:: Welcome to Rhymney ::

A walk through Rhymney

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:: Stage 2 of 13 :: Idris Davis

The Bells of Rhymney is probably one of his most famous poems and was set to music by the American folk singer, Pete Seeger. It was then covered by pop groups like The Byrds and solo singers like Joan Baez and Bob Dylan in the 1960s.

Davies returned to the Rhymney Valley as a teacher in 1947. His final volume, 'Selected Poems', was published shortly before his death from cancer in 1953, at the age of 48, the same year that Dylan Thomas died. Coincidentally, they had both become friends during Davies' time in London, although it would be hard to imagine that Davies, a strong chapel-goer, would ever have partaken in Dylan's drinking sprees. Nevertheless, Dylan wrote him a surprisingly touching letter shortly before Davies' death, telling him about the poems that Dylan had read for the St. David's Day radio broadcast. The poem of Davies' that had been selected for Dylan to read was The Bells of Rhymney; although Dylan did not feel it was particularly representative of the body of work that Davies had produced, as it was not angry enough.

The Bells of Rhymney

Oh what will you give me?
Say the sad bells of Rhymney.
Is there hope for the future?
Cry the brown bells of Merthyr.
Who made the mine owner?
Say the black bells of Rhondda.
And who robbed the miner?
Cry the grim bells of Blaina.

They will plunder willy-nilly,
Cry the bells of Caerphilly.
They have fangs, they have teeth,
Shout the loud bells of Neath.
Even God is uneasy,
Say the moist bells of Swansea.
And what will you give me?
Say the sad bells of Rhymney.

Throw the vandals in court,
Say the bells of Newport.
All will be well if, if, if,
Cry the green bells of Cardiff.
Why so worried, sisters why?
Sang the silver bells of Wye.
And what will you give me?
Say the sad bells of Rhymney?

 

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:: Featured Walk Attraction ::

Merthyr

Merthyr

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