Tributes

Tributes to a Generation

Welsh singer Paul Child sings ‘The Price of Coal’

The Aberfan Coal Tip Tragedy

(sung by Raymond Crooke, used by permission)


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 the profit has been sold.

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

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

It was just 9:00 AM when they opened up the door,
And in came the children, two hundred, maybe more,
For nobody knew what the mountain had in store.
The lucky ones were tardy, the others are no more.

Chorus

” I played with my big dog, I played with my cat.”
Signed “Paul, October 21.” There’s nothing after that.
For the mountain came down, and everyone was trapped,
And now there’s only coal slag where little Paul once sat.

Chorus

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

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

Chorus

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

How many died in Aberfan
When the coal tip came tumbling down.
How many children will never grow old.
How many lives purchase how many tons of coal?

words & music by Thom Parrott Copyright (c) 1968 by Thom Parrott, BMI

*****

I wrote to Thom Parrott’s organisation in the USA to request permission to reproduce these words. To my surprise I received a warm personal email from Thom Parrott and was struck that, in the true tradition of folk, the piece was written very quickly after the event. He said, “At the time I wrote the song, rescue efforts were still going on and nobody knew how many died.” It made the song even more moving to me.

465 comments on “Tributes

  1. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable information to work on. You have done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  2. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after browsing through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m certainly happy I stumbled upon it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently.

  3. Good job on this article! My uncle is trying to learn more on this subject. I really like your article. I will just tell you , amazing!

  4. Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based on the same information you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

  5. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  6. This is the right website for everyone who really wants to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject that’s been discussed for years. Excellent stuff, just excellent.

  7. Greetings! I’ve been following your website for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic work!

  8. You’re so cool! I do not suppose I’ve truly read a single thing like that before. So wonderful to find somebody with unique thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

  9. I as well as my guys appeared to be reading the best ideas located on your web site and so suddenly I had a terrible suspicion I had not thanked the site owner for them. My guys became so joyful to study all of them and have really been having fun with those things. We appreciate you simply being indeed thoughtful and for opting for these kinds of terrific areas most people are really desirous to be aware of. My personal sincere regret for not saying thanks to you earlier.

  10. Hello there, I do believe your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in Internet Explorer, it’s got some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Aside from that, excellent website.

  11. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and come back
    to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post.
    I’ll definitely return.

  12. hello!,I really like your writing so much! share we be in contact extra about your article on AOL? I require an expert on this house to solve my problem. May be that’s you! Taking a look forward to peer you.

  13. May I just say what a relief to discover someone who genuinely knows what they’re discussing on the net. You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people ought to look at this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you are not more popular since you most certainly possess the gift.

  14. The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t fail me as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I really believed you would have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you weren’t too busy searching for attention.

  15. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of
    plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of exclusive
    content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it seems a
    lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do
    you know any methods to help stop content from being ripped off?
    I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  16. I’m very pleased to discover this great site. I want to to thank you for ones time for this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every part of it and I have you book-marked to see new things on your website.

  17. I truly enjoy looking through on this internet site , it has got fantastic articles . “Something unpredictable but in the end it’s right, I hope you have the time of your life.” by Greenday.

  18. I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

  19. It’s hard to come by well-informed people for this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  20. Right here is the perfect webpage for anyone who really wants to find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that’s been written about for decades. Excellent stuff, just wonderful.

  21. My wife and i were delighted when Albert could finish off his investigation while using the precious recommendations he gained from your own site. It is now and again perplexing to just happen to be offering tips and hints which usually the others may have been trying to sell. And we already know we need the blog owner to appreciate for that. The specific explanations you’ve made, the simple blog navigation, the relationships you can aid to create – it’s got many powerful, and it’s really aiding our son in addition to the family recognize that this theme is entertaining, and that is really important. Thanks for the whole thing!

  22. Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; many of us have developed some nice practices and we are looking to swap methods with other folks, why not shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  23. I’m gone to inform my little brother, that he should also pay a quick visit this weblog on regular
    basis to get updated from most up-to-date news update.

  24. Right here is the right site for anybody who hopes to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic which has been written about for ages. Excellent stuff, just great.

  25. I enjoyed reading this. You are a very persuasive writer. This is an excellent, an eye-opener for sure! I enjoyed reading what you had to say.

  26. Wow, awesome blog format! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall glance of your website is magnificent, let alone the content!

  27. My brother recommended I may like this website. He was once totally right. This publish actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

  28. I simply had to say thanks once again. I am not sure the things I might have handled in the absence of these secrets provided by you about my theme. It became a real alarming crisis in my position, nevertheless being able to view a new skilled way you handled it made me to cry for happiness. I am happy for your guidance and even hope you realize what a powerful job that you are putting in instructing most people with the aid of your webpage. Probably you haven’t met all of us.

  29. I seriously love your blog.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you make this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own website and would like to find out where you got this from or what the theme is named. Appreciate it!

  30. I want to to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to look at new things you post…

  31. hello!,I really like your writing very so much!
    proportion we be in contact extra about your post on AOL?
    I need an expert on this area to resolve my problem. Maybe that is you!
    Looking ahead to peer you.

  32. Can I simply say what a comfort to find somebody who genuinely knows what they are discussing on the internet. You certainly understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people really need to check this out and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you aren’t more popular given that you most certainly have the gift.

  33. We absolutely love your blog and find most of your post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content in your case? I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome weblog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *