A Pair of Clogs

The little pair of children’s clogs
looked so cute on the shelf.
They decided they just had to take them home
to show them off to their friends
just like a big doll’s shoes, but the soles were worn
and a little down at the heel
she began to wonder if their tongues could speak
what secrets they might reveal

Children need sunshine and laughter
children need learning and play
from the mills of the past,
to the sweatshops of Dhaka
and rubble of Gaza today

Her mother came for tea one day,
she saw the pair on display
my god she said just like my grandma wore
I’m glad we’re not in her day
the children heard and they asked their gran
to tell of those far off days
and as they listened they heard a tale
that they’d not read on the page.

Children need sunshine and laughter
children need learning and play
from the mills of the past,
to the sweatshops of Dhaka
and rubble of Gaza today

Mary Halliday from eight years old
rose at 5 each morn
put on her clogs, unlatched the door
started work before the dawn
In Swinton town, in the Albert Mill
cleaning under the mule
on all fours in the oil and dust
then two hours at school

Children need sunshine and laughter
children need learning and play
from the mills of the past,
to the sweatshops of Dhaka
and rubble of Gaza today

A plea to let children have a childhood free from drudgery, poverty and fear. My first recorded effort on the melodeon, I’ve a way to go but you’ve got to start somewhere!

Comments are closed.