Mike Silver - Pretoria


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    'Sublime delivery... go and see him' BBC Radio 2 Cerys Matthews. As heard on BBC 6 Music.
    'Marvel at the talent...a compendium of gems...the master at work...entrances from start to finish' Grem Devlin, The Living Tradition
    'I'm smitten' BBC Radio Devon and Cornwall
    'It’s such a simple yet gorgeous, emotional song that nearly caused me to shed a tear, and it’s a song that will encourage me to dig deeper into his archive' One of Tom Robinson's Fresh on the Net Fresh Faves (12th March 2019).
    A twelve page booklet accompanies the sleek digipack presentation with gorgeous artwork created by Sam Horton at www.graniteandglitter.com.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Mike Silver - Alchemy via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days

      £10 GBP or more 



PRETORIA was written after seeing the film Cry Freedom. I left the theatre consumed, all over again, by the tragedy/horror (not sure which) of racism and within a few days wrote the lyric. When read through as a text, the lyric is plainly ‘pointed’ and when I was looking for a tune I began by trying to come up with a ‘heavy duty’ guitar riff or lick to get me going. I discovered tho’ that this, far from enhancing the lyric was diminishing it. Playing around with the DADGAD tuning one day I discovered this pretty little tune and then to my amazement found that it fitted Pretoria perfectly. Not only that; it actually worked very well. After apartheid in South Africa was abolished I began to leave the song out of my set. I had not sung it for about 6 months when it was requested by a chap in a folk club not far from Leeds. My response was that the song had, in truth, probably lost its platform. His response was that the lyrics were not important, he just liked the tune!



© Faymusic Publishing Written and composed by Mike Silver

Pretoria you will be remembered for how you kept the devil’s vow
Pretoria your days are numbered and everybody is counting now

Gold in the ground crops in the field
Clean mountain forest and ripe fruit to peel
Blind eyes in your head no right in your wrong
Blood on your hands and lies in your song
We know your solution to any who oppose
We’ve seen it in film clips on the 6 o’clock news
You break hearts you break heads a thousand at a time
Its just a temporary victory over shadowed by the crime


Against all your power a miracle survives
The hope in the black man still keeps him a live
And you will not crush it in him or his kin
It rises against you never can win
There’s filth in your townships beneath the burning sun
There’s no communication with tear gas and guns
When you hold back a lion you have to use a chain
But you’d better not be around when he breaks free again


So here are your choices its peace or its war
Peace has been offered but you keep closing the door
No conference table can quell your desire
Of your own volition you will perish in the fire


Guitar and vocal: Mike


from Mike Silver - Alchemy, released March 26, 2019


all rights reserved



Folkstock Records UK

Boutique label releasing handpicked singer songwriters from the Folkstock fold.
Most engineering, mixing and mastering by Lauren Deakin Davies.
Except Bright Season by Bright Season - released 31st May 2014
The F Spot by Friends of Folkstock - release date 17th May 2014
Passing the Baton - Swarb and Folkstock friends - 5th April 2014
Debut EP release from Kelly Oliver on 26.11.13. Far From Home
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