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Bracchi (M. Brooks)

A song celebrating immigration. At the start of the 20th Century South Wales was enriched by the Italian immigrants who opened coffee houses and Ice-cream parlours. The first was a Mr Bracchi. Those who followed were given the same nickname.

As the century began
A few miles south of Milan
Was where and when my great Grandad was raised
As unemployment hit hard
All around his back yard
He drew the card of the emigre
The British empire was a draw
For all the region's poor
So to Britannia's shore he set sail
Set off with a goal in mind
He walked a day or nine
To the mining valleys of south Wales

Call me Bracchi Welsh can't remember Cottica or Campanini
Call me Bracchi in Italiano mi chiamo Michelini
Call me Bracchi in Galese Bracchi

There was the Franci and Sabrini
Rabbiotti Campanini
Balestrasi Michelini and the Sacchi
And as we raised our homes
Amongst the Davies and the Jones
We got known after the first here the Bracchi
40,000 men
Worked underground back then
But we did not intend becoming miners
Though we worked the Rhondda seams
We kept our fingers clean
Served coffee and ice-cream in Bracchi diners


But the bubble didn't last
Soon the mining boom had past
The economy sank fast to it's knees
Though the coal reserves weren't spent
The will to mine them went
As they sent cut-price coal from overseas
So as the mining stops
The population drops
So like the pits the Bracchi shops are closing down
Looks like our time in Wales is done
Like Grandfather like Grandson
It's to London this emigre is bound

(C) 2000 Katt Pie Records

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