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BARRY ISLAND
( With apologies to Stanley Holloway )
by
Jack Codman

(Written about 1990, but now in 2007 it seems little has changed. What a shame!)

There's a famous seaside place called Barry '
Thats noted for sand and for sun.
And thousands of 'valleys folk' flocked there.
To join in the frolics and fun.

There's a lovely big beach and a fun fair
And when the full seasons begun.
There's cockles and winkles and ice cream .
And laver bread sold by the tonne.

The trippers all make for 'The Island'.
( Which isn't surrounded by sea ).
While the visitors book for a guest-house.
For a week on full board (with high tea).

There are plenty of cafes and chip shops.
And amusment arcades in galore.
Gift shops and bingo and discoes.
And buses will take you on tour.

There's donkeys and deck-chairs and boat rides.
But nobody swims in the sea.
They say that it rots your bikini.
Because most of its second hand pee.

But mam has her lager at lunch time.
Dad his Allbright or S.A.
The kids drink a coke or a pepsi.
And seem to be eating all day.

You can play 'pitch and putt' in Porthkerry Park.
Or go for a walk to Cold Knap.
And see Barry Castle on top of the hill.
( From 1066 and all that ).

But things don't seem right in 'fun city'.
The 'laughing man's' wearing a frown.
And seeing the change in the people.
Is like seeing the tears of the clown.

The choirs of the Valleys are muted.
No coal wagons shunted around.
The old pit wheels are not turning.
And there's few other jobs to be found.

Soon the dust will be washed from the hillsides.
Grasses will clothe them in green.
The scars will be gentled by nature.
There'll be nothing to show what has been.

But what of the people who live there.
Shall we no longer hear their sweet song.
Like the churches and chapels and co-ops.
Will they disappear before long.

Barry is not really an island.
Nor the Valleys alone in their plight.
It's all Wales, all Britain, all Europe.
Its the whole of the planet in plight.

-And who may we turn to for guidance.
Religion it seems is in doubt.
They keep killing each other in thousands.
In the name of 'Our God' they all shout.

And what of the maharishis and yogi.
The sects from the east or the west.
They claim they can teach us "Enlightenment".
But first we must feather their nest.

So where are our great moral leaders.
Not many about you'll agree.
And the ones who preach loudest their principles.
Will ditch them real quick for a fee.

In truth we must all pull together.
Be tolerant, patient and care.
Or we'll always have discord and trouble.
If we don't seem to get a fair share.

But this world has no time for such talk.
Grab all you can seems the ploy.
So the rich rob the poor without thinking.
And only to buy some new toy.

They've sold off the family silver.
Exported our jobs and our skills.
Sold most of the oil from the North Sea.
There's not much to sell but the hills.

Our mineral wealth has been squandered.
Assetts that belonged to us all.
Have all been sold off in the 'share out'.
That wasn't a share out at all.

Yes the new robber barons are with us.
Despoiling our lives with their greed.
Captains of industry we call them.
Fat cats, financiers or such like all practice their "Mafia creed".

How soon shall mankind be kind man.
To bring back some hope to the place
And instead of greed and of meanness.
Lets work for the whole human race.

It seems a tall order to start on.
But will come if we all play our part.
And the guide that we need to achieve it ?
Well of course its right there in your heart.

Then joy will return to the Valleys.
The choirs will resume their refrain.
And lets hope they come back to Barry.
And pray its not raining ... again.

 
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