World Turned Upside Down (The Diggers' Song)

from by Paulette Meier, Jamie Fota, Len Webb and Diana Porter



British songwriter Leon Rosselson wrote this forty years ago to tell the story of the historic Digger Commune movement of 1649 in England. Dedicated to the ideal of a classless society, the Diggers settled on privatized land and held it in “the common good,” believing that all should share freely in the gifts of the earth.


In 1649
To St. George's Hill,
A ragged band they called the Diggers
Came to show the people's will
They defied the landlords
They defied the laws
They were the dispossessed reclaiming what was theirs

We come in peace they said
To dig and sow
We come to work the lands in common
And to make the waste ground grow
This earth divided
We will make whole
So it will be
A common treasury for all

The sin of property
We do disdain
No man has any right to buy and sell
The earth for private gain
By theft and murder
They took the land
Mow everywhere the walls
Spring up at their command

They make the laws
To chain us well
The clergy dazzle us with heaven
Or they damn us into hell
We will not worship
The God they serve
The God of greed who feed the rich
While poor folk starve

We work we eat together
We need no swords
We will not bow to the masters
Or pay rent to the lords
Still we are free men
Though we are poor
You Diggers all stand up for glory
Stand up now

From the men of property
The orders came
They sent the hired men and troopers
To wipe out the Diggers' claim
Tear down their cottages
Destroy their corn
They were dispersed
But still the vision carries on

You poor take courage
You rich take care
This earth was made a common treasury
For everyone to share
All things in common
All people one
We come in peace
We'll organize until it's done.*

* Original lyrics: "The orders came to cut them down"


from Just Earth, released January 1, 2017
lyrics and music: Leon Rosselson, used with permission.
Arrangement by Diana Porter, inspired by The Fagans



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Paulette Meier Cincinnati, Ohio

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