Author Topic: Add: The Croppers' Song


Posted - 24 Jan 03 - 01:47 pm

Croppers' Song

Come cropper lads of high renown,
Who love to drink strong ale that's brown
And strike each haughty tyrant down
With hatchet, pike and gun.

Oh the cropper lads for me,
The gallant lads for me,
Who with lusty stroke the shear frame broke,
The cropper lads for me.

Who though the special still advance
And soldiers nightly round us prance,
The cropper lads still lead the dance
With hatchet, pike and gun.

And night be night when all is still
And the moon is hid behind the hill,
We forward march to do our will
With hatchet, pike and gun.

Great Enoch still shall lead the van,
Stop him who dare, stop him who can.
Press forward every gallant man
With hatchet, pike and gun.

Source: Palmer, R (1988),The Sound of History, Oxford, OUP


The references give are as follows:

In Frank Peel, The Rising of the Luddites, p 47, tune 'The Gallant Poachers', sung by George Dunn, Quarry Bank, Staffs.; recorded by Roy Palmer, 1971; in Roy Palmer, 'George Dunn: Twenty-one Songs and Fragments',Folk Music Journal,2, no 4 (1973), 276, on record Champions

In the main body of the text, Roy Palmer mentions the relationship of this song to 'The Gallant Poachers' but it is not clear which is derived from which. Although no precise date is given in the text for the song, it is likely to be roughly contemporaneous with the actions it discusses, which places it sometime around 1812. Enochs were hammers manufactured by Enoch and James Taylor of Marsdon.

Database entry is here.

Edited By dmcg - 24/01/2003 13:55:30


Posted - 27 Jan 03 - 04:47 am

It would seem that Palmer changed his mind regarding the 'Gallant Poachers' derivation. In his 1979 book, Everyman's Book of English Country Songs, he comments:

"Certainly, it [Gallant Poachers] must have been in existence by 1811 or 1812, when it's first verse inspired a Luddite anthem in Yorkshire, 'The Cropper's Song'.


Posted - 27 Jan 03 - 05:09 am

Whichever came first, the tune is, of course, based on "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow"

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