For St George’s Day, based on the old folk song. John Ball was a preacher who was persecuted, imprisoned and eventually hung, drawn and quartered for encouraging the poor to throw off their shackles.
Did ye sing, John Ball, as they pulled you apart? A poet speaking for us all from England’s tattered heart. What a price, John Ball, for singing to us all. When hope came as a crime in simple rhythm and rhyme. He who sings a blackbird’s song to a starved and battered throng, with a message to stand strong would never last long. So we’ll sing to John Ball for the helpless and hopeless, the voiceless, forgotten, buried beneath the mansions of Lords; misbegotten mortar, stones and chandeliers, the scarlet grave goods of England’s preening peers. We’ll sing in simple rhymes and hope for better times, when those barons’ grandchildren, so viscous, reptilian, are thrown from their seat in ignominious defeat. Where children sing your song as they learn about your story in a peaceful, equal land – now that’s real hope and glory!