[Home Page [Programme [Songs [Performances [Links]

Sea Green Singers - Chartist Anthem

Chartist Anthem

A Song by Ben Boucher©1847

A hundred years, a thousand years,
We're marching on the road
The going isn't easy
Yet we've got a heavy load,
We've got a heavy load

The way is blind with blood and sweat,
And death sings in our ears
But time is marching on our side,
We will defeat the years,
We will defeat the years

SGS don't sing this verse
We men of bone of shrunken shank,
Our only treasure dearth,
Women who carry at their breast
Heirs to the hungry earth,
Heirs to the hungry earth

Speak with one voice, we march we rest,
And march again upon the years
Sons of our sons are listening,
To hear the Chartist cheers
Oh, to hear the Chartists cheers

Notes from http://unionsong.com/u692.html

This song by the Dudley poet Ben Boucher dates from the Chartist struggles of the 1840s. The People's Charter was drawn up In 1837 demanding more of a say for the masses of workers then slaving in factories and living in hovels. This Charter, which developed into Chartism, demanded amongst other things: votes for all adult males, annual parliamenlt, and secret ballots, all demands that appeared revolutionary at the time. Ben Boucher (1769-1851) was a miner who turned to making a living by writing and selleing his poems at a penny each in the streets of Dudley. He died in Dudley workhouse.

The song was first published Michael Raven's collection Jolly Machine (industrial folksongs from the West Midlands).

The YouTube clip uses a track from Cumbawamba's CD English Rebel Songs