Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Welsh Wednesday #23

#23: A New South Wales by The Alarm

Mike Peters is a fiercely proud Welshman, so you can only imagine how he and his fellow compatriots felt when the Evil Thatcher Monster wreaked havoc across this fair nation by closing the coal mines and with it destroying communities and condemning generations to poverty, unemployment and little in the way of hope for the future. Many of these once thriving mining towns and villages have yet to recover, the devastation still evident.

A New South Wales is Peters voicing his despair in song, though he seemed to hold a glimmer of hope for the future. So amongst the sadness and pessimism:

  A man walks home alone
  Past a church full of mourning souls
  Throughout his lifetime he has fought
  He has given his life
  In tears the congregation sing
  Cwm Rhondda Oh my Lord

there's some optimism that this might unite the nation and Wales could be great again:

  Great, great change in the fair country
  The future lies with the sons and daughters
  South will meet with North

The language and emotion is strong, Peters denouncing the "rape" of his country, the anger of those communities affected and the bleak and uncertain outlook faced by future generations. It's not your typical Alarm track - there are no guitars or drums - but it's as powerful as anything they ever did.

A New South Wales was released in 1989 and featured the Morriston Orpheus Male Voice Choir. It was recorded live in Cardiff for the BBC and produced by Tony Visconti.

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