Again With One Voice: British Songs of Political Reform, 1768-1868
Paperback, 414 pages.
1768 saw the birth of a century of struggle for democracy by the working people of Great Britain; it was also the golden age of the broadside ballad — inexpensive songsheets sold on the street, often spotlighting popular figures and spreading the word of reform efforts. This collection traces the history of this tumultuous period with 120 songs from historical sources, all with appropriate tunes, extensive commentary, and rich illustrations from contemporary publications. Here are songs about Wilkes and Liberty, the United Irish, the anti-slavery movement, Luddites, Captain Swing, the Naval Mutiny, antiwar movements, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and the Chartist movement; songs that bring to life important figures like John Wilkes, Major Cartwright, Thomas Paine, Thomas Muir, Wolfe Tone, Henry Hunt, William Cobbett, Feargus O’Connor, and William Gladstone.
Featuring a mix of original, sympathetic, and surprising musical settings, this is a supremely singable collection, and should enlighten and enliven our discussions and our singing in equal measure.
—Oskar Cox Jensen, Historian and Author, University of East Anglia
The songs have an energy and commitment fueled by anger, despair, humour and wit — what better way of meeting the ancestors who fought and improved our lives.
—Frankie Armstrong, Godmother of the Natural Voice Singing Movement
This work is essential for any institutional or personal library dealing with the history of Britain and the struggle of the working class in general.
—Joe Hickerson, Head Emeritus, Library of Congress Folklife Center