Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Add: Song of the Lower Classes

Wolfgang 08 Mar 00 - 09:57 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Mar 00 - 08:22 PM
Garry Gillard 09 Mar 00 - 09:39 AM
Garry Gillard 10 Mar 00 - 09:41 AM
Wolfgang 10 Mar 00 - 10:23 AM
Liz the Squeak 14 Aug 00 - 06:54 PM
Burke 16 Aug 00 - 07:01 PM
Burke 16 Aug 00 - 07:07 PM
Chris Green 31 Mar 10 - 05:25 PM
Jim Dixon 01 Apr 10 - 08:47 PM
GUEST,mg 01 Apr 10 - 11:50 PM
Les in Chorlton 22 Jul 13 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,AlanG at work 22 Jul 13 - 07:23 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Jul 13 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,AlanG 22 Jul 13 - 07:51 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Jul 13 - 08:19 AM
GUEST 02 Feb 17 - 07:33 PM
RTim 02 Feb 17 - 08:37 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Lyr Add: THE SONG OF THE LOWER CLASSES^^
From: Wolfgang
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 09:57 AM

I know this song from the singing of Martin Carthy on 'Out of the Cut'. The version below is very close to his singing and comes from J. McDonnell (Ed.), Songs of Struggle and Protest.

Wolfgang

SONG OF THE LOWER CLASSES
(Ernest Jones; tune: My old friend John)

We plough and sow, we're so very, very low
that we delve in the dirty clay
till we bless the plain with the golden grain
and the vale with the fragrant hay.
Our place we know, we're so very, very low,
'tis down at the landlord's feet.
We're not too low the grain to grow,
but too low the bread to eat.
(repeat twice the last two lines)

Down, down we go, we're so very, very low
to the hell of the deep sunk mines,
but we gather the proudest gems that glow
when the crown of the despot shines.
And when e'er he lacks upon our backs
fresh loads he deigns to lay.
We're far too low to vote the tax,
but not too low to pay.

We're low, we're low, we're very, very low
and yet from our fingers glide
the silken flow and the robes they glow
round the limbs of the sons of pride.
And what we get and what we give
we know and we know our share.
We're not too low the cloth to weave,
but too low the cloth to wear.

We're low, we're low, we're very, very low
and yet when the trumpets ring
the thrust of a poor man's arm will go
through the heart of the proudest king.
We're low, we're low, mere rabble we know,
we're only the rank and file.
We're not too low to kill the foe,
but too low to share the spoil.

The writer, Ernest Jones, stood unsuccessfully as a Chartist MP in 1847, was arrested in 1848 and sentenced to two years of solitary confinement. From 1951 on, he started publishing a weekly magazine, Notes to the People, in which this song was published in March 1852. ^^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the lower classes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 08:22 PM

My God, he took a fair old time before started publishing his magazine in 1951, didn't he?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the lower classes
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 09:39 AM

Thanks Wolfgang!

Garry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE SONG OF THE LOWER CLASSES^^
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 09:41 AM

The version you put up, Wolfgang, does not have one stanza that Martin Carthy sings. In that stanza, I cannot catch two of the lines. You'll see the ??

We plough and sow we are so low
That we delve in the dirty clay
Till we bless the plain with golden grain
And the vale with the fragrant hay
Our place we know we are so low
Down at the landlord's feet
We're not too low the bread to grow
Too low the bread to eat

Down down we go we are so low
To the hell of the deep sunk mine
But we gather the proudest gems that glow
When the crown of the despot shines
Whenever he lacks upon our backs
Fresh loads he deigns to lay
We're far too low to vote the tax
Not too low to pay

We're low we're low we're rabble we know
Yet at our plastic po ????
The mould at the lordling's feet will grow
Into palace and church and town
Then prostrate fall in the rich man's hall
Cringe at the rich man's door
We're not too low to build the wall
To low to tread to tread the floor

We're low we're low yet from our fingers glide
The silken flow and the robes that glow
Round the limbs of the sons of pride
And what we get and what we give
We know and we know our share
We're not too low the cloth to weave
Too low the cloth to wear

We're low we're low we are so low
Yet when the trumpets ring
The thrust of a poor man's arm will go
Through the heart of the proudest king
We're low we're low our place we know
Only the rank and file
We're not too low to kill the foe
Too low to touch the spoil ^^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the lower classes
From: Wolfgang
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 10:23 AM

Garry,
this verse comes from the web (http://www.strongcomet.com/wyatt/lyrics/lyrics3.htm), a Robert Wyatt site. It says (lyrics adapted from 'The Song Of The Lower Classes'). I'm not at home here, so I can't check whether it fits.

Wolfgang

We're low - we're low - mere rabble, we know
But, at our plastic power,
The mould at the lording's feet will grow
Into palace and church and tower
Then prostrate fall - in the rich man's hall,
And cringe at the rich man's door;
We're not too low to build the wall,
But too low to tread the floor.
^^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the lower classes
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 14 Aug 00 - 06:54 PM

That's very nearly the one - I don't remember the last verse ending that way, but what the hell, maybe I rewrote it!! Don't remember the bit about taxes either, but it seems appropriate now, as I work for the IRS!

Thanks everyone, will be relearning it soon, so listen out for a hearme one day......

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the lower classes
From: Burke
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 07:01 PM

I thought I remembered some other messages in this thread!

I have on Martin Carthy's The Collection. I also have the music for the psalm tune Otford in The Singing Seat transcription by Edwin Macadam and Tony Singleton, c1995. It's Common Meter , ie 8686, but Carthy makes it fit by dropping the very, very's, other words here & there and putting 2 syllables on 1 note in a number of places. He gets 8 lines out of 4 lines of music by doubling both sections of the music - aabb instead of ab.

The version Carthy used was 3 parts, while this one is 4 but the tune & the fuge are basically the same. It must have been popular in it's day as a psalm tune as there was a printed version in 1746, Carthy's was a hand copy from ca1813, & the Singing Seat version is from a hand copy 1830's. Cool use of a psalm tune.

Here's my reading of the questioned verse & a few more words with a line break to correct the next.

We're low - we're low - we're rabble, we know
Yet, at our plastic pow'r,
The mould at the lording's feet will grow
Into palace and church and tower
Then prostrate fall - in the rich man's hall,
Cringe at the rich man's door;
We're not too low to build the wall,
Too low to tread the floor.

We're low we're low we are so low
Yet from our fingers glide
The silken flow and the robes that glow
Round the limbs of the sons of pride
And what we get and what we give
We know and we know our share
We're not too low the cloth to weave
Too low the cloth to wear


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the lower classes
From: Burke
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 07:07 PM

P.S. Liz, you can't really sing this one by yourself. The 2nd half has 3 parts with staggered lines & no one has the melody. Find some West Gallery or Sacred Harp singers to do it. We do fuging tunes like this all the time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the lower classes
From: Chris Green
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 05:25 PM

The version Wolfgang found on 10 March 2000 is from a recording by a folk-techno band called Ultramarine with Robert Wyatt on vocals. It can be found on their 1993 album 'United Kingdoms' which is well worth a listen if you can get hold of a copy (I think it's since been deleted!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the Lower Classes
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 08:47 PM

What I take to be the first publication of this song can be seen in Notes to the People by Ernest Charles Jones (London: J. Pavey, 1851), page 953.

The title is THE SONG OF THE LOW.

The only indication of a tune is the phrase "To a popular melody."

It has 5 verses that are identical to those posted above, plus the following chorus:

We're low—we're low—we're very very low,
As low as low can be;
The rich are high—for we make them so—-
And a miserable lot are we!
And a miserable lot are we! are we!
A miserable lot are we!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the Lower Classes
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 11:50 PM

What is the one that Roy Bailey sings? So low so low we are so low so low we touch the ground. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the Lower Classes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 06:29 AM

These are the words from Bob Davenport - Common Stone CD

Song of the other Ranks
(Words e jones, b davenport,Tune pinched from prokoviev)

We plough and sow we're very, very low
That we delve in the dirty clay
Till we bless the plain with golden grain
And the vale with the fragrant hay
Our place we know we are so low
Down at the landlord's feet
We're not too low the bread to grow
Too low the bread to eat

We're low we're low we're very, very low
Yet from our fingers glide
The silken flow and the robes that glow
Round the limbs of the sons of pride
And what we get and what we give
We know and we know our share
We're not too low the cloth to weave
But too low the cloth to wear

We're low we're low as to war we go
To fight some foreign country
That was yesterday our greatest friend
But today's our enemy
God bless our boys the papers scream
Praise them the churchmen cry
When the war is won and home we come
Who care's if we live or die?

We're low we're low 'till that happy day
When we're called to a heaven on high
When the freedom we never had in our lives
Will be there on the day we die
If you see no worth suffering hell on earth
For the promise of a heaven above
Why not join the fight that one day we might
See a heaven down here below


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the Lower Classes
From: GUEST,AlanG at work
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 07:23 AM

Les,
Keith Price sang the Davenport vesion last week at Lymm, and excellent it was too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the Lower Classes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 07:42 AM

That KP always nicking my songs!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the Lower Classes
From: GUEST,AlanG
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 07:51 AM

I thought you nicked it from BD!!! Anyway JJ always nicks mine.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the Lower Classes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 08:19 AM

Fair enufski - BD


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the Lower Classes
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Feb 17 - 07:33 PM

Another song with the same title here:

Sung by Windborne

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE3s2IwgcAE

Weasel


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Song of the Lower Classes
From: RTim
Date: 02 Feb 17 - 08:37 PM

Finest Kind recorded a version on "For Honour & For Gain" - with an extra verse written by Ian Robb.

Tim Radford


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 April 4:46 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.