I am utterly in love with this song about John Ball, one of the leaders of the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381.
I first heard it via Chris Wood and soon worked out a version of my own. Dolly May came up with some lovely harmonies and then one cheeky Sunday we ended up recording the song with the brilliant Nick Hart on concertina.
The melody is a traditional Northumberland tune, with lyrics written on the 300th anniversary in 1981 by Camden-based folk-singer Sydney Carter who died in 2004. He is best known for penning ‘Lord Of The Dance’ and most of the other songs I used to sing in Sunday School.
Graham Moore has written a number of brilliant songs about historical figures and events including one about Tom Paine and this one about the Tolpuddle Martyrs who got on the wrong side of the establishment for starting a workers’ union in the 1830’s.
His album is really good and can be bought from the usual suspects – iTunes, CD Baby and Amazon.
He seems to be without website at the moment and I need to check to see if he minds me posting some lyrics up here.
In the meantime have a listen to this –
I set my friend Tim Graham the challenge of learning one of Graham’s songs about the Tolpuddle Martyrs called ‘Road To Dorchester’ and this is what he came up with: