Maerdy, Maerdy

Maerdy, Maerdy I never knew you till tonight
Last lonely mine in immortal Rhondda
Home of the quiet men Alan, John
and seven hundred more

Home of the tired silent men
Fathers, brothers, lovers

Oh media men where are your
60,000 violent, revolutionary,
psychopathic, unpatriotic,
blind sheep, police beaters
picket line criminals
you tell us about
a hundred times a day
in gutter papers, and TV

- snapshots of reality
fragments of the crucifixion
that would prove Christ
was a madman,
and Christianity a creed of hate.

Oh Maerdy, Maerdy mile after mile
of terraced four room cottages
gloss painted windows in the
old stone walls, built a hundred
years to house the hands
that dug the coal through
an industrial revolution
and two world wars.

All the same, yet every one
that little different
to mark the passing
and growing of seven

Oh little community still alive
still caring still joking
above all surviving in little
ways - in the evening quiz
in the Workingmen’s Hall.

Women and workers
and travellers talk around the floor
(but not about the war)
like any night before
silent support for the strike
unquestioned - not even a
conversation piece any more.

- just a deep solid belief -
a fact of life that’s right.

And they ask me why we won
the war!
But do we the fat cats
ask ourselves that question any more?
Jesus Christ you belong
here a thousand times more.
These are your
real people - immensely
strong in their rough
but ready gentleness.

And the political whores
ask why the vicars
are turning from their fascist cause!

I share that quiet gentle
anger too - it grows
day by day by day

The first certainty
in fifteen years to recognise
The avaricious ruthless
cunning sweep of
unbridled capitalist greed.

Do you know what
surprised me most?
The lack of poverty -
How the hell can you be poor
if you’ve never been rich?

When you sell the TV and the car
and don’t go to Majorca
or even Porthcawl
You rediscover friends and family
and laughter and the little
token gifts that make humanity.

The poverty is in the minds
of those politicos
who would seek to starve
a man, and his family
to make him sell his soul
and his community.

There’s not a single soul for sale in Maerdy.
Somewhere in a penthouse suite in Mayfair
sits a man from another land
a no-man, snowman, cold man
who may even think he’s right
refusing to negotiate.

Where he comes from might is
right - if you can’t crush
you start a fight.

McGregor - big man, little man
Herod to Thatcher’s Rome.

Just GO HOME - if there’s anywhere
on God’s earth that will take you in
as a friend, anymore.

So where are the real fools and fiends?
Oh yes they’re there - McGregor’s not
the only one.

Scargill - hard name from the hard hills.
Only time now before someone kills you.
Oh yes you have power too
- focus of the prayers of your
faithful many,
- carried up on the crest of a wave
- a wave of circumstance
and the certainty that still beats
strong in so many men,
puppet of their dreams
unquestioningly committed
beyond excuse.

Only those who have stood
in the focus of strong cause
will understand you.

Arthur there surely must have been
a dozen other ways.
Why ever did you use the
bully boys?

You knew the strength of the
coal face grafters - solid
peaceful, dedicated
fathers, brothers, miners.

Why ever did you use the
weakness of the inevitable few
the hoodlums, yobs and bother boys
- there’s one in every ten
- you knew it, I know it


We milk and water moderates
stood by and still stand by
and whimper "ballot".

Yes that was another way
you passed on by.
I wonder why.

Arthur, didn’t you trust
your coal hard army,
shining souls through the
black faces?

You have to learn to
understand that some of us
don’t trust a show of hands.
Why not play a hand of cards
that holds four aces
to pass the time
while the men still man
the Picket Line?

Maerdy, Maerdy I love you tonight
lonely homely village, warn and alive
in a diamond ice land
where the glasses of monetarism
freeze the minds and brains.

of the proletariat.

How dumb and naive we are
a video, mortgage and two cars
is all it seems to take
to believe that our Government
is right, RIGHT, RIGHT. RIGHT!

Too bloody right.

Maerdy, Maerdy
in the November night shadows
of your pitch black tips
the air is so fresh and clean

The damp tarmac road
to the sleeping mine’s safety lights
is empty -
Not a picket in sight

They sleep hungry but peaceful
knowing that no friends will
break the strike here tonight.

Oh clever bastards in Cabinet Halls
who divide those other stricken
mines - every broken soul
starved into taking your bribes
unwittingly cuts a slash in
his community’s side.

If you can’t win a strike
over the table, or over
conscience or common sense

-don’t hide behind
the ragged arses of the misguided
few whose democratic duty
is to stay with their friends.

How pathetic is the management
who can do no better than
to bribe and set up and con
the faithless few

No blame to them, no blame at all.
No! Thatcher! - the blame lies
TOTALLY with YOU and your
mighty men, the city men, the
land-owning men, the power men,
the black shadows rising under your
dark moon to exploit democracy
and screw us all till their kingdom comes.

Yes, you know, you know too well,
the consequence of intransigence

You knew the violent few
would be there - they always
are - anywhere, everywhere.

And so you told your
media to use their sick
untypical attacks
to paint the 60,000 black.

Prime Minister person
you have might on your side
but not right on your side.
The time has come for you
to say "I’m sorry - I was
wrong" then step aside to take your
place in history.

Maerdy, Maerdy will history remember you? I do.
Maerdy, Maerdy - my heart bleeds for you
but stays with you
keep faith until
a happier dawn.

Afon Clearwen