Words Sydney Carter, tune based on trad. Morris tune: Monk's March
1. There's a light that is shining in the heart of a man
A light that was shining when the world began
A light that is shining in the Turk and the Jew
A light that is shining, friend, in me and in you
Cho: Old leather breeches and shaggy, shaggy locks
Old leather breeches and shaggy, shaggy locks
With your old leather breeches and your shaggy, shaggy locks
You are pulling down the pillars of the world, George Fox!
2. 'With a book and a steeple and a bell and a key
They would bind it forever, but they can't', said he,
'For the book it will perish and the steeple will fall
But the light will be shining at the end of it all.'
3. 'If we give you a pistol, will you fight for the Lord?'
'But you can't kill the devil with a gun or a sword!'
'Will you swear on the Bible?', 'I will not!', said he,
'For the truth is more holy than the book to me.'
4. 'There's an ocean of darkness and I drown in the night
'Til I come through the darkness to the ocean of light
You can lock me in prison but the light will be free
And I walk in the glory of the light', said he
Sydney Carter writes: To say that George Fox (1624-1691) was the founder of the Quakers might not be quite correct; but he certainly became their leading spirit and organiser. So it is him that I celebrate, in words that were mainly written by himself. The chorus, which represents the opposition, is firmly based on fact: 'The man with the leather breeches is come', it was said of Fox. They were often worn by labourers, if not by preachers. George Fox must have found them highly practical when sitting in the stocks, or lying in the windy, wet and stinking prisons where he so often ended up. 'Shaggy locks': this can be documented, too. Fox, in his journal, tells us how a fashionable lady told him he should get his hair cut. Long it was (look at the pictures of him), though it was not the length, I imagine, so much as the shagginess which caused the offence in the reign of Charles II.