Pick of the political pops: Leon Rosselson “World Turned Upside Down”

In April 1649 about 20 men assembled at St. George’s Hill, Surrey, and began to cultivate the common land. These Diggers held that the English Civil Wars had been fought against the king and the great landowners; now that Charles I had been executed, land should be made available for the very poor to cultivate. (Food prices had reached record heights in the late 1640s.) The numbers of the Diggers more than doubled during 1649. Their activities alarmed the government and roused the hostility of local landowners, who were rival claimants to the common lands. The Diggers were harassed by legal actions and mob violence, and by the end of March 1650 their colony was dispersed. Many people have covered this particular track including Billy Bragg on his ‘Back to Basics’ album from 93, but the great folk-singer Leon Rosselson’s original still sounds fantastic today.

With thanks to Andy Clarke


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About Mark Whitfield 1657 Articles
Mark Whitfield has been Editor of Americana UK for the last 20 years while also working in public health as his day job, which has been kind of busy recently.

2 Comments

  1. “I say Israel’s crimes are not in my name
    It steals land, it steals water, no conscience, no shame.
    It murders, it tortures, yet Israel’s supporters
    Just turn a blind eye. Die gedanken sind frei”

    Thanks upthebloodytree, love this.

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