Sunday 4 January 2015

The Levellers Rant - just the verse

[I originally posted the Levellers Rant eight months ago, following the death of Margaret Thatcher, as part of a long essay. Go there for the background, and the arguments, behind it. But I've found as time has passed that I think about it more and more. It's rough, demotic verse at best; but yet it says a great deal of what I have to say.]

The wicked witch is lately dead
The tower clock is silenced
That else had toll'd her to her bed
Ding Dong. Yet when all's said
Her hagiographers are read
She's cast a sanct, her people led
Tae 'freedom', a land promised -
Her people, no us lesser bred
It's time tae rise as levellers again

Ilk' pauper pays their Vee Aye Tee
On aa they need tae live or dee
Fae whilk the lairds aa dip their fee
Their 'agriculture subsidy'
On land they lang syne stole fae ye
Land that they haud, whit's mair, scott free
Sall we bide douce, an let this be?
It's time tae rise as levellers again

Nae dykes stood when this land was new
An when enclosit for the few
On ilka barn the red cock crew
The new big't dykes we overthrew
I tell ye, swear ye, this is true
And though thae dykes are raised anew
As we did then sae we can do
It's time tae rise as levellers again.

The model army, tired of war
Sat doon wi Cromwell, days of yore
There wis yin grief at irked them sore
If maisters rose still as before
If folk weren't equal 'fore the law
One vote for each, though rich or poor
'Twas but mercenary arms they bore
It's time tae rise as levellers again

The Queen sits in far London toon
(Dunfermline's lang syne tummelt doon)
Yet owns the pairks for miles aroon
Her courtiers, tae, in hose and shoen
Haud lands fae here tae Campbelltoon
An siller, aye, round as the moon
That's taen fae ilka honest loon
Its time tae rise as levellers again

A rising tide will float aa boats?
Aye, sheep are sheep and goats are goats
Thei tak the gold and leave us groats
Thei buy the banks and hazard loads
And when the hale baloon explodes
Thei tax us mair tae sauf their coats
Aye right! We'll stuff it doon their throats
It's time tae rise as levellers again.

Noo Scotland's free! Watch in amaze
The Queen still in her palace stays
Across the sky the rockets blaze
The bankers gang their greedy ways
An ilka working karl still pays
Tae line the pokes o lairds who laze
On Cote d'Azure, Bahama keys
It's time tae rise as levellers again

We Scots were ae a motley band
Cam fae ilk airt intil this strand
But Scotland. noo, is whaur we'll stand.
Sall 'indy' be oor sole demand
While six hunner haud half the land
An aa the siller in their haund?
Aye right. That's no whit we hae planned!
It's time tae rise, it's time tae rise, it's time tae rise, it's time tae rise
We're here tae rise as levellers again!

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The fool on the hill by Simon Brooke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License