tickets from https://app.etickets.to/buy/?e=14911
Bill Finney was an ancestor of Duncan’s. His son (William) was born in Ireland and for a long time he thought that the Finneys were of Irish decent. Given that Finney is also an Irish surname. However further research revealed a long standing Staffordshire branch of Finney.
The Land Corporation of Ireland arose out of the 1879 – 1882 Land War, which saw the rise of Irish Nationalism and gave us the word “boycott”. From the summer of 1879 the Land League carried out various activities aimed at preventing the forced eviction of tenants who had fallen into arrears due to recession. These activities ranged from ostracism (the boycott), protests at the sale of leases, riots and, although not officially sanctioned, assassinations. One organiser Michael Boyton advocated that land grabbers (people who took the land of evicted tenants) should be “given the pill” ie. shot. By 1882 the Land League had been suppressed and the Reform Bills of 1884 & 1885 gave voting rights to tenants as well as the promise of reduced rents, though these did not always materialise. The Land Corporation of Ireland was set up to work land that had fallen idle due to evictions but due to the Land War it was nigh on impossible to recruit from the local population and so “caretaker” farmers were recruited from England through letters sent to local parishes. Bill Finney was one such farmer.
I come from Wootton, Staffordshire Bill Finney is my name
And I sought employment where I could you name it, I was game
I started down the Holly Bush serving in that drovers inn
And through talking with those droving lads my travels did begin
Come all you eager labouring lads keen for some work to do
The Land Corporation of Ireland has just the job for you
I tried my luck in the Potteries towns but my efforts came to nought
So I travelled up to Middlewich and worked there with the salt
T’was there I saw a letter requesting men to farm
For the Land Corporation of Ireland and I thought, “well what’s the harm?”
Come all etc.
We’ll pay you ten to fifteen bob to work some idle land
Where used to live a family evicted out of hand
You’ll have a house and garden and a free allowance of fuel
But don’t expect a social life your reception may be cruel
Come all etc.
So I went to Tipperary away from England’s shore
And I learned about the hardship caused by the old Land War
I learned about the ‘Boycott’ and the giving of the ‘Pill’
And of the broken promises caused by the Reform Bill
Come all etc.
And so I am a caretaker on land of sorrows shame
Don’t blame me for being English sir there’s Irish in my name
My name it is Bill Finney come drink with me a while
The Land Corporation of Ireland are the ones you should revile
Come all etc.
Last week Robin was interviewed on Greenhorns Radio by Severine Von Tscharner Fleming about music, land rights, Three Acres And A Cow and the upcoming Land for What? weekend.
You can have a listen to the show here – http://heritageradionetwork.org/podcast/robin-grey/
Tickets can be perchance purchased via https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3-acres-and-a-cow-tickets-19205227352
We are super excited to be heading North in December for a trio of shows in Nottingham, Leeds and Sheffield. For the Sheffield show we will be joined by Sally Goldsmith, Tim Ralphs, Naomi Wilkins and Kate Thomas’s singers.
Tickets can be purchased online via – http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=13213
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Christ Church (map)
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK S3 9AQ
With guests Tim Ralphs, Kate Thomas and Sally Goldsmith
Arrive at 6pm for a shared meal by donation
Tickets available from New Roots or online via http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=13213
Thursday 7th April
Glasgow – http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=13608
Gal Gael – 15 Fairley St, Govan, Glasgow, Glasgow, G51 2TS
£12 (£5 concessions) – entry by donation for all Gal Gael volunteers and workers
Please note, this show is mainly focused on English history with some Scottish and Irish content. We have been invited to showcase it in Glasgow with a view to supporting the creation of a new show with similar spirit, focused on Scottish history.
Doors from 6.45pm – show starts at 7.30pm – there will be locally cooked and grown organic food by donation before the show.
Tickets are £5 plus a £1 online booking fee – you can buy tickets for £5 without the booking fee from The Hornbeam Centre, 458 Hoe Street, London, E17 9AH. Book online here – http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=12363
Here is the facebook page if you are that way inclined – https://www.facebook.com/events/417177085106233/
Thursday, March 26, 2015
18A Orford Road
Walthamstow, London, UK E17 9LN
Thursday 26th March @ The Asian Centre, 18a Orford Road, Walthamstow, London, E17 9LN
Tickets are £5 plus a £1 online booking fee - you can buy tickets for £5 without the booking fee from The Hornbeam Centre, 458 Hoe Street, London, E17 9AH.
Free tickets can be reserved via https://threeacresandacow.co.uk/southampton
Please let anyone you know in Southampton about the show.
We are going to be performing the show at this brilliant festival in Wales this summer.
Do come and get your tickets early – it sold out well in advance last year – http://www.twoforjoy.co.uk/fire-in-the-mountain
Fire In The Mountain
Saturday, May 30, 2015
foothills of the Cambrian Mountains (map)
nr Aberystwyth, Wales
An amazing festival - you should come. See http://www.fireinthemountain.co.uk/ or http://www.twoforjoy.co.uk/fire-in-the-mountain for more details.
Three Acres And A Cow – unattributed broadside from late 1800’s
**Please note I have changed some of the lyrics and a bit of the melody – this is fine and you are welcome to change them too – that is how music works #notsacred**
You’ve heard a lot of talk about three acres and a cow
And if they mean to give us why don’t they give it now?
For if I do not get it I may go out of my mind
There’s nothing but the land and cow will keep me satisfied
Don’t you wish you had it now, three acres and a cow!
Oh you can make good cheese and butter when you get the cow.
There’s a certain class in England that is holding fortune great
Yet they give a man a starving wage to work on their estate
The land’s been stolen from the poor and those that hold it now
They do not want to give a man three acres and a cow
D’y’ think they’ll ever want to give three acres and a cow
When they can get a man to take low wage to drive the plough
To live a man he has to work from daylight until dark
So the lord can have both bulls and cattle grazing in his park
But now there is a pretty go in all the country though
The workers they all want to know what the government will do
And what we have been looking for, I wish they’d give us now
We’re sure to live if they only give three acres and a cow
If all the land in England was divided up quite fair
There would be some for everyone to earn an honest share
Well some have thousand acre farms which they have got somehow
But I’ll be satisfied to get three acres and a cow
Lyrics in the public domain
Scan taken from ‘The Painful Plough‘ by Roy Palmer and reprinted with permission.
The definitive book on land both past and present, although it has sadly not been updated since the 80’s.
It gets a bit heavy going in places but the first third, which is a history from Roman times to the present, is totally gripping and a must read for anyone interesting in land and land rights.
I had to take quite a few breaks whilst reading it as sections of it made me really angry and/or sad.
Published in 1985, this life changing book was given to me by Sam Lee.
“A beautiful telling of the age-old battle between peasant and landowner where for the price of a rabbit or a pheasant men were murdered, transported as convicts and executed.
This ancient struggle over game was not just about food for the poor poachers and their families, it was about social rank and the power of the landed gentry, the burgeoning class politics of the time and the harsh realities of rural life.”