“Aberfan” (Laura Siersema Trio, 2010)

To help make sure Aberfan (7 pianos, percussion, voice and tools of rescue) can be recorded, make online contributions at:  http://tinyurl.com/FundAberfanhttp://tinyurl.com/FundAberfan

Some history in the process of composing Aberfan — here’s a video excerpt from one of our first rehearsals of “Aberfan”, the second arrangement I’d ever done of my Mom’s song.  I kept most of her lyrics and melody, but played quite a bit with the music, adding the instrumental interlude that you’ll hear, with Wim Auer on fretless bass and Billy Klock on drums.  This was the intermediate phase in the evolution of this song, while it was yet a folk song.  We used to practice at Wim’s house in Brattleboro on Tuesday nights.  I love these guys, I loved playing with them and the way they inspired the music!  (Full song at bottom of post.)

Aberfan (written by Dinny Coates Siersema, 1966)

In the small Welsh town of Aberfan
for days the rain did fall
down on the heart of Aberfan
the mountain began to crawl

The little children of Aberfan
were in their school that day
when the big coal mountain above them high
began to rumble and sway

Oh the big black mountain of rock and slag
began to tumble down
it buried the children in the ground
in a town called Aberfan.

They worked with their picks all through the day
dug with their shovels and hands
kept on digging all through the night
in a town called Aberfan

They dug two trenches for their graves
placed green bracken ’round
the dead they numbered eighty and one
and they laid them in the ground

Oh the big black mountain of rock and slag
began to tumble down
no children are playing there.
it buried the children in the ground
in a town called Aberfan.

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