The Aberfan Coaltip Tragedy

Tom Parrott
Language: English

Related Songs

Grey October
(Peggy Seeger)
Palaces of Gold
(Leon Rosselson)
The Massacres of My Lai (Song My) and Truong An, March 1968
(Tom Parrott)

words & music by Tom (aka Thom) Parrott

Come Grey October di Peggy Seeger, un'altra canzone sul disastro di Aberfan, Galles, del 1966, quando una massa enorme di detriti provenienti da una vicina miniera si staccò investendo il paese e la locale scuola, uccidendo un mucchio di bambini... Nella canzone della Seeger, questo capitava mentre i bombardieri statunitensi radevano al suolo un altro paese e un'altra scuola nel lontano Vietnam...
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 black rock, 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 pounds 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.

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.

"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.

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

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.

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 coal tip up above them, they were running out of time,
And they were buried alive by the Ministry of Mine.

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.

Contributed by Alessandro - 2009/5/27 - 13:14

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