Wednesday, 9 August 2017

We're very, very low.

This is a classic poem, turned into a once famous song.

It was written by Ernest Jones, a revolutionary Chartist, who fought for universal suffrage and working class parliaments in the 19th century.

I used to sing this song a lot - with The Workers Music Association Choir and it always went down well on the picket lines.

SONG OF THE LOWER CLASSES(Ernest Jones; tune: My old friend John)

We plough and sow, we're so very, very low
that we delve in the dirty clay
till we bless the plain with the golden grain
and the vale with the fragrant hay.
Our place we know, we're so very, very low,
'tis down at the landlord's feet.
We're not too low the grain to grow,
but too low the bread to eat.

Down, down we go, we're so very, very low
to the hell of the deep sunk mines,
but we gather the proudest gems that glow
when the crown of the despot shines.
And when e'er he lacks upon our backs
fresh loads he deigns to lay.
We're far too low to vote the tax,
but not too low to pay.

We're low, we're low, we're very, very low
and yet from our fingers glide
the silken flow and the robes they glow
round the limbs of the sons of pride.
And what we get and what we give
we know and we know our share.
We're not too low the cloth to weave,
but too low the cloth to wear.

We're low, we're low, we're very, very low
and yet when the trumpets ring
the thrust of a poor man's arm will go
through the heart of the proudest king.
We're low, we're low, mere rabble we know,
we're only the rank and file.
We're not too low to kill the foe,
but too low to share the spoil.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
Contact me:

1 comment: