The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #93875   Message #3834035
Posted By: Joe Offer
22-Jan-17 - 03:09 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: The World Turned Upside Down (Rosselson)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN (Rosselson)
Well, I'm now working for the editors of Rise Up Singing, researching all the songs in the book and offering corrections when needed. I suppose it's dangerous to claim to have a definitive version, but the lyrics below are from Bringing the News from Nowhere: Songs by Leon Rosselson, ©1992 by Leon Rosselson. So, I think this version should have some credibility. Mind you, Rosselson wrote the song in 1975, so these lyrics may have been updated somewhat.

(Leon Rosselson)

In sixteen forty-nine, to St George's Hill,
A ragged band they called the Diggers came to show the people's will
They defied the landlords, they defied the laws,
They were the dispossessed reclaiming what was theirs

We come in peace, they said, to dig and sow,
We come to work the lands in common and to make the waste ground grow,
This earth divided, we will make whole
So it will be a common treasury for all.

The sin of property we do disdain,
No one has any right to buy and sell the earth for private gain,
By theft and murder, they took the land,
Now everywhere the walls spring up at their command.

They make the laws to chain us well,
The clergy dazzle us with heaven or they damn us into hell,
We will not worship the god they serve,
The god of greed who feeds the rich while poor folk starve.

We work, we eat together, we need no swords,
We will not bow to masters or pay rent to the lords,
Still we are free, though we are poor,
You Diggers all stand up for glory, stand up now.

From the men of property, the orders came
They sent the hired men and troopers to wipe out the Diggers' claim,
Tear down their cottages, destroy their corn,
They were dispersed - but still the vision lingers on.

You poor take courage, you rich take care,
This earth was made a common treasury for everyone to share,
All things in common, all people one,
We come in peace - the orders came to cut them down.

There were just a few differences between these lyrics and what we have in the Digital Tradition - I put the differences in italics. By the way, I found only two mistakes in the 2004 version of Rise Up Singing - RUS has "rise up at their command" in the 3rd verse (so does the DT), and RUS has "order came" in the very last line (so does the DT). Now, the 1988 edition of RUS has only one mistake - singular "order" in the last line - The 2004 RUS added a mistake in the third verse (maybe to match the Digital Tradition?)

So, I guess Jesse's questioning of the Digital Tradition lyrics in the first post, was correct.

One thing I don't like in Rise Up Singing, is that they mark the second verse as a chorus, and I don't really think most singers use that verse as a chorus. And again, the earliest edition of RUS doesn't have that verse marked as a chorus. In most ways, the later revisions to RUS were a great improvement - but not in this case.

-Joe Offer-