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.

494 comments on “Tributes

  1. Great information. Lucky me I recently found your site by accident (stumbleupon). I’ve bookmarked it for later!

  2. I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your Feed as well.

  3. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you need to publish more on this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but typically folks don’t talk about such topics. To the next! Best wishes!!

  4. Howdy! This blog post couldn’t be written much better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I’ve learn a few good stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much attempt you put to make one of these magnificent informative web site.

  6. I intended to draft you one little bit of note to be able to say thanks a lot yet again for your personal striking opinions you’ve contributed here. It was simply wonderfully open-handed of people like you giving unreservedly exactly what some people would have offered for sale as an ebook in making some bucks for themselves, particularly given that you might well have done it in case you desired. These guidelines in addition served to be the good way to recognize that other individuals have a similar fervor like my very own to learn a whole lot more in regard to this matter. I’m certain there are numerous more pleasant situations up front for individuals that see your website.

  7. After exploring a handful of the articles on your web page, I seriously like your way of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my website as well and let me know your opinion.

  8. Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a very good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

  9. Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect
    against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on.
    Any suggestions?

  10. This is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate information… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article.

  11. After going over a handful of the blog posts on your blog, I honestly like your way of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my website as well and tell me how you feel.

  12. Next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me just as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, nonetheless I truly thought you would probably have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

  13. This could be a lot more important than you may think. I enjoyed your post. Thank you. Good job on this article! Thanks for writing this.

  14. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website. I really hope to view the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal site now 😉

  15. I like what you guys are up too. Such intelligent work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my web site 🙂

  16. Hi there, I found your site by way of Google whilst searching for a similar matter, your web site got here up, it appears great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  17. Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  18. I really love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my very own site and would like to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Appreciate it!

  19. I really wanted to jot down a quick note in order to express gratitude to you for all the fabulous ways you are placing on this website. My extensive internet search has at the end been rewarded with incredibly good information to exchange with my company. I would admit that many of us visitors are unquestionably lucky to be in a very good network with so many special people with interesting concepts. I feel pretty blessed to have come across the webpage and look forward to so many more brilliant times reading here. Thanks a lot once again for all the details.

  20. Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

  21. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this site before but after browsing through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly delighted I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

  22. I intended to draft you a very little remark to finally thank you very much as before on your incredible techniques you have documented at this time. It is certainly strangely open-handed of you to deliver unreservedly what exactly a lot of folks might have marketed for an ebook to help make some cash for themselves, even more so given that you could have tried it if you ever wanted. These concepts also acted to become a great way to be certain that other people have a similar interest similar to my own to figure out many more with respect to this problem. I’m certain there are some more fun occasions ahead for people who scan your blog.

  23. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit yet again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

  24. I haven’t checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  25. F*ckin’ remarkable things here. I’m very glad to see your article. Thanks a lot and i’m having a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  26. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just
    wanted to say superb blog!

  27. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally,
    it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You definitely know what youre talking about, why
    waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog
    when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  28. After I initially commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service? Many thanks.

Leave a Reply

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