City of Aachen November ‘44

Reconstruction placed now in his hands

Architect Hans Swippert

Stands upon the floor

‘The dignity of labour’

This he must restore


Forced workers and slave labour

This has been the creed

Work the people

Work them till they cry

Keep them at the coalface

Lash them when they slack

‘Arbeit macht frei’

And then you die


The cotton mills of Lancashire

The coalmines of my youth

Not for me no way my father said

He knew the darkness of the mine

He’d lived through warfare’s awful time

For you my son there comes a better day


I had the privilege of priest

An honourable task

To preach the gospel

Mediator too

There is dignity in human work

Whatever work you do

My father was a miner

And a gentleman I knew


Brian Fahy

16 September 2021



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