(Written when asked to provide advice to someone who was going to Wales for the first time, in rhyme!)
Though I've never been to Wales
Response: Your poem sounded like a song And so I tried to sing along But my melody was wrong-- your verses are far better. You see, I bleated like a goat When I tried singing what you wrote I howled out every single note-- much like an Irish setter. But now you must spill all the beans, I know not what a small word means, 'Twould baffle even college deans, Though your advice was handy. With some shame and trepidation it requires postulation-- Here is the word in a quotation: What the hell is "Tonypandy"? Response to the response: Tonypandy is a town which rebeled against the crown Many a Welshman died that day; Such is what history books say. On the eighth day of Novmeber In nineteen ten they remember The coal strike came to a head, English Hussars counting dead. The miners stopped work that day And asked their boss for more pay. D. A. Thomas was his name And now he rots in ill fame. He knew not what to do about The men whose work was not put out. Was two shillings not enough For a day's work in the rough? The strike cost money and time And all on Thomas' dime! He called a friend in Parliment And they sent him a regiment. One Thousand police arrived then With fifteen hundred cav'rymen. They viewed the situation And made recommendation. Wires would surround the mine Live with pain at the right time; Boiling water was to be used And many other things they mused. Through the hail of calamaties The miners and their families Endured more than could we two But still the stikers held true. Finally, with clubs and swords Miners were forced to hear words: The eighteenth Hussars charged in And many died in the din. Women screamed, children cried out, Men fought with hands and screams, shouts. None were spared, but who ran 'way That cold, gray november eighth day. Tonypandy is a town which rebeled against the crown Many a welshman died that day; Such is what history books say. But the history books are wrong And this is why I write this song. The soldiers got along well And it never was such hell. The English did not kill a man, Or child or tearful woman, But they always remember The eighth day of November. Be you Labour man or Tory We all enjoy a good story. We historians all do know, That's not what happened in the snow. It's not the thing that matters, It's myth, and all it's blathers. So we think it's all just dandy To call a lie - Tonypandy!