June 15: Wat Tyler Day

We´ll shoot the cutty wren …

June 15. On this day in 1215, King John signed the Magna Carta, putting legal limits on the monarch’s powers, and granting legal rights to the very rich. It was over seven centuries before the rest of the population had won those rights.

June 15. On this day in 1381, Wat Tyler, a leader of the great Peasant Revolt, was killed by the Mayor of London for daring to demand rights for the great majority, the peasants of England.

Although we spent much time in school learning about Kings and nobles, our textbooks didn’t mention the Peasant Revolt, when 20,000 commoners confronted the King at Smithfield.

I do remember hearing this old folk song from that time – but of course no teacher ever explained that the “cutty wren” was the King.

Oh where are you going, said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
We´re off to the wood, said John the Red Nose
We´re off to the wood, said John the Red Nose

And what will you do, said Milder to Moulder
For we may not tell you, said Festel to Fose
We´ll shoot the cutty wren, said John the Red Nose
We´ll shoot the cutty wren, said John the Red Nose

Oh how will you cut him up, said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you, said Festel to Fose
With knives and with forks, said John the Red Nose
With knives and with forks, said John the Red Nose

And who´ll get the spare ribs said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you, said Festel to Fose
We´ll give them all to the poor, said John the Red Nose
We´ll give them all to the poor, said John the Red Nose

Fairport Convention’s tribute to Wat Tyler:

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8 years 2 months ago

Hi, we are starting a downing street Petition for a Wat Tyler Day, on June 15th. We would welcome your support in publicising the cause.
Thanks
Bob Thomas

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