Mudcat Café message #2217776 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75002   Message #2217776
Posted By: Jim Dixon
17-Dec-07 - 10:48 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Silver and Gold (Vin Garbutt)
Subject: Lyr Req: SILVER AND GOLD (Bryn Phillips)
Well, even if we can't get the chords, I think we ought to have a copy of the lyrics here.

Lyrics and notes copied from Bryn Phillips' web site. There is also a sound sample and a photo of an example of John Gates' embroidery there.

Bryn Phillips

John Gates was a miner in South Wales, near Bridgend, before he was made redundant at the age of 50 when the pit in his local town closed down. There was virtually no chance of getting a job in the area and so he turned to a hobby which he had for years - embroidery. He is now a successful teacher and lectures on the subject all over the place.

I first heard his story on Woman's Hour, whilst travelling back from Bridgnorth Folk festival. Immediately I arrived home I started to write the song. After I had written it I managed to trace John and sent him a recording of the song to make sure he was happy about my performing it. Thankfully he was, and what's more he sent me some photographs of the wedding dress which features in the song and also an embroidered badge, which I treasure.

1. My name is John Gates and I worked down the pit
Till they closed it a few years ago.
It was all that I knew. it was all I could do.
I was broken apart by the blow.
And most of my pals, they were in the same boat
When they closed that colliery down;
And at fifty years old, I knew I was through.
There was no work for me in the town.

CHORUS: Oh, give me the silver and gold.
Oh, give me the silver and gold.
My hands must be clean as I'm picking the seam,
Not black with the dust from the coal.
Oh, give me the silver and gold.

2. We still met at the club but it wasn't the same.
The comradeship somehow had gone.
I remembered the time on that cold picket line
When our union bond made us strong,
And I never thought I would see grown men cry.
They were hard men, proud and true.
Their eyes filled with tears as they sipped at their beer,
And I shared their despairing too.

3. Now all I had left was thoughts of the thread,
The thread of the silver and gold.
An interest for years, it now held back the tears.
I gave it my whole heart and soul.
Then an advert for a dressmaking class caught my eye.
I enrolled as the only man there.
And as my skill grew, I finally knew
I had something precious to share.

4. I laboured for months on my girl's wedding dress,
Stitching dreams in the silk with the thread,
Intricate patterns of silver and gold.
All thoughts of that colliery lay dead.
And as we walked arm in arm down the aisle,
She smiled as I caught her eye,
But that moment of love - it was too much to bear,
As once more I started to cry.