Thursday, May 19, 2005

Thursday Lyric: World Turned Upside Down

by Leon Rosselson
[who doesn't put his lyrics on the web, or in his albums, so this is almost the only one I could find; Stand Up For Judas is out there, too, in several languages. This man is the musical equivalent of Harlan Ellison: an incredible technician whose unsparing vision and deep humanity create powerful, challenging works of lasting relevance. emphasis added]

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 land in common
And to make the wastelands grow
This earth divided
We will make whole
So it can be
A common treasury for all

'The sin of property
We do disdain
No one has any right to buy and sell
The earth for private gain

By theft and murder
They took the land
Now everywhere the walls
Rise 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 feeds the rich
While poor folk starve

'We work, we eat together
We need no swords
We will not bow to masters
Or pay rent to the lords
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 -
Only the vision lingers on

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

(the index of other lyrics and poetry I've posted is here)

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