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Merthyr Tydfill

Written about man at a Cardiff bus station as I was starting a bus trip through Wales, in 1978 with teacher colleague Mary Wagner.

Well, I see by your ticket that you’re goin’ up north

What you wanna do that for?

For there’s miners outta work, and it’s sad so sad;

Misery behind each door.

But if you were to stay here in Cardiff Bay

Many fine things to see:

There’s castle grounds and the docks at Barry Bay;

Merthyr’s just a waste of your time.


And it’s sad so sad to this very day

It’s sad so sad on your holiday, on your holiday.

Well, just up the road there’s a bed and board

Near the station if you follow the sign;

It’s the one with the English words painted out;

We speak Welsh up here most of the time.


Well, I s’pose that you’ve heard of the riots that we had*

Many long years ago;

With the coal mining union and the company men;  

My grandmother says there’s nothin’ to show.

Well, one of these days I’m gonna leave Cardiff Bay,

Join my brother in Harlan County;

For Merthyr is poor and tired and drunk;

I guess Merthyr’s just a bit like me.


* The Merthyr Rising, or Riots, of 1831, amid cries of Caws a bara! (Cheese and

bread!) and I lawr â’r Brenin! (Down with the King!).

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