It is easy to see how people could become confused between Loveless writing-out these words and writing in the sense of making-them-up.

Perhaps it is significant to note that, in the early 19th Century it was more remarkable that a labourer such as Loveless should be able to write, than that he should be capable of making up a song!

a hymn and a protest song!

“As soon as the sentence was passed, I got a pencil and a scrap of paper and wrote the following lines. . . . . . . .”

George Loveless, 'The Victims of Whiggery', 1837

God is our Guide! From field, from wave,
From plough, from anvil, and from loom,
We come, our country's rights to save,
And speak the tyrant's faction doom;
We raise the watchword ‘Liberty’
We will, we will, we will be free!
 
God is our Guide! No swords we draw,
We kindle not war's battle fires,
By reason, union, justice, law,
We claim the birthright of our sires;
We raise the watchword ‘Liberty’
We will, we will, we will be free!

The Tune Madrid

audio/madrid.mp3


To down load a copy of the tune and words for printing click here

There is no doubt that the words of this song became synonymous with the Martyrs and their cause, and several witnesses noted the above moment in history. Loveless wrote-out the words, and was not the author as many have previously thought.

These two verses are taken from a song called 'The Call of the Unions' that was sung in the run up to the Great Reform Act of 1832, and were written by George de Bosco Attwood of Birmingham. More than any other words, they sum up the strength of feeling of the Martyrs and other oppressed groups like them.

Music copy of the tune Madrid

For many years the tune used locally for this song is Madrid, by William Matthews, although it is not thought to be the original tune.

To down load a copy of the tune and words for printing click here

 

 

 

 

 

During the early 19th Century Methodists would have sung hymns unaccompanied in most chapels.  Harmoniums became common later in the century, but only the really big Methodist churches could afford an organ.

In village churches of the Church of England, hymns were normally accompanied by a small band of musicians who would play from the West Gallery of the church. These musicians would also have served as the village band for dances, parties and other celebrations, and would probably have provided the lead for the Song of Freedom when played outside.

To get a feel for this read 'Under the Greenwood Tree' by Thomas Hardy, based on the neighbouring villages of Stinsford and Puddletown.