The Info List - English Rebel Songs 1381–1984

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English Rebel Songs 1381–1984
English Rebel Songs 1381–1984
is the third studio album by English band Chumbawamba. It was originally released in 1988 with a slightly different track list under the title English Rebel Songs 1381–1914, then re-recorded in 2003. Composed mostly of traditional English protest songs, the recording was a stark contrast to the group's previous punk recordings, pointing towards their future integration of choral and a cappella music, as well as a greater focus on harmony in their musical sound. The 2003 recording added some light instrumentation on some tracks. Some of the songs come from Stand Together by Hackney and Islington music group, 100 Songs Of Toil by Karl Dallas, A Touch On The Times, and A Ballad History of England by Roy Palmer. Many of the songs are still performed by modern English folk bands such as The Houghton Weavers and Coope, Boys & Simpson. The original LP recording (1988) was released on CD in 1994 by One Little Indian Records. Chumbawamba
re-recorded the album (and modified the title) in 2003, adding two extra tracks, releasing it under their newly formed MUTT Records
MUTT Records


1 Reception 2 Track listing (2003 version) 3 Track listing (1988/1994 versions) 4 Personnel 5 References 6 External links

Reception[edit] Allmusic called the album "eloquent", with "utterly relevant" songs, emphasizing that the singing in the 1988 version "was far better than anyone expected", and commending the improved technical quality of the 2003 recording,[1] while The Independent
The Independent
praised the album as having "rousing" songs, with "excellent" vocal performances, but expressed concern that there were no songs from later than 1984.[2] Track listing (2003 version)[edit]

# Song Name Length Year Notes

1 "The Cutty Wren" 1:55 1381? Said to have been written during the Peasants' Revolt, but not recorded before 1776

2 "The Diggers' Song" 2:31 17th century Written by Gerrard Winstanley, leader of the Diggers

3 "Colliers' March" 2:28 1782 Written by John Freeth; Refers to a march of workers in Birmingham protesting at the price of bread

4 "The Triumph of General Ludd" 3:02 1812 Refers to the Luddite

5 "Chartist Anthem" 1:34 1847 Written by Ben Boucher. Refers to the People's Charter drawn up by the Chartists in 1838 demanding universal suffrage

6 "The Bad Squire" 3:54 1847 Adaptation of a poem by Charles Kingsley
Charles Kingsley
written in defence of poachers. The original text can be found here.

7 "Song on the Times" 2:35 1840s Written after the repeal of the Corn Laws

8 "Smashing of the Van" 2:09 1867 Refers to the Manchester Martyrs
Manchester Martyrs
who were hanged in Manchester
for shooting a policeman while rescuing two Irish republicans from jail

9 "The World Turned Upside Down" 1:25 1647 The title comes from a Diggers

10 "Poverty Knock" 3:14 1890s Written by factory workers

11 "Idris Strike Song" 2:49 1911 Written in 1911 about a strike at the Idris soft drink factory in Wales; the Idris brand is now owned by Britvic

12 "Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire" 2:02 1918 Written by soldiers during World War I; refers to incompetent leaders sending legions of young to their deaths

13 "Coal Not Dole" 2:00 1984 Written by Kay Sutcliffe & Mat Fox about the UK miners' strike (1984–1985)

From the 2003 re-release: "Now, fifteen years later, we felt we'd learned enough about our voices to try again, updating and rearranging the songs against a backdrop of US/British warmongering. The songs were discovered in songbooks and in folk clubs and on cassette tapes, chopped and changed and bludgeoned into shape with utmost respect for the original tunes." Track listing (1988/1994 versions)[edit]

"The Cutty Wren (Part 1)" "The Diggers
Song" "Colliers March" "The Triumph of General Ludd" "Chartist Anthem" "Song on the Times" "Smashing of the Van" "The World Turned Upside Down" "Poverty Knock" "Idris Strike Song" "Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire" "The Cutty Wren (Part 2)"

According to the 1994 CD notes: "The words are sung, with a couple of exceptions. exactly how we found them written. To start chopping and changing them all to fit in with modern language and ideas would have destroyed the reason why we wanted to do them like this (Which isn't to say that folk music isn't to be changed, edited and modernised.) Consequently the language and meaning seem a bit peculiar at times." Personnel[edit] 2003 re-recording

Lou Watts Harry Hamer Danbert Nobacon Jude Abbott Boff Whalley Neil Ferguson Simon "Commonknowledge" Lanzon

1988 recording

Harry Simon Commonknowledge Lou Boff Mavis Dillon Cobie Laan Danbert Nobacon Alice Nutter was otherwise engaged Dunst was reading football fanzine


^ Chumbawamba: English Rebel Songs 1381–1984, reviewed by Chris Nickson; at Allmusic; retrieved 8 December 2016 ^ Album: Chumbawamba: English Rebel Songs 1381–1984, Mutt at the Independent; published 12 June 2003; retrieved 8 December 2016

External links[edit]

English Rebel Songs 1381–1984
English Rebel Songs 1381–1984
at YouTube
(streamed copy where licensed)

v t e


Boff Whalley Danbert Nobacon Lou Watts Dunstan Bruce Alice Nutter Harry Hamer Dave Dillon Paul Greco Jude Abbott Neil Ferguson Phil Moody


Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records (1986) Never Mind the Ballots (1987) English Rebel Songs 1381–1984
English Rebel Songs 1381–1984
(1988) Slap!
(1990) Shhh (1992) Anarchy (1994) Swingin' with Raymond
Swingin' with Raymond
(1995) Tubthumper
(1997) WYSIWYG (2000) Readymades (2002) Un (2004) A Singsong and a Scrap
A Singsong and a Scrap
(2005) The Boy Bands Have Won
The Boy Bands Have Won
(2008) ABCDEFG (2010)

Compilations and soundtracks

Uneasy Listening (1998) Shhhlap! (2003) Revengers Tragedy (2003)

Live albums

(1995) Get On with It
Get On with It

Singles and EPs

"Revolution" (1985) "Smash Clause 28! Fight the Alton Bill!" (1988) "(Someone's Always Telling You How To) Behave" (1992) "Enough is Enough" (1993) "Timebomb" (1993) "Homophobia" (1994) "Ugh! Your Ugly Houses!" (1995) "i - Portraits of Anarchists" (1996) "Just Look at Me Now" (1996) "Tubthumping" (1997) "Amnesia" (1998) "Drip Drip Drip" (1998) "Top of the World (Olé, Olé, Olé)" (1998) The ABCs of Anarchism
The ABCs of Anarchism
(1999) "Tony Blair" (1999) "She's Got All the Friends That Money Can Buy" (2000) "Enough Is Enough (Kick It Over)" (2000) "Her Majesty" (2002) "Jacob's Ladder (Not in My Name)" (2002)


Discography Agit-Prop Records One Little Indian Records No Masters Records Credit to the Nation The Ex Oysterband Coope, Boyes & Simpson Noam C