New York Mining disaster 1941" was "inspired" by the Aberfan tragedy. Possible, since the tragedy was in '66 and the song became popular in '67. Don't think that Suibhan was looking for that type of music, but just in case, the lyrics are on http://mv.ru/~eddy/bee/album/bg1st.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Dave Barnes U.K. (dave.barnes@lis.co.uk)
Date: 29 Sep 97 - 11:10 AM

I know that there is a song called: Palaces of Gold which was specificaly relates to the Aberfan disaster I am sure Martin Carthy recorded it on the Topic label but I do not know the album title although it may be: Crown of Horn I think the author was Leon Rosselson and other performers may have recorded it I will try to find out.

The chorus (relating to children born to a better life than those of Aberfan) goes thus:

Buttons would be pressed. Rules would be broken. Strings would be pulled - and magic words spoken. Invisible fingers would mold - Palaces of gold.

Good hunting.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Barry
Date: 29 Sep 97 - 05:04 PM

"Palaces Of Gold" written by Leon Rosselson about the pit heap disaster at Aberfan, Martin Carthy recorded it on his Crown Of Horn LP Barry


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: bigj
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 08:01 PM

I'm not convinced that Leon's song 'Palaces of Gold' was specifically about Aberfan. It first appeared in print in 1968 in the songbook 'Look Here' in the section 'The Ugly Ones' where he says "I like playing fantasy games inventing the newspaper headlines I'd most like to see. 'Lord Robens Buried by Slag Heap', would be rather pleasing. Or 'Stock Exchange Sunk inIcelandic Gale. No Survivors'. Then, above the song he quotes:-"The situation is not that bad. After all, if you look around the country who can you say is suffering?' - Sir Leslie O'Brien, Governor of the Bank of England. 13 February 1968, before flying to Jamaica for a holiday.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Wolfgang (Hell)
Date: 01 Oct 97 - 03:45 AM

Martin Carthy in the notes to "Palaces of Gold" on "Crown of Horn" explicitely names the Aberfan disaster as a reason for Rosselson writing this song. But bjgj is correct in pointing out that this is not a song about that specific disaster. The song lines closest in content to the Aberfan disaster go like this:

"...that if you don't want to be buried alive by slagheaps [the Aberfan event],
pitfalls and damp walls and rat traps and dead streets,
arrange to be democratically born
the son of a company director..."

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: dcollins@inc.co.uk
Date: 18 Aug 98 - 06:57 PM

I have written a song specifically about the Aberfan disaster.I was a student in Wales at the time. If anyone cares to e-mail me I'll send them the lyric.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Barry Finn
Date: 18 Aug 98 - 07:09 PM

dcollins, please post so it's shared by us all, our thanks. Barry


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 19 Aug 98 - 06:13 PM

G'day all,

I seem to remember seeing an Aberfan song printed in a songbook - about 25/30 years back ... it could be a book I still have. The Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger reference resonates as well.

Oh well. Back into the stacks!

regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,kombibob@ozemail.com.au
Date: 11 May 01 - 05:38 AM

Close the coalhouse door, has recently been recorded by the Fagans and is on their "Kitchen Dance" cd

Love Bob Eden


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 11 May 01 - 06:19 AM

Did dcollins' song ever emerge (I can't see it in the DT)?.I had just left Cardiff, where several of my co-students were ex-miners, when Aberfan happened. Close the Coalhouse Door and Springhill Mining Disaster always bring it back to me.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: nutty
Date: 11 May 01 - 09:49 AM

The McColl/Seeger song I have is called Grey October........... I,m not sure which of them wrote it but it compares the death of schoolchildren in the Abervan disaster with the death of schoolchildren in Thuy Dan, Vietnam

I'd be happy to post the lyrics if this is what you want


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Wolfgang
Date: 11 May 01 - 09:55 AM

nutty,

a new McColl/Seeger song that is not in the database yet is always welcome here.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 11 May 01 - 10:57 AM

I remember it well. Some Welsh friends of mine went to help dig out the bodies, all the way from my hometown in Lancashire. Hope this is of assistance to you. Yours, Aye. Dave
Click Here


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 11 May 01 - 11:01 AM

Sorry... Try here Click Here


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 11 May 01 - 06:43 PM

The late David Ackles wrote a song called "Aberfan" and recorded it on his 1973 album, "Five and Dime." I have the album but currently am without a working turntable, so I can't get you the words. As I recall it was a very moving song.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: radriano
Date: 11 May 01 - 07:39 PM

Close the Coalhouse Door also appears on the first album by a group called Yorkshire Relish. The album is titled Yorkshire Relish.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,Thom Parrott
Date: 18 Jan 04 - 11:54 AM

I wrote a song called "The Aberfan Coaltip Tragedy" or just "Aberfan" during the days following the event which was printed in "Broadside Magazine" and the book "Best of Broadside Volume II" and recorded by me on my first Folkways LP in 1968 (still available from the Smithsonian) and included on a 5 CD set "Best of Broadside, 1962-1988," also available from the Smithsonian. The song was also recorded by the Danish folk group Paddy Doyles on their album "Aberfan" which is not, so far as I know, still available. Pete Seeger sang the chorus of this song in London during the British news blackout (they were afraid news of the event might bring down the government). Full lyrics are on my website http://www.geocities.com/parrottsongs/ -- the chorus is

How many died in Aberfan when the coal tip came rumbling down?
How many children will never grow old?
And how many lives purchase how many tons of coal?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: songs2play
Date: 18 Jan 04 - 05:55 PM

There comes a little wind from round yon mountain

Oh tell me little wind oh tell me if you can

What news do you bring and where do you come from

"I come from Abervan".



Sorry that's all I remember of a lovely song that seemed to be around the Rhondda Vallies after the time of the disaster. If anyone can add to it I would be grateful.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: BanjoRay
Date: 18 Jan 04 - 06:40 PM

Stewie put the words of Grey October by McColl/Seeger here last March. This one should definitely be put in the database.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Gareth
Date: 18 Jan 04 - 06:54 PM

Sorry, a little (litterally) close to home.

I can not recall - tho that may be me, any local spontaneous, songs on this.

The late Alex Glascow covered this on "Close the Coal House Door", there is a verse (inserted ???) in :-
"Halls are made of Marble,
With a Gaurd at Every Door,
And the Vaults are full of Silver,
That the Children perished for."


I can recall a neighbour of my parents, (Mines Rescue Brigade) here in Ystrad Mynach still crying into his beer 6 months later.

No. That nasty an occasion, meant that sentiment and creativity were destroyed.

I do recall my fathers comments, who had served his time underground and as a "manager" after the report was issued -

"There but for the Grace of God went I" - Basically he had orderes tipping without any thought to stability, or 'water springs' destabalising the tip else where in South Wales. ( 9 Mile Point and Abercarn actually)

If you drive along the A470 dual carrigeway between Cardiff and Merthyr about 4 miles North of the Abercynon Junction, as the A470 commences its descent to Merthyr, you can see whats left of No.7 tip, you will recognise it and the path of the slide by the lack of mature trees, and the attempt to camuflage the site by shrubs.

3 miles South of the Abercynon interchange look to the East, you will see a scar on the hillside just to the North of Cilfyndd. The tip there slid in the 1930's. fortunatley there was no houses etc. in its path. But the old main Cardiff/Merthyr/Nelson Rd was blocked for a good 6 months. It also closed permenantly the TVR (GWR) Pontypridd to Nelson Railway.

Some years ago I had to attend a fammilly funeral in Aberfan, an elderly uncle. Myself and my sister escaped to a local pub. We looked around, a generation of customers, my sisters generation were "missing" - That brings it home to you.

Gareth


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Subject: Lyr Add: ABERFAN (Bernie Fairlamb)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Jan 04 - 08:28 PM

I have a song I collected in 1969 from a group in Singapore. They gave me the name of the writer as Bernie Fairlamb, who I think was in the R A F. Whatever, Johnny Collins knew him. Try This one:-

          ABERFAN -- Bernie Fairlamb

Am                           G
Black is the life of a mining man,
                      Am                     Em
In the bowels of the earth with a pick and a lamp
               Am             C
Black is the life of a mining man
                   G            Am
And Black is the memory of Aberfan


That Friday morning in a little Welsh town
A man made mountain came tumbling down
It came down the hillside like a giant black hand
And plucked all the children from Aberfan

In the little brick schoolhouse children laughed sang and played
When down came that mountain that mining men made
More than a hundred lives lost before they began
A lost generation in Aberfan

A heartbroken Mother stood watching in dread
As men brought out children all broken and dead
She'd stood at the PitHead to weep for her man
Now gone two of her children in Aberfan

The graves on the hillside stretch over the town
That a man made mountain brought to world renown
They stretch out as far as the eye can scan
There lie the children of Aberfan

So come all you miners who cut the rough coal
Dont take the life of another young soul
Bury your waste as deep as you can
Lest you bury your children like Aberfan


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 18 Jan 04 - 09:20 PM

Gareth, the verse you quote was obviously taken and adapted from the Les Rice song 'Banks of Marble'. (And the banks are made of marble, with a guard at every door, and the vaults are full of silver that the miners (farmers etc.) sweated for.) It's strange there is no song on Aberfan other than Palaces of Gold that is still sung!


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Jan 04 - 06:59 AM

Suzanne - I am still singing Bernies song (as posted above) on a fairly regular basis.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Gareth
Date: 19 Jan 04 - 12:56 PM

Susanne - Yes you have clarified the point that I was trying to express - I think that the reference to the children was an adapted/inserted verse.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,g.davies6733@ntlworld.com
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 03:21 PM

I don,t know if this song is about Aberfan but it is sung on PAUL CHILDS remembrance to David Alexandre called The Price Of Coal.
Worth listening too if you can get it.Let me know how you get off
with your search.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Gin Crewe
Date: 05 Feb 04 - 06:18 PM

Robin Jones wrote a song about Aberfan, slightly amended by Lol Lynch in the "Wench All," version, see notes below.

"So much is given in money and toys.
In tears they spade away the spoils,
but they don't bring me back again,
to sunshine, and to Aberfan

And I was only a litle girl:
one of three hundred in the school
Who chalked and chanted, skipped and ran
in sunshine and in Aberfan

There's some who lived and many who died,
when the colliery slag began to slide.
The sunless, coal-black slurry ran.
Two hundred buried in Aberfan

Lend me my toys, and let me play
Above the earth for another day.
Let me see my school friends once again
and say 'Goodbye' to Aberfan."

Recorded by local Lancashire groups "Brillig," on a tape of the same name 22 years ago, and "Wench All" in 2003 on a CD "Ne'er a Penny 'o Money."


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,I. C. Rapoport
Date: 07 Feb 04 - 01:06 PM

I was the photographer for LIFE Magazine who photographed the aftermath in Aberfan from October 27 through Christmas Day 1966. I am also searching for poems and songs written about the tragedy to place in my upcoming photo exhibit at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth sometime in 2005.

Anyone interested could view several of the images I made in 1966 on my website www.rapo.com

Thanks

I.C.R.
www.rapo.com


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,Van
Date: 07 Feb 04 - 02:21 PM

I remember watching the pictures of this on TV Aberfan & Vietnam were equally remote from where I was at the time. Only Aberfan was reported and I suppose it reflected how people would react to the news. We can all rest easy in our beds now secure in the knowledge that we should no longer have mining disasters, or mining related disasters, thanks to Thatcher & Scargill who, between them, shut down our pits and killed our communities. Unfortunately we will continue to watch children die due to the "war on terror". Can we change the "on" to "of" and stop the whole fiasco.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: richd
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 08:07 AM

Can I just shamelessly plug a book called 'Aberfan- Our Hiraeth an anthology in poetry prose and pictures' produced by the Aberfan and Merthyr Vale Writers and History Group, and published in Aberfan by the Aberfan and Merthyr Vale Commmunity Co-operative. ('Hiraeth' means love and longing for home in Welsh.)Its full of stuff, not only about the Disaster but the story of the village before and after.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Megan L
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 03:01 PM

this thread triggered one of the few schoolday memories i have that dont revolve around being bullied. I was at primary school like the children of Aberfan and our teacher an old school master led us in prayers that morning with many a stop while he gulped away a tear. we had mine heaps near us (very small ones i realise now) but i remember being affraid each time it rained in case they would slip.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,davecollins@onetel.com
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 02:02 PM

I wrote this song about Aberfan some time ago. If anyone is interested, email me and I will send you the melody and guitar chords.

He was lying
In a frozen world of rock and stone;
Death defying,
Through a hundred million years alone.
Dreaming how he would rise,
Once more to fill the skies;
He was giant.
What were centuries to him?

Soft now the giant sleeps.
Soft in the mountain deep.
Far from the children of the mining man;
Far from the village they call Aberfan.

Then they woke him,
Where he slumbered in his ancient pride.
And they broke him;
Threw him out upon the mountainside.
What would he do but wait;
Nursing his grief and hate?
He would show them
Not to lay their hands on him.

Soft now the giant crawls;
Soft while the dark rain falls.
Woe to the children of the mining man,
When the black giant comes to Aberfan.

They were praying,
As they would on any normal day.
They were saying,
"Gentle Jesus look on us we pray".
Was no-one listening in?
Or were they too steeped in sin?
Can't you save them?
Don't you see the giant comes?

Loud now the giant roars,
In through the schoolhouse doors.
Where are the children of the mining man?
Lost in the village they call Aberfan.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 04:35 PM

Guest,Van, there are still mines in the UK. My father was a miner in the Selby Coalfield until he was made redundant 2 years ago but there are still men, albeit a few, who still go down the mines in Selby and the surrounding area.

I am too young so I don't remember Aberfan but as children we were told about it. I remember passing slagheaps and I remember the fear I felt for my father and the fathers of my class mates who went down the pits everyday especially when we would see the mines rescue race down the street or there was another news report of a minig accident.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,graham sutton
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 05:12 PM

I made a note of this poem written at the time by a child, I believe (not me)
I am a generation
And a threepenny, sixpenny, five pound note
Cannot buy me now,
Drowned and lost in a black, crawling sea.

Once I played there, nature's school.
And on a summer sweet day when birds were young
And the sky naked and laced with laughter,
I played the games that children play.

But when the sky swam, crying with tears,
The world fell down on me
And I cannot come back.

I am a generation
And I cannot come back
To the narrow streets walking empty
To the warm kitchen where Mam and Dad wait.
The snapshot taken in life yellows with years.

I am hostage of some avenging valley green god
For the rape of my land that fell down on me.

And I cannot come back.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 06:36 PM

I remember Aberfan, I was 15 and living in a mining town in Yorkshire.

I could never sing a song about it - nor about the Titanic nor '7/11'- they don't need songs, they are too real already.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,Li'l Aussie Bleeder.
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 08:15 PM

Greg Hastings 'The Wandering Man' here in Australia, known as the Welsh didgeridoo player, has written a song called 'Davy's Dream' which has bought a tear to many an eye over the years. Anyone interested in this song could E-mail sweetpea-Linda@iinet.net.au
or go to http://www.greghastings.com


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,Mike Green
Date: 12 May 04 - 04:48 PM

Some time after the Aberfan disaster (67/68) I was resident in two folk clubs in the Manchester area (Eccles: Duke of York & The Cross Keys). There was a teacher whose name I now forget who had collected a song written by the children in his class. The song became very popular through singing at the likes of the MSG in Manchester and I think was performed on "folk from the Two Brewers" a BBC programme from the Salford Pub. I have long since lost the lyrics and cannot recall even the tune, but I have tried on many occasions to recover the song from people I knew at the time.

If there was anyone around the folk scene in Manchester at the time and can recall the song I would be most grgateful to hear from you.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Durham-Mike
Date: 12 May 04 - 05:43 PM

I have picked up on Leadfingers item regarding the Bernie Fairlamb song of Aberfan - I see you have included chords, but can you indicate the tune (manuscript or a midi file or the like)?

Mike


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: LindsayInWales
Date: 12 May 04 - 09:13 PM

I was also 15 at the time of the Aberfan disaster and living in Hertfordshire. I made myself a promise at the time that I would, one day, visit the village. I finally made it about ten years ago, with my husband and children, soon after we moved from Oxford to South Wales. We walked around the memorial garden where the school once stood, and visited the cemetery which overlooks the village. We went into a pub in the afternoon and I talked to an elderly man, a retired miner, who remembers helping with the digging. It seemed to me that there was still, after all those years, a great sadness in the air.

I would also like to recommend a book, "Aberfan (Struggling Out Of The Darkness)" ISBN 1 898986 05 3 by Gaynor Madgwick, one of the surviving children. I received a copy from her parents, who lost a son and a daughter in the disaster.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: LindsayInWales
Date: 12 May 04 - 09:55 PM

this will take you to a short film about Aberfan

http://www.worldwidewales.tv/index2.php?mid=167

sorry I can't make a proper "link"


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,Alan
Date: 12 May 04 - 09:55 PM

I guess I must be the same age as Anne Croucher and Lindswidder. Reading this thread and looking at I.C.Rapoport's photographs has brought back memories of 1966 - the images on the news, prayers and collection of money at school. Like Anne, I couldn't sing a song about Aberfan or about 9/11, but I recognise that there is a need for such songs - to tell the story to future generations who may not know of these events.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST
Date: 31 May 04 - 08:41 AM

I remember the Bernie Fairlamb song being sung in Plymouth folk clubs in the late '60s by a Geordie, name of Ben Campbell, who had at that time just returned from a tour of duty in Singapore.
I have also been told that the song was published in the manner of a broadside and distributed amongst service personnel in Singapore to raise money for those affected by the tragedy.
Any one know Bernie Fairlamb?
Any one have a copy of this modern "broadside"?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 02:48 AM

My grandmother is from the Rhondda, she used to have a record that she picked up in the 70s. On this record was a song about Aberfan. It was recoreded by a man whom I believe was from Wales. I have never heard this song mentioned in all my searches for songs about Aberfan. The only thing I can remember about the song, is that he repeated the word Aberfan throughout the song and one of the last lines is: "...here's to the babes who died that day, Aberfan..."
does this ring a bell for anyone?
I would love to find out who recorded this song.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ABERFAN COAL TIP TRAGEDY (T Parrott)
From: bfdk
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 06:39 AM

As far as I can see the full lyrics for Thom Parrott's song about Aberfan are not in the database. Verse 6 below is the sung by Danish group Paddy Doyles on "Aberfan" (SONET SLP 1719); the rest is from Thom Parrott's own recording, which can be heard on his album "Neon Princess" (1968; reissued 2004) and on the various-artists album "The Best of Broadside 1962-1988."

The Aberfan Coal Tip Tragedy
(Thom Parrott)

1. The mining men of Wales are hardy, strong and bold,
And they tunnel in the earth and make it yield its coal,
But in the town of Aberfan, it's dearer now than gold,
For one generation for profit has been sold.

CHORUS: How many died in Aberfan
When the coal tip came tumbling down?
How many children will never grow old
And how many lives purchased how many tons of coal?

2. The little school of Pantglas lay where the mountain loomed,
And some two hundred children took their lessons in its rooms.
The day fall recess was to begin, they went to meet their doom
Not knowing the green hollow would soon become their tomb. CHORUS

3. 'Twas just nine A.M. when they opened up the door,
And in came the children, two hundred, maybe more,
But nobody knew then what the mountain had in store.
The lucky ones were tardy; the others are no more. CHORUS

4. "I played with my big dog. I played with my cat,"
Signed "Paul, October 21;" there's nothing after that,
For the whole mountain came down; everyone was trapped,
And now there's only coal slag where little Paul once sat. CHORUS

5. In eighteen hundred and seventy-four, the first pit shaft went down,
And they started piling mining waste on the slopes above the town,
And everybody knew that the practice was unsound,
But for ninety-two years no better place was found. CHORUS

6. The National Coal Board said they'd known from the first
That the coal tips they'd permitted were a worry and a curse.
But I've heard that speech so many times, and it always sounds rehearsed.
If the coal tip was a murderer, the Coal Board's crime was worse. CHORUS

7. The children all were pretty, the children all were fine
The children went to school in the shadow of the mine
But with the slag heap up above them, they were running out of time
And they were buried alive by the Ministry of Mines. CHORUS


Best wishes,
Bente


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Lancashire Lad
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 01:12 PM

Good to see this thread refreshed.
The previously mentioned Grey October was also sung by The Critics Group and there is a fine version on an LP by a Warrington (UK) based group called The Minor Birds. The song Aberfan was also recorded by Gwen and Gordon (Davis) on their rare album called Songs of Rogues and Roses.

Hope that helps someone
LL


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: BB
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 03:30 PM

The Strawbs - or as they were then - The Strawberry Hill Boys - used to sing one about Aberfan, which I remember as very powerful. I think written by Dave Cousins. Wish I could remember more about it.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 10:31 AM

I think you'll find that 'Grey October' was not written by McColl/Seeger but by their 'workshop' group known as The Critics.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Chris in Wheaton
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 02:13 PM

The Welsh/Nashville singer, David Llewellyn - http://www.davidllewellyn.com/CALENDAR.html -has a song about Aberfan that he did on Frank Hennessy's show last year - and he wil be performing in Wales next month. David is from Mountain Ash - near to Aberfan. Worth listening to if you are nearby.
Chris in Wheaton


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Tig
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 05:15 PM

I'll not forget the day. I was doing my paper round that night looking at the pictures on the front pages - and thinking there were pit heaps (small ones, but big to me) in the woods behind our house. It scared me.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Girl Friday
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 05:50 PM

Can't remember his mudcatter name, but Richard Phipps (Folkmob Eltham) was the official photographer for the disaster, and has written a cracking song about it.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Girl Friday
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 05:06 PM

Fisheye has actually written one. Ask him.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: danensis
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 04:17 PM

Thorn Parrot writes "Pete Seeger sang the chorus of this song in London during the British news blackout (they were afraid news of the event might bring down the government)".

I seem to recall getting in from school at dinner time and finding my mother in tears listening to the radio. Where was this "news blackout"?


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,J C
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 02:58 PM

Grey October was first conceived during a songwriting session The Critics Group, a workshop run by MacColl I think orginally one of the key figures in the making of the song was Frankie Armstrong.
Everybody threw in ideas, including Ewan and Peggy, and the end result was the magnificent Grey October.
It can be heard on the Argo record, The Angry Muse (I think!)


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: 12string growler
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 03:51 PM

You can find an absolutely wrenching version of "Close The Coalhouse Door" on "The Wilson Family Album" I recently bought a "NEW" copy on vinyl. It's on Harbourtown Records, Number HAR 020 released in 1991.
The Wilsons are a Family group from the North East of England and they do almost all their stuf A Capella. Real Meaty harmonies and mega powerful voices. I caught them at the Gainsborough Folk Festival in October 2005. "Sooz" may have contact details for them.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,J C
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 04:35 AM

PS The original idea for Grey October came from BBC producer Charles Parker


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,helen Pentecost
Date: 14 Oct 06 - 01:53 PM

I remember a song that used to go something like

Aberfan, Aberfan will we ever understand
Aberfan, aberfan we gave a helping hand
We'll never let
The world forget
the star(scar?) of aberfan

It goes on to sing about
Where grown men cried without wipping their eyes.

Anyone heard it? Can't for the life of me remeber what it was called or who sang it.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 14 Oct 06 - 02:09 PM

This brings back memories! The day it happened a few friends and I sat in a pub in Yorkshire (very under-aged at 14) and talked about the tragedy. We all lived in the heart of the West Riding coal fields and really felt for the poor sods in the village. My mum, although a Yorkshire woman, spent her childhood in Methyr, which is almost next door, so this felt particularly close to home.

We decided we would do something about it and hitched down to Wales but were sent away again as 'mere kids'. Sad, as we were full of energy and the diggers were getting tired. We did manage to help a little bit by serving tea but it wasn't enough. We just left feeling useless and, for some reason, guilty.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: richd
Date: 14 Oct 06 - 02:41 PM

Can I just shamelessly plug a book called 'Aberfan- Our Hiraeth an anthology in poetry prose and pictures' produced by the Aberfan and Merthyr Vale Writers and History Group, and published in Aberfan by the Aberfan and Merthyr Vale Commmunity Co-operative. ('Hiraeth' means love and longing for home in Welsh.)Its full of stuff, not only about the Disaster but the story of the village before and after. Lots of poems and songs about the village, most written people who live there.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,ibo
Date: 14 Oct 06 - 08:18 PM

I lost my faith the day the slag heap swamped that school.I fear we may be on our own down here.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Leadfingers
Date: 15 Oct 06 - 06:36 AM

Fortieth Anniversary next weekend !! I will no doubt be singing Bernie Fairlamb's song !!


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: eddie1
Date: 15 Oct 06 - 07:46 AM

Re the song "Grey October, it seems to be accepted that it was written by the Critics Group though I'm sure I saw it in a magazine as written by Peggy Seeger and Jack Warshaw. (Don't remember where – it was 40 years ago.)
GREY OCTOBER - comp Charles Parker & Critics Group 1966 -- Ewan MacCOLL with Peggy SEEGER (gtr) "The Angry Muse": ARGO ZFB-65 1968 http://www.folktrax.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/menus/search%20for%20titles_grei_gyz.htm

Title: Grey October
Composer(s)/Lyricist(s): Critics Group
Source(s): Sing Out! Magazine, Aug/Sept. 1968
www.SJLibrary.org

Whoever wrote it, a great song. I still find it difficult to sing. I guess the only other single event to have affected me so deeply was the Dunblane shooting.

I do remember some unbelievable things like collected money being used to help clear the slag that the Coal Board was responsible for!

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: bradfordian
Date: 16 Oct 06 - 06:13 PM

So there were 7 or 8 songs relating to Aberfan event & no doubt several poems including the one in the other thread. There seems to be 3 recordings that one can obtain now, but suprisingly not Grey October, unless anyone knows differently.

Palaces of Gold (Leon Rosselson) RosselSonGs compilation Here Released 1990

Aberfan Coal Tip Tragedy (Thom Parrott)Best Of Broadside 1962-1968 Here

Aberfan (Robin Jones) Here

Aberfan (Bernie Fairlamb) (refer to 'catter Leadfingers)

Grey October (The Critics et al) I seem to be having difficulty finding a current recording of this one apart from "The Angrey Muse"

Aberfan (Dave Collins) The words are in the "Songs about Aberfan" thread, but don't know about any recordings

Aberfan (Dave Ackles) Don't know if anyone has come across this one.

40th Anniversary; maybe a missed opportunity here!

Bradfordian


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: bradfordian
Date: 16 Oct 06 - 06:23 PM

PS See this thread for NON MUSIC comments


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 16 Oct 06 - 06:55 PM

When I first moved to Wales in the early eighties I went, of course, to the Llantrisant Folk Club. On one of the first nights there Siwsi George sang a song about Aberfan. It was in Welsh, but Siws told the story of the song. I still tingle when I remember the effect of Siwsi's wonderful voice. What an introduction to the sung Welsh. Siwsi was the generation that lost so many, and even as an Englishman it was a powerful memory from my childhood.
Sadly Siws is with us no more, but I cherish her friendship and for showing me such beauty in her Language.

I have racked my brain for more details of the song but I am not in Wales at the moment to check my recordings.
Any ideas, are you there Dr Price, Splottman?

Andy


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,tim readman
Date: 27 Oct 06 - 11:28 PM

Does anybody know the chords for Close The Coalhouse Door? If so please let me know. If you could send them to me that would be fantastic.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ABERFAN (Kyle Aughe)
From: GUEST,Timo_Tuokkola
Date: 14 Jul 08 - 05:18 PM

Just thought I'd add the lyrics to a Great Song I heard by Kyle Aughe form his CD "Not against my own".

Aberfan

'Twas the twenty-first of October, on a foggy Friday morn
And the children sang things beautiful and bright
Their fathers dug the coal beneath the mountainside above
And grew the tip that shattered all their lives

For years the townsfolk worried of the spring beneath Merthr Vale
Could it someday bring the slag upon the town?
And on that fateful morning in the mining south of Wales
Five hundred thousand tons came raining down

CHORUS: On Aberfan, a hundred sixteen children, Aberfan
So cruel a fate to will them
There'll be no consolation for the coal board's washed their hands
Of the blood of those young children in the town
Of Aberfan

They heard a distant rumble and it soon became a roar
So quickly that they had no time to flee
The parents and the miners dug frantically in vain
Through tears that made it difficult to see

The crown and her tribunal and the coal board had their say
Empty words that fell on deafened ears
New rules and regulations are not the prime concern
When you're burying a child of seven years. CHORUS

Since that day my father's never mined an ounce of coal
For he lost a son and daughter in the slide
He sees my brother James and sister Margaret in my eyes
The torment and the grief will not subside

Most days the memory lingers sometimes it starts to fade
Till you see the hollow faces in a crowd
And it brings back the resignation; 'twill never go away
A generation lost beneath a shroud. CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,spb=cooperator
Date: 14 Jul 08 - 06:48 PM

I have on vynle - somewhere a superb song by Mabsant


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 15 Jul 08 - 05:46 AM

That'll be the one I mentiond back in Oct 06 (see a few messages back)

Hope you find it.

Andy


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,OldNicKilby
Date: 16 Jul 08 - 05:34 AM

The finest song about Aberfan that I have heard is by Greg Hastings who lives in Perth West Australia.I will admit to crying when he sang it at Fairbridge Festival, for me it was something very special as two weeks after Aberfan I was teaching in a school that was hit by a whirlwind and we were digging children out until the Fire Brigade arrived ,the best part of 30 mins.
You could always try Greg for the words


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,Dougieb
Date: 02 Aug 08 - 09:07 AM

I wrote a song about the Aberfan disaster just after it happened, and sung it at many folk clubs around the west of England, it was recorded on a tape but is now on a CD, I do not sing very much now due to my age, but if anyone would like a copy free please reply to this message and I will return with an E mail address.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: mark gregory
Date: 03 Aug 08 - 04:42 AM

Grey October is on another mudcat thread

see

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=57432#903040


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Dougieb
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 03:48 PM

My song about the Aberfan disaster can also be abtained from Mudcat records, or Dick Greenhaus at Camsco records.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 04 Aug 08 - 05:42 PM

Dougie, I'd be interested. A tape would be fine. Could you please eMail me: skw at freenet dot de? Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Dougieb
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 04:24 PM

Hi susanne, Thank you for your kind interest in my song on Aberfan, if you would forward me an address I will post the cd to you asap.
many thanks.   Dougie.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 07:12 PM

Sorry, I managed to overlook you've become a member. I'll send you a PM.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 04:43 AM

The Strawbs - or as they were then - The Strawberry Hill Boys - used to sing one about Aberfan, which I remember as very powerful. I think written by Dave Cousins. Wish I could remember more about it.

The song is Not All the Flowers Grow, in which our intrepid songwriter seems to imply the school was buried by a coal seam...


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Dougieb
Date: 16 Sep 08 - 04:10 PM

Thank you for your interest in songs of Aberfan, my song written just after the terrible disaster can also be obtained from mp3.com/dougieb


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,philip thomas survivor of aberfan
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 04:26 PM

i found this site very touching. i never new so many songs had been written about aberfan. the only song i was ever told about was the beegees song. its hard to believe how many people thought of us .thank you i was one of the lucky ones who survived.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,Stuart Reed
Date: 28 Jan 09 - 09:31 PM

Grey October was also recorded by the Brighton Taverners on their first EP.

I could email an mp3 if anyone is interested.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 07:29 PM

Gosh,that's the song I'm looking for and I don't know the artist...it was so touching.

Annette
abcems@comcast.net


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Greenm
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 09:43 AM

I am constantly attempting to recover songs I have actually performed in the past, one of which was back inthe mid sixties shortly after the Aberfan disaster. A member of a group I was involved with (the free folk) Phil (can't remember his second name) who was a teacher asked his class to think about the disaster and how they feel about that fact that it was a school just like theirs. One pupil wrote a poem which Phil put to music and as I remember it was one of the most moving songs I have ever encountered.

A slim chance I know, but does anyone out there remember hearing this song or even more unlikely have the words & music. This all took place in Eccles, Manchester where with the Free Folk (Stewart, Ewan & Phil) we started a Folk Club in the Cross Keys (and later moved on to the Duke of York).


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,Angela Suprano
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 11:48 PM

I had a song about Aberfan on tape, and wish I could find it. So I would appreciate you mailing me with the lyrics, or posting here, if you're still receiving these messages? Don't know if I have to join this forum? But you can email me at An9ila(AT)gmail.com if you would?

If you make the title of the mail 'Aberfan' I'll know it's not spam.

Thanking you in advance,

Angela.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: GUEST,Angela Suprano
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 12:06 AM

Just to add a little more info' to my last post, this group/individual sounded very sort of 70's style alike many did then, and of the Beatles type style. All I can remember of the lyrics is that toys were sent to the children, and millions of toys were of no use, plus it was very critical of the council and organisers of Aberfan. Very moving song. I think I taped it onto an old Phillips 4 inch reeled machine off a vinal record, and Aberfan was on the B side?

Angela.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan
From: Ms Mouse
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 12:11 AM

I've joined the site now too. :)


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST,Gethin
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 04:34 PM

Ican recall this song and it was sung by Bryn Yemm, I have searched for this song for years but had no luck.
I hope this solves a problem for you.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST
Date: 19 May 10 - 05:28 AM

I found it eventually after 10 years search. Would have helped of course if my alzheimer's had let me remember the Artist. The artist was Mike Hart - Album = 'Bleeds.' The two songs I had in my mind on that album were 'Aberfan,' and 'Almost Liverpool 8.' So happy to have found it at last! :)


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST
Date: 20 May 10 - 04:47 AM

Search endeth!


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST,jack Warshaw
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 09:49 AM

As far as I can remember, Grey October started at a Critics Group songwriting session at Ewan and Peg's house. Everyone had heard of Aberfan, but few had news of the bombing of a school in Thuydan, Vietnam in which scores of children were killed. We were deeply committed to opposing the war. The idea arose to link the two events. Several of the group, including me, contributed lyrics and suggested melodies. Peggy came back next session with the final melody. It's still a haunting song I think. Glad it was recorded and is still remembered. Sometimes powerful songs fade because they could not be commercially distributed. Compare, for example, Neil Young's "Ohio" with my much more explicit "Kent State Massacre" - one got mass distribution, the other only made it to a "protest" label.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 11:02 AM

"Fields of Athenry" sung by Welsh singer Christine Lee Jones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTT2G-xjGCY


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 11:11 AM

Another song " The Price of Coal " sung by Welsh singer Paul Child

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV9px05ugp0


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 01:07 PM

Suibhan: I have the lp "Five and Dime" by David Ackles, with the song "Aberfan" on it. And I have a working turntable. If you (or anyone else) really want the lyrics, I can listen to it and write them down and post them (I don't think they lyrics are on the liner--but if they are it would make it easier).


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST,Nathan Collins
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 12:28 PM

I found your thread about Aberfan songs and poems. You mention my dad (Dave Collins) who wrote a song many years ago called 'Aberfan'. He has been playing it in the folk clubs of Nottingham since I was a child.
I have just uploaded it to youtube with a small video montage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLNSLjeGm3g

Let me know what you think

Nathan Collins


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Oct 10 - 01:17 PM

Dave Collins U Tube


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 06:42 AM

Probably one of the best,if not the best, song about Aberfan was written by Colin Wilkie. I heard it sung by Jack King but, unfortunatly, I do not have a copy of the song.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MORNING (Colin Wilkie)
From: GUEST,Colin Wilkie
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 08:14 AM

Thanks for the friendly comments, Warwick.

I wrote two songs about Aberfan,but only "Morning" was really satisfying. Shirley sang it on album we made for the German company "pläne "back in 1972. The LP was called "Morning" and has now been re-released as a double CD in tandem with another LP we made around the same time called "Outside The City " ( My apologies for all that self publicity, but it does outline the details).

The words are as follows:
                                 
The early morning, the mist is drifting
D                      C       D F#m
Across the autumn coloured leaves.
Em         A               D
The cattle low upon the hillside,
D                      F#m D
And turn, like shadows, through the trees.
Em             A                   D

The dark clouds move above the valley,
Slowly, as the morning breaks.
The small birds chatter in the treetops,
And the sleeping village wakes.

The drizzling rain falls on the houses
In the hollow of the hills,
It splashes from the roofs and doorways,
And trickles down the window sills.

The church clock chimes the passing quarters,
And, to the early morning sound,
The chink of bottles add their echoes,
As the milkman makes his round.

Wives are setting breakfast tables,
Eggs are sizzling in the pan,
The shirt-sleeved men their tea are drinking,
As life goes on in Aberfan.

Thanks again for your interest.
D'you know what happened to Jack ? We lost contact some 30 or so years ago.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: richd
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 12:48 PM

Never been to Aberfan have you?

It's a Welsh mining village. Never been a church with a bell ringing the quarters there. Just a pit hooter at shift change. The hills are sheep country and the valley was urban and heavily industrialised and noisy.

It's not a song 'about' Aberfan. It's a song about what you think Aberfan might posibly be/have been like. Nothing wrong with that- but its not a song about Aberfan. Most of the others aren't either.

Best song about Aberfan is Calon Lan or maybe Guide me o thou Great Jehovah.


These things matter.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 02:24 PM

100


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: bobad
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:12 PM

Thom Parrott's "The Aberfan Coal Tip Tragedy" as performed by Raymond Crooke.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 07:35 PM

Haven't searched the whole thread, but when I was a kid, there some really sick parodies of then current pop tunes.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ABERFAN (David Ackles)
From: Reinhard
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 01:54 AM

Ther is a David Ackles blog that has the lyrics of his song Aberfan, but with a few small errors. I think the lyrics are:

It was rainy in the morning as the men left for the mine,
Past the schoolyard in the morning.
At the colliery production charts read, “Men, we're doing fine,”
As the rain fell in the morning.
The cold board said your number seven tip will stay in line,
It's been two years this morning.
But no-one told the children of Aberfan.

One hundred and sixteen caps and shawls
Danced the halls of the school-house.
While the grown-up inspectors drank their tea
In the safe, dry lee of the tool-house
As the rain fell in the morning on Aberfan.

Did no-one hear the stones move when the tip began to fall?
Did no-one feel the slag shake? Was no-one there at all?
They were on the phone for Swansea taking orders for more,
They were going about their business, minding the store,
And five minutes later, they were asking, “What for?”

The call for silence hushed the crowd
Who searched the clouds for answers.
While they listened for life and held their breath
The sound of death held the dancers
As the rain fell in the morning on Aberfan.

But no-one told the children,
But no-one told the children.
And it's always the children.

By the way, Ackles' LP Five & Dime was reissued in 2004 by Raven Records as Five & Dime ...Plus with some additional cover versions by e.g. Martin Carthy and The Hollies.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 09:50 AM

I have read the summary of the Aberfan slide at Wikipedia. It seems to be an accurate and well-written account.

The horror of the landslide is terrible. What's even worse is the arrogance of the National Coal Board - its careless handling of the mine spoil and its refusal to listen to protests.

I don't think that either of these things can or should be covered in a song. Some things are just too awful to write a song about.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: richd
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 08:09 PM

Yup.
I think you right leenia

I think you can write sings about what your reactions are to it & how it affected you personally
but beyond that I think it is profound arrogance.

'Caps and shawls' F*** me thats crap. Trying to write like you were there is just so wrong.

"past the schoolyard in the morning"- only if they lived in the Grove and walked along the bank.

'The dancers...' where to start, oh boy.

"phone to Swansea" eh? What's swanea got to do with it. Swansea got its own problems.

Pretend you are making a good old fashioned documentary film and check out what you write. It's not like it's a hundred years ago.

It matters.

PS whats worse was the money they took to clear the tips. Not long paid back- by the Welsh Assembly Government.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 28 Oct 10 - 08:10 AM

I may make myself unpopular here but I think to say that a song writer who writes a song about a current (then) disaster is profoundly arrogant is profoundly arragant. There are so many songs throughout history that cover mine disasters, fishing disasters and the like, many are inaccurate in their facts, but they are not questioned and enjoyed for what that are-songs. They are definatly not documentary accounts. There is a thing called poetic licence which has been used by all the great poets and songsters.
I feel some people are so far up their oral tradition they forget other people see things in a different and equally relevant way.
It's good to know the Folk Police are there to tell us how to think.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Oct 10 - 11:04 AM

I agree with you, Slade. I wouldn't call that song arrogant.

Foolish, bratty, smug, cliche-ridden - yes. Arrogant, no.

It was the National Coal Board and its employees whose arrogance led to the tragedy. And they don't even get a mention in the song.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST,Dave Collins
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 06:13 PM

My song is now posted on Utube. Just search for 'Dave Collins, Aberfan' and you'll find it.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 26 Jan 13 - 03:52 AM

I'll admit to writing a song about Aberfan...I felt it wasn't up to scratch so it eventually landed on the waste tip...


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Subject: Lyr Add: BUFFALO CREEK & ABERFAN (Peter Britton)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 May 13 - 12:25 PM

This song relates Aberfan to another disaster with a similar cause:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_Creek_Flood


BUFFALO CREEK & ABERFAN
as sung by Peter Britton on "Coal Train to Amos"
and by The By God Geezers on "HollowGirl" (I believe it is the same recording.)

1. The impoundment's up there tickin', slidin' down through time.
Trees an' rocks an' dirt an' coal create a toxic slime.
Gravity's the enemy for the angle of repose,
Just waitin' on the deluge to obliterate the rose(rows? roads?).

CHORUS: Buffalo Creek and Aberfan—
Think on them if you can.
They're no mistake, no act of God,
Just tactics of the new coal-minin' man.

2. Up and down this valley, they're failing as we speak,
Starting in to slump and creep and fart and belch and leak.
When they do let go, they'll kill us folks and schools.
Now they spit right in your face, those fat-cat toxic goons(ooze?).

BRIDGE: They're playin' with a fire that could kill our children dead,
Arrogance and ignorance, manipulating dread.

REPEAT CHORUS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ABERFAN (Filthy Thieving Bastards)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 May 13 - 01:20 PM

I inserted dashes to indicate pauses in the lyrics that go on for a beat or more—something I usually don't do, but in this song I think you might have a hard time fitting the lyrics to the tune if you don't know where the pauses come.


ABERFAN
As sung by Filthy Thieving Bastards on "A Melody of Retreads and Broken Quills" (2001)

1. [We've] suffered in our valleys—these valleys of hard toil,
Witnessed gross injustices—that cause men's blood to boil,
Seen those blue-scarred faces, those emblems of the mine,
And lived with death and tragedy every day—in our time.

2. Buried many comrades—young victims of the dust,
Who gave their lives for families—just to earn a daily crust,
Comforted the little ones whose hearts were on the rack,
Mourning for a father who went—and came not back.

3. Seen faces burnt to cinders—and limbs torn apart,
Shared the grief and sorrow—of many a broken heart,
But now those coal diamonds have done their darkest deed
And made little children pay the price—for lust and greed.

4. A fumarole of industry stood on the mountainside.
The black and deadly killer—waits for its deadly slide,
Waiting for its victims to enter into class,
To crush their little bodies 'neath the nine tons** of morass.

5. Eighty* little innocents—were laid beneath the clay.
Their only sin in life—was bein' young and gay,
Put to rest together beneath a giant cross of flowers,
And the tears will form in all our eyes for many—many hours.

[* I don't know why he says only 80. Actually, 116 children and 28 adults were killed.]
[** 9 tons sounds like a ridiculously low estimate—or am I mishearing something?]


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Subject: Lyr Add: ABERFAN (Laura Siersma)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 May 13 - 01:37 PM

ABERFAN
As sung by Laura Siersma on "Love Flows Like the Blood of a River" (2003)

In the small Welsh town of Aberfan for days the rain did fall.
Down on the heart of Aberfan the mountain began to crawl.
Little children of Aberfan were in their school that day
When the big coal mountain above them high began to rumble and sway.

CHORUS: When the big coal mountain of rock and slag began to rumble down,
It buried the children in the ground in a town called Aberfan,
In a town called Aberfan.

They worked with their picks all through the day, dug with their shovels and hands,
Kept on diggin' all through the night, in a town called Aberfan.
They dug two trenches for their graves, placed green bracken round.
The dead they numbered eighty and one, and they laid them in the ground. CHORUS

No more do the meadows ring with song; no laughter fills the air.
Autumn days are gray with gloom; no children are playin' there.


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST,Lavengro
Date: 07 May 13 - 07:11 AM

Being from this neck of the woods (south Wales) I have written some songs about its industrial heritage including mining. But I just couldn't bring myself to put ink to paper about Aberfan.

Not sure why? Because it was mostly children lost? (there have been plenty of children killed in mining disasters). Because it is too close to home (hasn't stopped me before)Because I worked many years after with a survivor of that day? (not sure)

I think it is probably fear of doing a dis-service to the many survivors and relatives of those lost. I think I could only do it by completing the song and then doing the rounds to those involved to get their blessing, or otherwise. So I understand some of the comment above. Far easier to write about something 200 years plus ago isn't it?


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Subject: Lyr Add: DAVEY'S DREAMS (Greg & Val Hastings)
From: Bugsy
Date: 08 May 13 - 03:21 AM

Here's the words to "Davey' Dreams" a beautiful song about the Aberfan disaster, written by Greg Hastings.

DAVEY'S DREAMS

'Twas a cold October morning
The air is was so clear
The children playing in the street
Were free from care and fear
"Davey hurry on boy,
Or again you will be late"
As the wind brought sounds of ringing bells
From Pantglas' stone gate

He hurried through the schoolyard
Through chattering voice and screams
Wondering what today would bring
And of tomorrows dreams
His school work had just started
When that black hill broke away
And with a roar a deathly roar
Brought to an end that day.

For his dreams, they have gone
His dreams, they have gone away


It rumbled down the hillside
The school lay in its path
They may have heard it coming
Tut were powerless to move
It cut its way through tree and fern
Covering the grass
Until it met the walls
Of little Pantglas

The sturdy school walls crumbled,
They had no time to run
Davey's dreams were ended
That day in Aberfan
There did not seem a reason
or time to qwuestion why
Fate had destined Davey
To bid his dreams goodbye

For his dreams, they have gone
His dreams, they have gone away

'Twas a cold October morning
The air was so still
But for the sound of shovels
Upon that blackened hill
A weeping mother with bleeding hands
Clawed at that coal so black
A million tears and all her prayers
won't bring her wee son back

To take one so young Oh God
To take him now from me
A scar will be left here
For all eternity
I stood there on that morning
And my tears flowed free
For little Davey's mother
And the dreams he would not see

For his dreams, they have gone
His dreams, they have gone away.

Cheers

Bugsy


From the 1985 album
WINDSTORM SP001
Greg & Val Hastings
(C) Sweetpea Musical Promotions


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST,Mobo
Date: 19 Dec 13 - 05:21 PM

Hi

I always remember the really moving song I think some people keep referring to. My dad told me all about the disaster when I was young. As a child I kept replaying the song on his vinyl as it evoked something within me. I can't find an original audio copy worse luck but the album it's from is:

Bryn Yemm GATEWAY TO SONG with the Morriston Orpheus Choir - Aberfan

Hope this helps

Mobo


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST,Mobo
Date: 19 Dec 13 - 05:33 PM

Just found its available for MP3 download:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Aberfan/dp/B004PCUX24/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1387491846&sr=8-3-fkmr0&keywords=bryn+yemm+gateway+o+song


Cheers


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: GUEST,Alison Johnson
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 02:04 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWy3tRrF1xE


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 22 Oct 18 - 03:47 AM

I shall sing Bernie Fairlamb's song tonight at Herga !


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Subject: RE: Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster)
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Oct 18 - 04:54 AM

Palaces of Gold was originally written by Leon Rosselson in response to the Aberfan Disaster of 1966 in which a coalmine's spoilheap collapsed on to a school


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