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Songs about 1831 UK Political Reform Act Rejection

GUEST,Dick Holdstock-by email to Joe Offer 10 Jan 18 - 11:47 PM
GUEST,henryp 11 Jan 18 - 03:17 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 18 - 03:56 AM
Joe Offer 11 Jan 18 - 04:06 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 11 Jan 18 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,Dick Holdstock 11 Jan 18 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,Dick Holdstock 12 Jan 18 - 11:02 PM
Joe Offer 14 Jan 18 - 02:21 AM
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Subject: Songs about 1831 UK Political Reform Act
From: GUEST,Dick Holdstock-by email to Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jan 18 - 11:47 PM

To Mudcat 1/10/18



Can someone help me find a song about the major 1831 demonstrations opposing the British House of Lords rejection of the Political Reform Act, that was actually passed in 1832. These demonstrations were throughout the British isles but were biggest on October 8 and 10 in Derby and Norwich. Another very large gathering was in Bristol on 29-31 October.

I need to fill a gap in my book of "British Ballads of Political Reform From 1768 to 1868." I won't give up but I am coming close to not being able to find a ballad on this topic. A topical broadside ballad or a well-documented song in the oral tradition would be very helpful.

Thanks Dick Holdstock


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Subject: RE: Songs about 1831 UK Political Reform Act Rejection
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 03:17 AM

Here's a contemporary song.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/middle-englands-revolution-how-the-provinces-rebelled-when-a-westminster-elite-blocked-reform-of-8609982.html

7 May 1832, Newhall Hill, Birmingham

The Bromsgrove Union arrived late. As they approached in force, the verses of the Hymn of the Union, so familiar to children in the streets, swung out over the waiting crowds:

"Over mountain, over plain
Echoing wide from sea to sea,
Peals, and shall not peal in vain
The trumpet call of liberty!
Britain's guardian spirit cries –
Britons, awake! Arise, arise."

The penultimate verse made allusion to previous heroes of liberty such as the chiefs of glorious Runnymede (who were in fact barons – but 600 years later, what of it?) and John Hampden. The last verse, with reference to these heroes, was momentous – if it were to prove true:

"But not to war or blood they call,
They bid us lift not sword or gun,
Peaceful but firm, join one and all
To claim your rights, and they are won.
The British Lion's voice alone
Shall gain for Britain all her own!"

The answering song was equally emphatic:

"We kindle not war's fatal fires,
By union, justice, reason, law
We claim the birthright of our sires."

Then Thomas Clutton stepped forward and, taking off his hat, invited all those present to join him in a vow: "with unbroken faith, through every peril and privation, we here devote ourselves and our children to our country's cause." Many people wept.

Four weeks later, on 4 June 1832, the Bill was passed. © Antonia Fraser, 2013. Extracted from 'Perilous Question: the drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832' by Antonia Fraser.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=J3CbBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA37&lpg=PA37&dq=over+mountain+over+plain+echoing+wide+from+sea+to+sea&source=bl&ots=EQ3fa-zS2H&sig=pk8pEeU9BSUhVcM2CDosMAUuINU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwji_tPEs8_YAhWB7BQKHVc3BiQQ6AEINTAF#v=onepage&q=over%20mountain%20over%20plain%20echoing%20wide%20from%20sea%20to%20sea&f=false

At the great meeting known as the "gathering of the Unions," 200,000 on Newhall Hill sang the Call. Then others made reply,

Lo! we answer; see! we come!
Quick at freedom's holy call;
We come, we come, we come, we come,
To do the glorious work of all;
And hark we raise from sea to sea,
Our sacred watchword Liberty!

There were nine stanzas containing fifty-four lines in all. Never did political meeting so large sing a song so long, before or since in this world.

Sixty Years Of An Agitator's Life - Volume One
By George Jacob Holyoake


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Subject: RE: Songs about 1831 UK Political Reform Act Rejection
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 03:56 AM

Back in the 1960s I spent months in Manchester Central Library researching possible songs for a commemoration concert planned to mark the 150th anniversary of Peterloo - I moved to London before I could complete the project
I discovered that radical political Journals and newspapers ran regular song and poem columns throughout a great deal of the 19th century made up of contributions from those involved in political and social struggle - lterally thousands of songs and poems on microfilm.
My research at the time was assisted by two wonderful activists, Eddie and Ruth Frow (now both deceased) who went on to establish The Working Class Movement Library in Salford - tHe Library still exists and has a website.
In 1994 Ruthe and Eddie published a collection of songs on various aspects of working class history entitled 'Radical and Red Poets and Poetry'
I'm sure you are aware of the work of 'The Charles Parker Archive' in Birmingham Central Library and Banner Theatre, based in Birmingham
Both have a history in political song
Pity Roy Palmer is not still around - he'd be the first one I would have gone to
Good luck
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Songs about 1831 UK Political Reform Act Rejection
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 04:06 AM

Most of the songs in Dick's books are from broadsides. He has chosen traditional tunes to fit the songs, but not necessarily the tunes that were usually sung with these particular broadsides.
So, a broadside or other 19th-century text would be best.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Songs about 1831 UK Political Reform Act Rejection
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 07:47 AM

There is a book of songs relating to the cholera epidemic of 1832. Many of the writers made the link between political oppression and the class nature of the disease.


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Subject: RE: Songs about 1831 UK Political Reform Act Rejection
From: GUEST,Dick Holdstock
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 02:21 PM

Thanks all for the great information:
The stuff on "Gathering of the Unions" song has an interesting history. It is thought by many to have been composed by George Loveless, from Tolpuddle who wrote a verse on a scrap of paper, and discarded it as he was lead from his February 1834 trial in Dorset. The song, however, had been printed as early 1832 and was listed as well known then. The mass meeting held in Birmingham by the Birmingham Political Union on May 7 1832 was celebrating passage of the third Reform Act by the commons and likely passage by Lords. However, toward the end of the rally a note was forwarded to Attwood advising that the Lords had voted in committee to wreck the bill at the start by voting to postpone the clauses to disenfranchise the rotten boroughs. What I am looking for are songs of the major riots that took place the year before when Lords killed the second bill.

All great info from Jim Carroll and Jack Campin. I will follow-up on all of them. I contact Roy Palmer before he died. Love to see the Cholera book any more info will help.
her
Cheers Dick


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Subject: RE: Songs about 1831 UK Political Reform Act Rejection
From: GUEST,Dick Holdstock
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 11:02 PM

Enjoyed the first day response to this thread, But I still haven't found a contemporary topical song about the riots complaining about the House of lords opposition to the second Parliamentary Reform bill in 1831. I need this to complete my book of "Ballads of British Parliamentary Reform from 1768 to 1868'. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Dick


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Subject: RE: Songs about 1831 UK Political Reform Act Rejection
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 02:21 AM

From: Dick and Carol Holdstock
Subject: Ballads on 1831 Riots
Date: January 11, 2018 at 1:54:33 PM PST

Hello Jack

I am interested in following up on the Cholera Song book. I have included a broadside called "Cholera Humbug!! The arrival and Departure of the Cholera” in the chapter which includes the reform Bill of 1832, and the song book you mentioned is of great interest to me. Would you please tell me of the title and author of the book.

Riots were rampant throughout Britain in 1831 because of the failure of Parliament to enact the second political reform Act. Yet so far I have had no luck finding a ballad that mentions one of them. All thoughts you have on this will be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Dick Holdstock
dickholdstock.com


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