Rosemary’s Sister

A sad song of Britain during the Blitz. I first heard it off Connie Dover, but it’s performed by the Fairview Convention here. Words and music by Huw Williams.

Rosemary’s Sister

Brother of disaster and sister of our fate
Do you count the tragedies we see?
And brother of confusion and sister of debate
Do you remember the sister of Rosemary?

The doodlebugs were flying and the blitz was at its height
Rosemary lay sleeping with her sister only nine
And no one heard the one that hit, the one that blew the lid
Rosemary came out crying but her sister never did

And we fly high, our dreams are all in vain
One moment we are singing and the next we cry in pain
But high above the heavens in a host of angels’ wings
Rosemary’s sister will be dancing

Her mother cried all that year as many others did
There were times when she’d pull through now and again
And the people there in Bethnel Street in the rubble and the stone
Swept up the street and started all again

When tyranny is biting you do your best to try
And stifle all your heartache till it’s safe again to cry
And when the darkness disappears and the light comes shining through
We’ll gather up and start our fall anew

There’s a teacher in the classroom, there’s a mother in the hall
The children sit and wait for the bell for home
And Rosemary is waiting, she has a child now of her own
And she’s waiting to collect and take her home

And sometimes in the firelight in the silence where she sits
Her mind goes back to Bethnel Street, the darkness and the blitz
And she hears if there’s another one, then the end will be complete,
Well, I wonder what they’d say in the Bethnel Street

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