Compositeur : Leon Rosselson

The World Turned Upside Down

In 1649 to St George's Hill, A ragged band they called the Diggers Came to show the people's 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 land in common And to make the wastelands grow This earth divided we will make whole So it will be (a) common treasury for all."

"We work, we eat together. We need no swords. We will not bow to the masters Nor pay rent to the Lords We are free (men); though we are poor Ye Diggers all stand (up) for glory, stand up now"

"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 And they damn us into hell We will not worship the God they serve The God of greed (who) feeds the rich while poor folk starve."

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 only (the) vision lingers on.

Ye poor take courage. Ye rich take care! The earth was made a common treasury For everyone to share: All things in common, all people one, They came in peace, (the) orders came to cut them down.


In April 1649 about 20 poor men assembled at St. George's Hill, Surrey (UK), 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.

Traduction approximative qui dit mieux

En avril 1649 environ 20 personnes dans le denuement se réunissent à St. George's Hill dans le Surrey et commencent à cultiver la terre. Ces Diggers soutiennent que la guerre civile était un combat contre le roi et les grands propriétaires terriens, et maintenant que Charles I a été exécuté, les terres à cultiver devraient être mises à disposition des plus pauvres. (Les prix des denrées alimentaires a atteingnent des sommets dans la fin des années 1640.) Le nombre de Diggers à plus que doublé au cours de l'année 1649. Leur action alarme le gouvernement et suscite l'hostilité des propriétaires fonciers locaux qui revendiquent ces terres. Les Diggers sont harcelés par la justice et violement menacé, et à la fin de Mars 1650 leur colonie a été dispersée.