Monday, 13 April 2009

Wales is dead. It died when the miners stopped singing.

Thanks for the memory

Treating today as a Sunday, a warm can of beer within easy reach and search engines off, I decided to have look around Youtube and just listen to the likes of:

Tony Bennett(Stranger in Paradise) singing one of the worlds most beautiful songs ever.

Dean Martin(Ain't that a kick in the head) with some greats shots of the rat pack and Hollywood greats. Ray Quinn does a passable version.

Brenda Lee(Always on my mind). A great singer but Elvis done it better. This song always gets me no matter who sings it. I was always pestering a former Welsh International rugby hooker to sing it when I had had a few beers on the coach back to our club. He does a great Elvis impression and I owe him an apology.

Pasty Cline
(I fall to pieces) and (Tennessee Walz). Tragically killed in a plane crash at the age of 30. Her voice gives me goose pimples.

And finally, just following the flow via Joe Brown and the Brothers(A picture of you), The Cascades with the song that was playing the first time I had the courage to walk across a dance hall floor and ask a young lady to dance. The great (Rhythm Of the Rain), I finally wind up with the video that heads this article. There is going to be one I assure you.

It has been a long time since I have listened to it. Because to me it takes me back to a time in a Wales that was a better place. It is a Sunday (maybe even an Easter Monday) afternoon in the year 1976 and our local Workingmans club is packed to the brim in both The Lounge and The Big Room, where I am sat with my cousin.

Up on the stage, my father and my uncle are singing this song with the audience joining in. It was their party piece and a nice little bonus, because anyone who went up on the stage would receive half a dozen Beer Checks after they sat down.

And after the individual go as you please artists had finished, the room would erupt in singing.

Songs from the war, songs from the musicals. You name it and the men would sing it. And my cousin and other young pups would just sit in silence for we knew not the words of most of the songs but we would try.

Miners, Steel Workers, factory workers. All hard men but most with hearts as soft as some of the songs they sung. Men, most now long gone like the jobs they used to do.

Now the clubs are boarded up and empty except for the ghosts of my memory and there is no singing. There is no more comradeship and bonding in the bars of the pubs.

I tell you this.

Wales is Dead. It died when the miners stopped singing.

Only the BNP can reunite those broken bonds of brotherhood