I am fortunate to have lovely childhood memories, but decided to broach something a bit darker for the challenge.
A vivid childhood memory (I was eight years old at the time), is the Aberfan disaster of 1966 – and I decided to make this the subject of my song.
I’m a great believer in ‘the circle of life’ – and so despite the sadness, there is always potential for a positive end.
I realise that I set this challenge (thank you for voting for Under Paris Skies), but I suppose that was one of the reasons I wanted to write a song for it!

God must have been sleeping
that wet October morning
when the rains were pouring
on the streets of Aberfan

The Four Tops on the airwaves
Breakfast much like normal
Too young to be last school days
for the kids of Aberfan

we saw it on the TV
safely in suburbia
we had our meal in silence
we didn’t understand

questions needing answers
blame was easy muted
the accountants and the suited
who’d ignored Aberfan

Tiny bodies laid in line
buried twice before their time
beneath the muck, beneath the grime
those infant hearts stopped beating
Politicians needing votes
said their speeches lined their coats
empty words to silenced folk
not worthy of repeating

Aberfan of 66
always spoke with whispered lips
some things time must heal to fix…

Watch them stand in single file
friends together, faces smile
survivors children take their child
to school in Aberfan


  1. Well done again on Under Paris skies Andy. This is a beautiful poignant song. Really captured the feeling of a child processing an adult tragedy, “we had our meal in silence” That line conveys so much. Well done.

  2. This gave me goose pimples. Really fitting choice of chords to mirror the sentiment of the song – loved the guitar work too. This subject was tastefully and aptly embodied by this song. Very touching and sweet.

  3. Very nice Andy. The chord sequence flowed beautifully, providing a poignant base for a gentle song. The performance was really sensitive. Mel and I have listened to this a few times. We both really enjoyed this.

  4. Thank you for all the kind comments about ‘Aberfan’. There have been some brilliant songs posted for the challenge and I’m proud to be a part of this community.

  5. This is hauntingly beautiful Andy. I remember the tragedy, just a couple of valleys across from where I grew up 😢. A friend of mine, not in this group has also written a song about it. I’ll send you a link via messenger so you can have a listen

  6. A sad memory, whatever memory I keep of it has been overwhelmed I think by subsequent reporting. But what a wonderful song, sparse and unsparing, detail enough but not too much, images of a moment in time.

  7. Beautiful song Andy, there’s a lovely tension in the second to last strike of each verse line, masterful timing right there. Your voice sits on top of the music perfectly. Lovely lyrics, poignant and memorable. Congrats!

  8. I find myself lacking the vocabulary to adequately describe this. We moved to South Wales in 1970 and for an awful lot of people this was still very raw. Well done mate!

  9. My parents and I had moved to Essex from Wales four years earlier, and like so many we watched in horror and disbelief as events unfolded. You capture the sentiments perfectly. ‘Tiny bodies laid in line’ is a brilliant, summation. I’d like to have seen a line about the Queen’s absence, but it’s yout song. Gets my vote.

  10. Nice one Andy. I’m not a monarchist, but I believe the Queen really regretted not going sooner, apparently. Either way, this is one of the most powerful songs I’ve heard on TiT. Thank you.

  11. I remember that day so clearly, Andy. My Mum & Dad both cried and hugged my brother & I tightly. Your song is so skilfully crafted and the simple yet eloquent style & tone are perfectly suited to carry such a heavy burden.