All the Little Children
Tommy Sands - ©Elm Grove Music

The events of Bloody Sunday persuaded a multitude of young men towards joining the IRA. Many felt there was now no other way to achieve a "lasting peace." Later David Ervine would tell me that Bloody Friday (a day of IRA bombing in Belfast) had persuaded him to join the UVF. It is likely I could have gone that way too had it not been for a conversation with a friend, involved in previous campaigns. If I wanted to do something for peace, he said, then write a song instead. In a dark time I could only look towards some light from the future so I wrote this song. I called it "All the Little Children."


Little children hiding in the shadows
Waiting for the changing of the day
Watching for a break between the showers
When they can go out and start to play

And we’re singing of the times
I can hear you saying it's impossible
Just look at the blood upon the road.
But I don't think that it's impossible.

For now we see that all our blood is red
It seems that cure is better than prevention
If not then Doctor John would have no pay
And all the kings and queens would have no pensions.

If all the little children they did play
I don't suppose a man will stop his struggling
If he's lying with his back upon the ground
It's only when everyone is standing
That peace and justice can be found

Sands Family 1970: Tommy, Ben, Anne, Eugene "Dino" and Colum.