Swinish Multitude, The
DESCRIPTION: Give me the man who bids "the sun of Freedom rise" against tyrants, and the soul who "inlists for Freedom's cause." May you "no longer unavenged be called 'The swinish multitude.'" Freedom is coming to the world. Dare to die pursuing statecraft's crimes.
EARLIEST DATE: before 1804 (_Paddy's Resource_, according to Moylan)
KEYWORDS: nonballad political
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Moylan 80, "The Swinish Multitude" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: Moylan: "Edmund Burke in his [Reflections on the Revolution] in France described the common people as the 'swinish multitude'.... The phrase was adopted as a mock compliment by sympathizers with the revolution and several United Irish songs played upon the phrase." - BS
Burke's precise quote is "Learning will be cast into the mire, and trodden down under the hoofs of the swinish multitude."
Thomas Pakenham, The Year of Liberty, p. 173, reports that the United Irishmen of Henry Joy McCracken sang a "workingmen's song called 'The Swineish (sic.) Multitude." If he has a source for this, it appears to be E. Thompson, Working Class, p. 90. - RBW
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.