Man is Free by Nature
DESCRIPTION: "Why vainly do we waste our time, Repeating our oppression? ... See Gallia's bright example; The glorious scene before our eyes, Let's every tyrant trample.... future ages prove this truth, That man is free by nature"
EARLIEST DATE: 1796 (_Paddy's Resource_ (Philadelphia), according to Moylan)
KEYWORDS: France nonballad patriotic freedom
July 14, 1789 - The Bastille is taken, marking the beginning of the French Revolution
1791-1792 - Thomas Paine publishes _The Rights of Man_
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Moylan 12, "Man is Free by Nature" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "The Glorious Exertion of Man" (subject of the French Revolution)
NOTES: Moylan: "This song may have been written by Thomas Russell." - BS
It does sound like something Russell (1767-1803) might have written, since he was a radical -- reportedly a friend of Wolfe Tone -- hung in the aftermath of Robert Emmet's rebellion. If so, though, he obviously lived to see the promise of the French Revoution drowned in blood. Indeed, it's hard to see how the song could have been published as late as 1796, assuming the author was rational; the Terror had run from 1793-1794, which should have shown how dangerous uncontrolled "populist" movements could be. - RBW
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.