Folkipedia

Get Started

sliki

Protest Song

From the song Cutty Wren protesting about Feudalism in the Peasants Revolt of 1381 to We Shall Overcome and Give Peace a Chance, protest songs have been the preserve of folk music.

Probably best known during the second revival of the 1960s when great protest singers and songs became mainstream - Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton and others.

Protests are about conditions, rights or war basically.

The Cutty Wren (the feudal landlord)

The Wren was hunted at Christmas time with a purpose - killing the old year and making way for the new represented by the Robin and the song is cleverly couched in terms that could be about the traditional Wren Hunt. 

Oh where are you going said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
We're off to the woods said John the Red Nose
We're off to the woods said John the Red Nose

And what will you do there said Milder to Moulder
We'll shoot the Cutty wren said John the Red Nose
And how will you shoot her said Milder to Moulder
With bows and with arrows said John the Red Nose

Oh that will not do said Milder to Moulder
Oh what will you do then said Festel to Fose
Great guns and great cannon said John the Red Nose
Great guns and great cannon said John the Red Nose

And how will you fetch her said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
On four strong men's shoulders said John the Red Nose
On four strong men's shoulders said John the Red Nose

Ah that will not do said Milder to Moulder
Oh what will do then said Festel to Fose
Great carts and great wagons said John the Red Nose
Great carts and great wagons said John the Red Nose

Oh how will you cut her up said Milder to Moulder
With knives and with forks said John the Red Nose
Oh that will not do said Milder to Moulder
Great hatchets and cleavers said John the Red Nose

Oh how will you boil her said Milder to Moulder
In pots and in kettles said John the Red Nose
O that will not do said Milder to Moulder
Great pans and large cauldrons said John the Red Nose

Oh who'll get the spare ribs said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
We'll give 'em all to the poor said John the Red Nose
We'll give 'em all to the poor said John the Red Nose