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Sea Green Singers - Peterloo - click on score image to see as one page. To see the score as 2 pages - Page 1 (verse); Page 2 (chorus) - Oldham Tinkers site for CDs

Peterloo by H. Kershaw, arr. Oldham Tinkers
1. On Peter's Fields in Manchester in t' year one eight one nine
When t' cotton folk of Lancashire in protest did combine
Corn laws had browt the crippling tax
And the price of food near broke folks' backs
And set aleet to t' smouldering flax
And it bristled mony a spine

Salute once more these men of yore
Who were to conscience true
And gave their blood for t' common good
On t' fields of Peterloo

2. Sixteenth day of August browt the sound of marching feet
When workers fifty thousand strong on Peter's Fields did meet
From Mount Street in an upstairs room
The Magistrates looked down with gloom
And scoffed this rabble of the loom
Vengeance they thowt is sweet


3. Then t' riot act were gabbled out at Parson Hay's command
For this here Rochdale Vicar made wi' t' richest living in t' land
But t' folk at t' meeting never knew
O' t' riot act till t' bugles blew
And mounted redcoats come in view
With sabres in their hands


4. These soldiers mowed folk down like flies
Their sabres dripped wi' blood
They gormed no mon nor woman's cries
But pierced 'em wheer they stood
Mony deed that day were named
And hundreds more were hurt and lamed
While t' Tyrants watching unashamed
Said it'd do 'em good!


5. For mony a year folk struggled on till 1832
Reform Act come, Corn Laws were done
And food were chepper too
John Bright and Cobden paved the way
And now where Peter's Fields once lay
The Free Trade Hall it stands today
On t' fields of Peterloo


The late Harvey Kershaw MBE of dialect poetry renown penned this for the Oldham Tinkers. John added the tune. August 16, 1819 in St Peter’s Fields, Manchester, crowds gathered to listen to the popular Radical, ‘Orator’ Henry Hunt. Some historians maintain that 150,000 were assembled, others 80,000; from all parts of Lancashire to press for industrial and social reform.

No disturbance was threatened, yet the authorities condoned a cavalry charge into the defenceless, packed multitude which resulted in the death of eleven demonstrators and the wounding of 400. The carnage was compared with that at Waterloo some four years earlier and for this reason the occurrence is remembered as the “PeterlooMassacre”.

Re-released on C.D. by Pier Records in 1999 under licence from Topic Records Ltd, England.
The C.D. The Oldham Tinkers, ‘A FINE OLD ENGLISH GENTLEMAN’, The best of TOPIC YEARS. PIERCD 501
Pier Records is a Wooden Hill Recordings Ltd label.
This album features remastered original recordings of the very best or the Oldham Tinkers. Compiled by B.B.C. presenter ANDY KERSHAW with a booklet including extensive new sleeve notes by Larry Kearns.