Songs written and sung by Thom Parrott
on the Grammy nominated 5-CD boxed set
The Best of Broadside Magazine
Featuring, in order of appearance: DISC 1: The Broadside Singers, Phil Ochs, The New World Singers, Peter La Farge, Tom Paxton, Matt McGinn, The Glasgow Song Guild, Pete Seeger, Mark Spoelstra, Happy Traum, Jim Page, Malvina Reynolds, DISC 2: Bob Dylan, Bonnie Dobson, The Fugs, Eric Andersen, Gil Turner, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Janis Ian, Will McLean, Sammy Walker, Richard Black, DISC 3: Nina Simone, The Freedom Singers, Len Chandler, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Mike Millius, Richard Farina, Luis Valdez and Augustin Lira, El Teatro Campesino, Danny and Judy Rose-Redwood, Raimón Padilla, Matt McGinn, Sis Cunningham, The New Harmony Sisterhood Band, DISC 4: Thom Parrott, Matt Jones and Elaine Laron, Paul Kaplan, Wes Houston, Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, Jeff Ampolsk, Lucinda Williams, Charlie Brown, Ernie Marrs and the Marrs Family, DISC 5: Jimmy Collier and Rev F. D. Kirkpatrick, Wendy Smith, Sammy Walker, Arlo Guthrie, Kristin Lems, Bev Grant and the Human Condition, Chris Gaylord, Elaine White.


PINKVILLE HELICOPTER
words & music by Thom Parrott
Copyright © 1968 by Thom Parrott

As they flew over Pinkville, the choppers could see,
The slaughter that went on below them.
And they radioed the dying of the women and kids,
So that general headquarters would know them.

Then one circled down to a place on the ground
Where there were children who were wounded and crying.
And he took them in the chopper to take the kids out
So that they wouldn't be among the dying.

They were on their way out when below them they saw
A little two year old baby
So they went down again and the pilot got out
Muttering "The whole world has gone crazy."

The baby was cradled in the Captain's arms
Wounded and crying and bloody
When a Lieutenant came up and said "Put the kid down
And get your chopper on out of here, buddy."

The Captain looked down at the Lieutenant's gun
That was smoky and hot from the killing.
He said "If I have to give my life for this child,
Then, by God, you know that I'm willing."

Then the gunner who stood in the helicopter's door
Called out to the Lieutenant,
"We're calling your bluff. There's been killing enough.
If your gun starts more, mine will end it."

So they flew the kids out to the medics who said,
"War is hell. Even babies get wounded."
The pilot just looked at his gunner and shook.
Said "To kill them was what was intended."

As they flew over Pinkville, the choppers could see,
The slaughter that went on below them.
And they radioed the dying of the women and kids,
So that general headquarters would know them.


HOLE IN THE GROUND
words & music by Thom Parrott
Copyright © 1968 by Thom Parrott

My age is ten years. I wear raggedy pants.
And I beg from the soldiers, when I get the chance.
My mother is living in a house in the town.
But my daddy lives in a hole in the ground.

The soldiers are friendly. The soldiers are fun.
I play with the soldiers. I field strip their guns.
I tell them I live with my mother in town,
But my daddy lives in a hole in the ground.

The soldiers are nice men, yes they are my friends.
And they feed me candy without any end.
They say they are new here. Could I show them around?
Could I show them where my daddy lives in the hole in the ground?

I show all the soldiers what they want to see.
Because they are good men and so nice to me.
That night there's a booming from outside of town.
From near where my daddy lives in the hole in the ground.

The next day I go to visit my daddy.
I walk and I look all across the rice paddies.
But I can't find my daddy. There's no one around.
And I can't find the hole where he lived in the ground.

But I've still got my soldiers to visit today.
But they don't want to see me. They all turn away.
Some faces are sad and some wear a frown,
As I speak of my daddy in the hole in the ground.


THE ABERFAN COALTIP TRAGEDY
words & music by Thom Parrott
Copyright © 1966 by Thom Parrott

The mining men of Wales are hardy, strong and bold,
And they tunnel in the earth and make it yield its coal.
But in the town of Aberfan, it's dearer now than gold,
For one generation, for the black rock, has been sold.

Chorus:
How many died in Aberfan
When the coal tip came rumbling down?
How many children will never grow old?
How many lives purchase how many pounds of coal?

The little school of Pantglas* lay where the mountain loomed,
And some two hundred children took their lessons in its rooms.
The day fall recess was to begin, they went to meet their doom,
Not knowing "the green hollow" would soon become their tomb.
Chorus.

It was just 9:00 AM when they opened up the door,
And in came the children, two hundred, maybe more,
For nobody knew what the mountain had in store.
The lucky ones were tardy, the others are no more.
Chorus.

"I played with my big dog, I played with my cat."
Signed "Paul, October 21." There's nothing after that.
For the mountain came down, and everyone was trapped,
And now there's only coal slag where little Paul once sat.
Chorus.

In eighteen hundred and seventy-four, the first pit shaft went down,
And they started piling mining waste on the slopes above the town.
Everybody knew that the practice was unsound
But for ninety-two years no better place was found.

The men of the National Coal Board said that they'd known from the first.
The coal tips they permitted were a worry and a curse.
But I've heard that kind of thing so many times and it always sounds rehearsed.
If the coal tip was a murderer, the Coal Board's crime was worse.

For the children all were pretty, the children all were fine,
But the children went to school in the shadow of the mine.
With the coal tip up above them, they were running out of time,
And they were buried alive by the Ministry of Mine.

How many died in Aberfan
When the coal tip came tumbling down.
How many children will never grow old.
How many lives purchase how many tons of coal.


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