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The Goose and the Common

[trad.]

The Goose and the Common is a 17th century protest song against English enclosures.

The Claque sang The Goose and the Common in 2008 on their WildGoose CD Sounding Now. They noted:

The late Martin Bloomer took the well-known late medieval verse, added a chorus, tune and extra stanzas to make The Goose and the Common, a song from the time of the early enclosures of common land to accommodate sheep. The last verse has a lesson for societies that accept their bad lot, blindly and advocates fighting back!

Lyrics

The Claque sing The Goose and the Common

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common,
But turns the bigger robber loose
Who steals the common from off the goose.

Chorus (after each verse):
Whose is the Kingdom, the power and the glory?
For ever and ever, will it be the same old story?

The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own,
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.

The poor and wretched don't escape
If they conspire the law to break.
This must be so, but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law.

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common,
And geese will still a common lack
Till they go and steal it back.

Links

See also the Union Songs page The Goose and the Common and the Mudcat Café thread The Common and the Goose.