Songs and Poems

The World Turned Upside Down

Song. By Leon Rosselson.
The story of the 1649 revolt of the dispossessed in England who fought against the vested interest of the propertied. A vision of society that is cooperative and in harmony with the earth.
Themes: Art & Music, Labor, Organizing

Cover of audio album featuring World Turned Upside Down. Click on image to see YouTube video of Leon Rosselson singing The World Turned Upside Down

Covered by Billy Bragg, Dick Gaughan, and many others, “The World Turned Upside Down” is the tale of the diggers (people who cultivated common land) and the repression they faced hundreds of years ago.

The World Turned Upside Down

In 1649

To St. George’s Hill,

A ragged band they called the Diggers

Came to show the people’s will

They defied the landlords

They defied the laws

They were the dispossessed reclaiming what was theirs

Read all the lyrics at website.

In the film clip below, you can see rare concert footage of The World Turned Upside Down songwriter Leon Rosselson, recorded in Edinburgh in October 2007. He provides some history of the events described in the song.