A fragment of a folk song

I really am the queen of not getting on with writing. Though things are so interesting – and I like to be involved – and I’m not good at giving anything up. And I know sometimes things will result in writing at some point. One such topic is the Pentrich Rising, one of the last armed uprisings in the country, which happened in 1817. Last October I was asked to set up a Twitter account for the group planning the bicentenary commemorations, and I can never resist a call to Twitter. You can find out more if you follow us at @pentrichrevolt (when I’m not being @beckydeans @beckydeans1 or indeed @codnorcommon!)

This is fascinating secret history that probably directly involved my ancestors, who were living in the area at the time. Egged on by a government provocateur, called William Oliver, and led by passionate advocates for change, including Jeremiah Brandreth, a march was arranged for 9 June 1817, starting in this part of Derbyshire, through Ripley, Codnor, Langley Mill, Eastwood and on to Nottingham. Oliver told them a larger army of revolutionaries would join then in Nottingham.

Last night I went to see Lucy Ward play a fantastic concert at the National Forest Folk Club in Moira. And then it was writers’ group this morning. So I had the idea we should write folk songs – and that the subject might be the Pentrich Rising. Members of the group decided this would be a fascinating project ongoing, but wanted to do their research first, which seemed fair. But in the warm up, I came up with this. I thought I would share it with you, as it is so long since I have written this blog. And it might inspire you to come up with something better. Could you write a song to commemorate this hunger march?

And then came young Oliver

With hope in his sails

He talked of great thousands

In tune with his tales.

These people would meet us

In fair Nottingham

We pledged at that meeting

And so it began.

Then he just left us

But the seed had been sown

The only thing growing

In Derbyshire that June.

(C) Becky Deans 2015

About beckydeans

I've always been a writer one way or the other.
This entry was posted in local history, secret history and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A fragment of a folk song

  1. beckydeans says:

    Reblogged this on Uncovering the Pentrich Revolt and commented:
    Here’s my (second attempt) at using the Pentrich Rising to inspire my writing. I hope the writers’ group do manage to write a new folk song for the commemorations in 2017!

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