Tuesday, 30 July 2019 14:09

Believe!

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in Poetry
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Believe!

Believe! 

by Peter Branson


"Rise, like lions after slumber"
- Shelley, 'The Masque of Anarchy', 1819 (first pub.1832)

We meet to talk about low pay,
Our masters own the time.
We swear an oath of secrecy;
That is our only crime.
A living wage, fair shares for all,
For bread and liberty.
Tolpuddle way, we reap and sow;
We will, we will be free.

The mills round here are silenced now;
We import all our clothes
From sweatshops crammed with kids and mums
Where labour costs are low.
A living wage, fair shares for all,
For bread and liberty.
Sing "We are many, they are few";
We will, we will be free.

They shut down all the steelworks here;
They say we can't afford.
They argue it's more sensible
To buy in from abroad.
A living wage, fair shares for all,
For bread and liberty.
We'll work with nature, not destroy;
We will, we will be free.

When Thatcher plots to close the pits
In nineteen eighty-four,
She's out to break the unions
And flout our civil law.
A living wage, fair shares for all,
For bread and liberty.
Same health provision, rich and poor;
We will, we will be free.

There's homeless people, others toil
On zero hours low pay,
Denied the rights we've struggled for,
I'm talking now, today.
A living wage, fair shares for all,
For bread and liberty.
So "Shake your chains to earth like dew";
We will, we will be free.

You Diggers and you Levellers,
Trades unions, Chartists too,
Who fought for hard-won workers' rights,
Those slain at Peterloo,
A living wage, fair shares for all,
For bread and liberty,
We're "Children of a wiser day";
We will, we will be free!

(Tune: 'When I First Came to This Country', American traditional)

Read 323 times Last modified on Tuesday, 30 July 2019 14:15
Peter Branson

Peter Branson is a full time poet, songwriter, traditional-style singer and socialist whose poetry has been published around the world. His latest collection, ‘Hawk Rising’, is due out early 2016.