The World turned upside down


The Diggers were one of the early communist groups arising from the English civil war. In 1649 they carried out the land occupation commemorated in the song.

In sixteen forty nine to St George's Hill
a ragged band they called the Diggers came to show the peoples' 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 wastegrounds 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 man 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 man starve
we work, we eat together we need no swords
we will not bow to the masters or pay rent to the lords
we are free men, 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
 
[An alternative last line popular with anarchists today is
they came in peace, next time we'll bring a gun]

 


Other Anarchist, libertarian and rebel songs



This page is part of the Struggle collection