Working Man

Have you ever heard the song, ‘A Working Man?’ Strangely, it was written and sung by a Canadian lady, Rita MacNeil back in the 1980s. It’s one of those songs that can stir your soul and get tugging the heartstrings. My family came from the coal pits of South Wales, so every time I hear it played or sung, it reminds me of what they went through. I remember one Uncle saying that ‘Merthyr is not a place you want to wake up in,’ although I’m sure it’s different now.

As Good As Pavarotti

You can imagine my surprise, during the summer months on a warm evening visit to the local pub, we were welcomed by Emrys, in full flow, singing ‘A Working Man’ acapella style. Being a Welshman, he sings as only a Welshman can sing, full of emotion, every word clearly defined and sounding as good as Pavarotti in his day. I could feel the hairs on my neck standing up.

Make A Date

We spoke afterwards and I congratulated him on his singing and in particular, singing ‘that song.’ I think he was surprised that I knew it and who had written it. As I play the guitar, we talked about having some sort of duet in the future, he singing the song while I try and accompany him on guitar. One of those moments where you make plans but nothing ever comes of them. However, this time it would be different.

Emrys singing A Working Man with me on guitar.

New Year’s Eve

Fast forward to New Year’s Eve, 2022. A celebratory night of music with everyone in fancy dress was arranged, again, in our local pub. Emrys had got up earlier to sing with the band, a firm favourite of everyone, ‘Delilah’ and great fun with an audience that was enjoying every second of the night. However, ‘A Working Man’ wasn’t sung, not at that time.

Proud Moment

As the evening moved on and we all celebrated the welcoming of 2023 at midnight, things started to get a little quieter. I soon got the opportunity to play the guitar with Emrys singing. I was honoured, nervous, scared even and perhaps had one too many beers, but I wasn’t going to let this chance pass me by. The bonus too is that it is captured on video for posterity. It may not seem much to anyone else, but I love this song, I love how Emrys sang it and I was so pleased to be a part of this performance.

If you would like to see the original version of the song, it’s here.

I'd love to hear from you

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68 Comments
  • rb.z
    January 27, 2023

    This is a very nice song!

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you and yes, it is lovely 😊

      • Lara/Trace
        February 16, 2023

        You have a lovely soul!

        • Trev
          February 16, 2023

          Thank you, Lara, that’s very kind of you. πŸ™‚

  • SueW
    January 27, 2023

    Absolutely lovely, Trev. What a wonderful evening it must have been. πŸ™‚

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you, Sue. It was a lovely evening and everyone was so nice. 😊

  • luisa zambrotta
    January 27, 2023

    Wonderful! Great performance🎢🎢🎢

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you, Luisa. 😊

  • derrickjknight
    January 27, 2023

    Excellent performance of a meaningful piece of music

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you, Derrick, your kind words are very much appreciated. 😊

  • Peter's pondering
    January 27, 2023

    A lovely performance Trev. I am always happy to find a bit of a tune from you and/or Debbie!

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you, Peter 😊

  • delphini510
    January 27, 2023

    Trev, thank you for sharing this wonderful evening whilst welcoming in the New Year. Your descrition is
    great and I feel as if I was there. “A working man” is a great song and I am glad to now have heard it.
    By the way, your humour is very contagious. πŸ™‚

    miriam

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you, Miriam, that is so nice of you. 😊

  • Bitchy After 60
    January 27, 2023

    That is a song I know well as Rita McNeil was from Nova Scotia which is also my home. It is a song that touches you and stays with you fort. Congrats on playing with the band.

    • Barbara Alley Hoyle
      January 27, 2023

      Beautiful words, a wonderful community and celebration as 2022 is dismissed to greet 2023 with friends. The best to you Trev.

      • Trev
        January 27, 2023

        Thank you, Barbara. 😊

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you, it is a beautiful song. 😊

  • newepicauthor
    January 27, 2023

    Music has the ability to make you feel alive. I wish I had learned how to play an instrument.

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you. One of the better things about my misspent youth was learning to play the guitar. 😊

  • Carolyn
    January 27, 2023

    Marvelous, Trev! How is it that Welshmen have such wonderful voices? Good accompaniment too!

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you, Carolyn. I must be the only Welshman that can’t sing. 😊

  • John
    January 27, 2023

    I enjoyed the song, Trev! Great song performed very nicely. β€οΈπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you, John. 😊

  • SusanR
    January 27, 2023

    Wonderful voice, great song. And in such warm, friendly surroundings. Wish we had a place like that around here.

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you, Susan. It is a very friendly place. 😊

  • kidtrish
    January 27, 2023

    Love this… Great job by the lot. I am always singing in public. It is great for the soul, life affirming.

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you very much. I agree, it’s great for the soul. 😊

  • Rosaliene Bacchus
    January 27, 2023

    Congrats on the performance! I wasn’t familiar with the song.

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you as always, Rosaliene. 😊

  • Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet
    January 27, 2023

    Wonderful post and performance, Trev! <3

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you, Cheryl. 😊

  • rugby843
    January 27, 2023

    Absolutely lovely. There’s nothing like listening to an unfiltered voice in person.

    • Trev
      January 27, 2023

      Thank you 😊

  • June Lorraine Roberts
    January 27, 2023

    Rita was dearly love in her province of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. How lovely that you know her song (s)

    • Trev
      January 28, 2023

      Thank you, June. It is such a beautiful, emotional song. 😊

  • The Hinoeuma
    January 28, 2023

    Quite the voice…

    • Trev
      January 28, 2023

      Thank you 😊

  • Invisibly Me
    January 28, 2023

    That is so awesome, Trev, well done!!! That must have been nerve-wracking, especially waiting with your knees knocking all night and a few beers in you, but you did it. I can see the emotional impact, too, so it sounds like a wonderful opportunity that you made happen. As you noted, often things are said or you think about doing something, but it doesn’t happen. You made this happen. Treasure the video and thank you for sharing it with us. Any desire to go round-2 on another pub guitar-a-long? x

    • Trev
      January 28, 2023

      Thank you, Caz. I do play open mic nights every now and then in the area, so sometimes it goes well and sometimes a little awry. There’s usually someone with a camera and films it. I will have to have a look around. Thank you, your words are very kind and supportive. 😊

  • Peace Truth
    January 29, 2023

    Absolutely very cool πŸ‘ Tevor still is in Australia and song by Barnsley man

    • Trev
      January 29, 2023

      Thank you very much. 😊

  • Peace Truth
    January 29, 2023

    https://youtu.be/iuOGLu0ZdBI

  • sabiusblog
    January 29, 2023

    Congrats. Emotional and wonderful song. Un abrazo.

    • Trev
      January 29, 2023

      Thank you very much 😊

  • Amanda
    January 29, 2023

    Both of you sound wonderful together. A very moving duet. Wish I’d been there.

    • Trev
      January 29, 2023

      Thank you, Amanda. It was a great night, you would have enjoyed it. 😊

  • juliecroundblog
    January 29, 2023

    That was one of the songs we could join in with when we went to folk clubs. However, I thought it was British ( Welsh or Northern) Unfortunately I think our folk club days are over as I won’t drive in the dark and Hubby is so poorly he’s not even allowed out of the house at present, in case he falls over.

    • Trev
      January 29, 2023

      I am sorry to hear about your husband, Julie. No, it was definitely written and originally sung by a Canadian. Thank you 😊

  • Going Batty in Wales
    January 31, 2023

    That sound a great evening!

    • Trev
      January 31, 2023

      It certainly was a great evening. Thank you. 😊

  • Armann and Kaymann
    February 14, 2023

    Beautiful

    • Trev
      February 14, 2023

      Thank you very much. 😊

  • Belladonna
    February 15, 2023

    Nicely done!!!! Can’t tell that you were ever nervous to play and is it possible to have to many beers? I think not! LOL
    Thank you for sharing

    • Trev
      February 15, 2023

      Thank you very much. 😊

  • omordah1
    February 22, 2023

    Lovely.

    • Trev
      February 22, 2023

      Thank you very much, that’s very kind of you. πŸ™‚

  • abbasmehar
    March 1, 2023

    Thank you so much for sharing unique information in your blog post I really like it.

    • Trev
      March 1, 2023

      Thank you

  • The Hook
    March 2, 2023

    Rita would be proud.

    • Trev
      March 2, 2023

      Thank you, very much appreciated 😊

  • Peace Truth
    March 3, 2023

    Hello from Australia πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί

    • Trev
      March 3, 2023

      Hello. 😊

  • POLITIX
    March 7, 2023

    Wonderful song and voice ! Congrats 😊

    • Trev
      March 7, 2023

      Thank you very much. πŸ™‚

  • Lou Carreras
    March 10, 2023

    Well, Trev, lets hope that the call from the lottery saying that you won is not a mistake also!

  • cbholganza
    April 16, 2023

    Love the song, my friend. Sing on!!!

    • Trev
      April 16, 2023

      Thank you very much 😊