Songs and Poems

OH ABERFAN - a poem by John Murray, set to music by his daughter, Heather Murray

In these days of computers and the net

I watch the timeless sun dip down

A golden globe – and yet

The hills of Aberfan disguise the tragedy that went before

The evening breeze continues to fuss around the valley slopes once more.


Upon the hillside that nature has covered green,

Man’s greed for coal had tipped ten thousand tons of scree,

Black dust and spoil washed by nature’s downpour,

Taking the souls of children, by their Parents, to be seen no more.


And yet the mountainside of latent death

Hovered, waiting Nature’s sluice to place the wreath

But this was known by Miners, memories had faded

Still the risks were taken, as wealth into the coffers cascaded.


Three score plus of Souls at their desks blameless

Worthless spoil built up an unknown stress.

Miss Williams led the two times table, shudders felt,

No more than that, a thousand tons of spoil began to melt.


It formed a fluid lake of death up by the farm, and on towards the school

The black tide raced, the gigantic pool

Swept on up its way until it burst through

The school’s rear doors and windows as its violence grew.


The children’s hats and coats were carried on into the room

Miss Williams was up to ten times two as death came all too soon.

Man’s greed flooded their innocent world to end their dreams.

There was no time for action to answer their plaintive screams.


The rumbling roar disturbed the hillside’s silence.

The tiny graves today make no such penance,

But men’s greed risks their fellows’ life and limb

To desecrate for gold our Nature’s gifts from Him.


When Nature does rebel and spew forth dust

For airlines to be grounded, and money lost

It’s only then that Bankers selfishly complain

And realise that their gold must risk no further pain.


Hillsides around the world are stripped,

To mine and take from Earth its precious stores.

Then comes the rain to sweep away townships

We do not learn whilst Death extends its claws.


In these days of computers and the net

We watch the timeworn efforts to resist the greed and yet

The seventh sin so deadly and mortal man

Always falls into the pit, remember Aberfan.


Heather Murray used to lead the community choir Merthyr Aloud.  This has now been taken over by Tanya Walker – it is open to everyone.  It rehearses at the Zoar (Soar) Chapel in Merthyr Tydfil on Fridays, 10.30 -12.30. This is located in the Pontmorlais area, towards the northern end of the High Street (CF47 8UB).  Contact Tanya by email: tanyawalker@music.com



A Poem by Hollie Davies - aged 25 years - 2016


They walked to school,

As every day.

Mist upon the Valley,

Followed clouds of grey.


Greeted by their teachers,

Every boy and girl.

Their lives around the corner,

Just their little world.


The miners on the hillside

A man-made mountain hall.

They only had an hour,

After their first call.


They didn't see it coming,

Only heard the thunder roar.

Everyone felt the earthquake.

All fell to the floor.


The men all raced to help them

from all around.

They crawled about in darkness

of the school playground.


We all feel the losses,

We all share the pain,

We will all remember

The day the ashes came.


The world is not as cold

as it was back then.

But in the heart of all of Wales

We will remember them.


The girls and boys who went to school,

Most smiling, all following their mam.

The village always feels them near,

The Village,



OTHER SONGS - by Paul Child - The Price of Coal, and Raymond Crooke - The Aberfan Coal Tip Tragedy (words and music by Thom Parrott)