The Chartists – Lyrics

The Miners’ Hard Times (Geri Thomas)

Come all you good people pay heed if you can

I’ll tell of the masters who don’t give a damn

Me wife and me daughter are strapped to a dram

It’s a hard way of making a living


Now a penny a pound for our flour we pay

And three ha’pence of cheese whenever we may

Then it’s Buttry Hatch at the dawn of the day

For it’s hard times have come for the miner


I owe half me wage to the company store

We don’t own a bed we all sleep on the floor

I won’t see the daylight for a day or two more

‘Cause I’m hewing at coal for a living


O’Reilly he came here from over the sea

To sink us a shaft for our colliery

The poor little bugger is worse off than me

He’s breaking his back for a living


And now to conclude I hope that you’ll see

The poor they are starving while the rich have their spree

To complain is a crime all the judges agree

Its Van Diemans land for the miner



The Charter (Wynford Jones)

Come gather round all you men suffering with your plight

Attend the torchlight meetings held on mountains in the night

Missionaries bring us news, from London they’ve been sent

To tell us of a charter that will reform parliament.


The Charter it contains six points to help the working man

Giving him the right to vote without owning land

For under present Parliament our backs against the wall

We’re told we’re only working class and have no rights at all


It’s why we’re thought of in this way that’s causing us despair

Our families are starving but we’re told we’re treated fair

If honest men should take to crime they know the price they’ll pay

Transported to a foreign land many miles away


So take up with the Charter and our struggling ways will change

A better way of life it says is well within our range

Unite together working men and without any doubt

The Charter’ll reform Parliament it’ll kick the old laws out


Frost Williams and Jones (Wynford Jones)

Three men came as leaders

To guide the working class

The six point Charter they did preach

Must be adopted fast


The first man being named John Frost

A fine upstanding man

Believed that rights for fellow men

Must reign throughout the land


Zephaniah Williams

He was the second man

His educated views he preached

Respect he did command


The third man being William Jones

A watchmaker by trade

His oratory fiery

The establishment he slayed


The three men preached the Charter

Of the cause they made no bones

The workers followed every move

Of Frost Williams and Jones


Bogey, Bogey, One Pound Ten (Wynford Jones)

I am just a common man to the land I give my life

Working for my family keeping them from worry and strife

It’s hard to stand by morals when there’s nothing left to eat

No clothes on your back, no shoes on your feet


Bogey bogey one pound ten

All for the masters and none for the men

Bogey bogey one pound ten

All for the masters, none for the men


Times are hard for many a man with a family to rear

Conditions being as they are what life is this to bear

To see his wife and children go hungry day by day

Turns a man to violence for he sees no other way


The masters take away your rights, drop your wages without a care

Cut your working week by half, rise their prices and bring despair

What else can a poor man do when they will not hear his voice

Unite against their tyranny for it is our only choice


The March – part one (Ernest Jones – Chartist Leader)

The rouse up me boys and fight the foe

Your weapons are truth and reason

We will let the Whigs and Tories know

That thinking is not treason


Ye lords oppose us if ye can

Your own doom you seek after

With or without you we’ll make a stand

Until we gain the Charter


The labour toils and strives the more

While tyrants are carousing

But hark I hear the lions roar

The British youths are rousing


The rich are liable to pain,

The poor man feels the smart, sir.

So let us break the despot’s chain,

We soon shall have the Charter.



The March – part two (Wynford Jones)

Down the valleys march the freedom fighters

And they’re fighting for their rights

A holocaust of power drunk heroes

On a cold November night

The Westgate, Newport is their target

Where their voices will be heard

All the men who gather round them

Know “Beanswell” is the password


A storm raged hard on the weary Chartists

As they marched on to the fray

Stopping at “The Welsh Oak” alehouse

Where they wait for break of day

Joined by men of other valleys

Who are tired and forlorn

The is passed they march on Newport

With the coming of the dawn


The early dawn saw the angry Chartists

As they marched with all their will

Lacking the east contingent

They marched on down Stow Hill

Turning in the Westgate courtyard

They hail with confidence

“Give up the Chartist prisoners

Or face the consequence”


Fare Thee Well to Newport (Geri Thomas & Mark Takel)

And now Port Arthur bound A reluctant act of grace

Zephaniah Williams, William Jones and I

On board the Mandarin our bodies bruised by chains

Our captors never caring if we live or die


So fare thee well to Newport

I can live with you no more


My name it is John Frost one of those who counts the cost

There are many more beside, some who lie in their graves

I’m fifty-five years old, will I see my home again

Will I have the courage that I need to survive


Of those we left behind, we never hear a word

We fought for Lovett’s Charter and it seems all in vain

We sought nothing but our rights, and though it seems we failed

While working men are still oppressed the struggle carries on


These Brave Men (Wynford Jones)

It’s so cruel, to take away the lives

Of men stood really not to blame

They were just innocent victims of the time

Striking out to make their claim


These brave men have all been lost

They shed their blood just to be free

These brave men fought for the cause

They gave their lives for you and me


It’s no use to deny they had to fight

For they could see no other way

They made a stand for the rights of other men

For this they dearly had to pay


Time is a healer or so they say

So just let time carry on

Time it will not erase the feeling of today

All you’ve believed in has all gone.