19th Century

A Song for the Democracy (1839) | H. Vincent

This poem, originally written by H. Vincent, was first published in 1839 in Hugh Williams’s National Songs and Poetical Pieces. Called ‘A Song for the Democracy’, radicals, particularly in the 1830s and 1840s, often used the definite article before ‘democracy’ to refer to the people as a class, in the same way that there existed an ‘aristocracy’. Transcribed by Stephen Basdeo in 2021.

I am a Democrat bold!

Of the rights of the the I sing;

I care not for baron or lord,

For a priest, for a queen, or a king:

I am ready, when Liberty needs me,

In arms to attend her first call,

And proclaim that both crozier and mitre,

Are doomed by the people to fall.

               I am a Democrat bold! Ha! ha!

               I am a Democrat bold!

A Democrat truly am I,

And my wishes who pleases may know

I’d have happiness brighten the eye,

And spread freedom wherever I go;

I’d have ignorance banished away,

That the bright eye of reason may see,

That he who is happy to-day,

To-morrow as happy should be.

               For I am, &c. &c.

I confess that I am but a man!

And where is the priest who is more?

Though he cantingly tells of his plan

Of happiness for me “in store;”

But let him rave on with his folly,

I always adhere to my text:

In this world to be happy and jolly,

And leave him to look out for the next!

               For I am, &c. &c.

Then prepare for the struggle, my brothers,

To level all tyranny down!

Too long we have struggled for others;

Let’s a Government have of our own!

A Republic, founded on reason,

Of the poorest and richest, the friend,

That, secure in all time and season,

Our troubles for ever may end!

               For I am, &c. &c.

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