Aberfan

Song Description

In memory of the Aberfan Disaster of 1966

Song Length 5:30 Genre Folk - Contemporary, Folk - General
Tempo Medium (111 - 130) Lead Vocal Male Vocal
Mood Poignant, Outraged Subject History, Past
Era 2000 and later

Lyrics

Aberfan

I didn't cry the first time when I heard the breaking news
Slurry from a mountain side had swallowed up a school
It was my sister's birthday, we had other things in mind
Not children felled by a coal black hell, some as young as nine
Mother said let's go ahead but her face betrayed the pain
Her thoughts and prayers with rescuers who were searching in vain
But as the cries grew fainter with each hour the day wore on
Precious few were rescued in the arms of Merthyr's sons

Where were you Lord Robens, and how did you justify
The lives of all the children on your conscience
The words you spoke were eloquent but that don't make them right
And history has judged you to be wanting

Letters had been written to explain the village fears
A stream flowed deep beneath the tip growing bigger through the years
The NCB and Council argued who should foot the bill
While the threat of No 7 tip grew even stronger still
Til early one morning on a cold October dawn
It left its rest in protest, and families were torn
Innocents who were sacrificed for profit and for gain
I didn't cry the first time, I didn't understand the pain

And all this time I'm still moved to hear
The story of survivors, now well on in years
How well......?

If that had been the end of that, it would be more than enough to bear
For the mothers and the fathers bereaved beyond compare
But there was one more sting in the tale to add to the suffering
The government paid to remove the tip with gifts that had flooded in!
And eventually the NCB, well they were criticised
But no one lost their livelihood, no one lost their lives
And I've heard it said a 1000 times, I've heard it recently
"The past is another country, there, they do things differently"ยง

Where were you Lord Robens, and how did you justify
The lives of all the children on your conscience?
The words you spoke were eloquent but that don't make them right
And history has judged you to be wanting
I didn't cry the first time, I never understood the pain
But now I am a father I'm crying now for shame
I didn't cry the first time, it was all those years ago
But I remember Aberfan, I just wanted you to know

Phil James
(c) 2006 Best Ears Music

Lyrics Phil James Music Phil James
Producer Andrew Wal Coughlan Publisher Mike Longley Publishing
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