Monday, August 28, 2006

Do Not Speak in Tongues

They gathered in the failing light
To make a judgement out of sight.
The tongues of fire had passed them by.
Fear of Babel gleamed in every downcast eye.

Brand our children with one pure fire.
Hold them back from climbing ever higher,
For from that peak they’ll see unfurled
A different, tempting, dangerous world
And reaching out may choose to fall
Out of our grasp, beyond our call,
Beyond the claw of bloody nails,
Never mind ‘God Save Africa’,
God help Wales!

Written on hearing that pupils of Ysgol Dewi Sant, Llanelli, had been disqualified after winning in the Urdd National Eisteddfod, because their song in Welsh, ‘God Bless Africa’, had contained one verse in the original Xhosa. Cultures perish in the hands of committees!

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