(lyrics adapted from ‘The Song Of The Lower Classes’ by Ernest Jones)
We’re low – we’re low – mere rabble, we know
But, at our plastic power,
The mould at the lording’s feet will grow
Into palace and church and tower
Then prostrate fall – in the rich man’s hall,
And cringe at the rich man’s door;
We’re not too low to build the wall,
But too low to tread the floor.
Down, down we go – we’re so very low,
To the hell of the deep sunk mines,
But we gather the proudest gems that glow,
When the crown of a despot shines.
And whenever he lacks – upon our backs
Fresh loads he designs to lay;
We’re far too low to vote the tax,
But not too low to pay.
We’re low – we’re low – we’re very very low,
Yet from our fingers glide
The silken flow – and the robes that glow
Round the limbs of the sons of pride.
And what we get – and what we give –
We know, and we know our share;
We’re not too low the cloth to weave,
But too low the cloth to wear!