Cymru Culture

Articles / Erthyglau

Mother to her son, Boyd Clack & Kirsten Jones

(March 01, 2013)

Mother To Her Son
Boyd Clack and Kirsten Jones

                                       You are not going down the mines,
                                       I’ve told you that before.
                                       You have got a brain
                                       And that's not what it's for.
                                       It's for thinking not for crawling round
                                       In tunnels in the dark.
                                       You’ll go to college like your brother.
                                       Don’t you break my heart.

                                       I know that your Dad worked there
                                       But he says the same.
                                       He had no choice
                                       But you have got a brain.
                                       He was just twelve years old
                                       When his father took him down,
                                       When he did his first shift,
                                       When he first went underground.

                                       He said that he felt 'like a man'
                                       Down there with the 'boys'
                                       But they were just children
                                       Who'd packed away their toys
                                       And taken up the pick
                                       And the shovel and the lamp
To dig out the blackest, blackest coal
                                       In the icy cold and damp.

                                       They thought that they were men then
                                       Because men toil and sweat
                                       And drink beer by the bucketful
                                       And smoke and swear and bet
                                       But you look at your father now
                                       He can't walk twenty feet
                                       Without stopping, gasping for his breath
                                       White as a laundered sheet

                                       The earth has claimed too many.
                                       It's not having you.
                                       The world is at your fingertips
                                       There's so much you could do.
                                       You can live life and be happy
                                       In the sunshine and the rain.
                                       You can breathe in God's fresh air
                                       Because my son, you have got a brain.

                                       Boyd Clack and Kirsten Jones

Mother to her son was written in support of the National Coal Mining Memorial, Senghenydd. The poem was first performed during a memorial concert at Big Pit, Blaenafon, held underground to remember the victims of colliery accidents.

Also from Boyd Clack: 

     The snows of yesteryear; December 2012

     The snows of yesteryear; September 2012

     The snows of yesteryear; June 2012

     Interview with Boyd Clack; September 2011

Boyd's new website is

Boyd Clack's latest album, Labourer of Love is available in Tesco and ASDA stores now, or online from Amazon - as a CD at £8.99, or mp3 at £5.99. We interviewed Boyd last September - fascinating reading - read it here: Boyd Clack interview, September 2011.


Boyd Clack - Labourer of LoveBoyd Clack's latest album, Labourer of Love


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