The bells of Rhymney are silent now
And the Chapels and Churches are still.
Down the valley the silence is heard
And the pubs are no longer filled.
Where are those voices of long ago;
The ones that cried out in turmoil?
Lost, like the bodies that have no hearts;
Buried like the villages that have no soul.
No longer the echo or answer given
to the ring of the ancient song.
No longer the peal of the sounding knell
of the messenger who called out for so long.
The spires kept their watch over the villages below.
They hailed of good news and of the bad;
Clearly they told all of those above and afar
of the births and deaths of the new and the old.
Children have grown up and forgotten
of the struggles that came before.
Why their parents seemed tired and worn out
and their lives seemed to be so severe.
War took its toll!
The bells rang back then long ago.
Miners and steelmen were the fabric;
the foundation of a great empire.
The wages they fought every inch for,
every penny was as important as every foot,
where land and property were dreams only,
when the main focus was clothing and food.
Life came at a heavy price;
Every moment was most dear.
Now wonders at the advance;
whether the most afar is so near?
The valley is silent now!
No longer a sense of community.
Selfish attitudes appear as the norm,
the neighbour is not so neighbourly.
Across the mountain the death knell sounded;
From Tredegar, Ebbw Vale or from Merthyr and Tonypandy;
In each valley that rose from Monmouth and Glamorgan
the sound of song is silent.
The bells no longer call out!
The valleys no longer belong
in the memories of its people
who are deaf to the land once strong.
Will George © June 5,