Sleeping Mat Ballad (Lyrics)

The Sleeping-Mat Ballad – Song no 2 of Occupation
New commissions responding to current events  2014

Link to Occupation

Commissioned by
Welsh National Opera and The Space

Music Judith Weir
Words Tim Hopkins
Published by Wise Music Classical–Judith-Weir/


I made a friend, he wove this mat
this yellow mat I sleep on.
I think he would give his life
to shelter me, to protect me.
His heart is strong, stronger than his head.

We all lie down, a gentle breeze,
a gentle breeze refreshes our breathing,
a siren sound, our eyes lock,
more troubling than before when we were many.
‘it’s now or never to be heard.’

Now it’s daybreak, we never pass a peaceful night,
I sometimes can’t believe we’ve kept it going,
I tell myself as I compose a post:
‘Day 51 and waiting for some answers.’

I hear an unfamiliar sound and stop:
It’s my friend running across the fast lane.
‘They ask why we’re still here:
now they will see, now they will see.’

Walking towards the flashing lights,
he stops and turns and looks and smiles.

Do you think; if we stay;
we will win; don’t pass by;
we’re still here; help us win;
I am here; this is home;
help has come; help has gone;
people come; people go.