Friday, November 18, 2011

In 1649, To St. George's Hill....

I thought it was about time I commented on contemporary events and the crisis in capitalism, but as usual I will chose to do so from a historical perspective. Leon Rosselson wrote the song and I am sure given his political persuasions he will not mind me posting the lyrics, and Billy Bragg (amongst others sang it)

The video I include is from Kevin Brownlows film about Winstanley and the Diggers, who inspired the song I reproduce below. The times maybe different but the spirit is the same. The action may no longer be taking place in green fields but in paved squares and busy streets of London and New York, but the response of the authorities is the same. Shame on them today as it was shame on them yesterday!
"In 1649
To St. George's Hill,
A ragged band they called the Diggers
Came to show the people's will
They defied the landlords
They defied the laws
They were the dispossessed reclaiming what was theirs
We come in peace they said
To dig and sow
We come to work the lands in common
And to make the waste ground grow
This earth divided
We will make whole
So it will be
A common treasury for all

The sin of property
We do disdain
No man has any right to buy and sell
The earth for private gain
By theft and murder
They took the land
Mow everywhere the walls
Spring up at their command

They make the laws
To chain us well
The clergy dazzle us with heaven
Or they damn us into hell
We will not worship
The God they serve
The God of greed who feed the rich
While poor folk starve

We work we eat together
We need no swords
We will not bow to the masters
Or pay rent to the lords
Still we are free
Though we are poor
You Diggers all stand up for glory
Stand up now

From the men of property
The orders came
They sent the hired men and troopers
To wipe out the Diggers claim
Tear down their cottages
Destroy their corn
They were dispersed
But still the vision lingers on

You poor take courage
You rich take care
This earth was made a common treasury
For everyone to share
All things in common
All people one
We come in peace
The orders came to cut them down"