https://ianhanchet.bandcamp.com/track/1381-poll-tax-blues

Digging into my ancestry has unearthed a story of one of my ancestors who was beheaded in the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381 in England. Not sure if he is a direct ancestor (I doubt it because he was decapitated at the age of 22 and had only one child), but he is a part of the family lore.

About a month ago I was in attendance at a performance of Celtic music played by my friends Patrick Hutchison and Jeff Deeprose. Their repertoire included many songs that were actually ancient stories of derring-do that have been passed down through the ages by minstrels in pubs and taverns. I thought “Hey, maybe I can write a song about John Hanchauch (variation of Hanchet)!”

I researched the Wat Tyler Rebellion and The Peasant's Revolt (the same thing) and determined that it was a righteous protest against injustice. I was worried that he might be like the recent "Freedom Convoys" and the infamous dolts of January sixth. I think not. They were protesting against the Feudal system and the injustice of taxation from the people least able to afford it. In present day terms, it is like the rich paying an insignificant percentage of their income while the same percentage from farmers and tradesmen is a huge dent in their breadwinning. 

I hate the idea of "classes" as in upper and lower and middle classes. I have seen wealthy people with no "class" and I have seen people with nothing sharing what they have and exhibiting more "class" than most people will ever have within them.

I am a Canadian and I have a strong socialist bent. I resent Royalty and deplore "celebrity" and don't get me started on Privilege and billionaires,etc. I hope this (admittedly an ear worm of a) song sees traction. Please share it widely.

Oh, the 14th century was a very rough age
unless  clothes of silk was what you wore
on top of plague, famine and war, they want to tax us even more
But We’re not going to take it any more

how much you going to bleed us for you bastards
how much you going to take from us in taxes 
how much you going to bleed us for you bastards
We’re not going to take it anymore

John Ball had a dream in which every human being 
was an equal and shared the bounty of the land 
where the rich became aware of the people in their care 
Who felt the balance of wealth was unfair

how much you going to bleed us for you bastards?..

"When Adam delved and …Eve span 
Who was then the gentleman?"
who made you king and me an underling?
I’m not going to bow to you no more

how much you going to bleed us for you bastards?....

 silly king  Richard was only fourteen 
he never ever learned to play nice
they did his sums while he twiddled his thumbs and he
followed all their bad advice

they said tax em once, tax em once again 
take away their milk, take away their grain
we need more money to pay for more war 
the treasury’s weakened, better tax em some more

how much you going to bleed us for you bastards?.....

At only twenty two John Hanchauch, to be true
Led some men on up to Cambridge town
These men had no fear, and their mission was clear
Find the manors of their foes and burn them down



John’s future had been shining  bright before him
at twenty years of age, he’d just been wed
But he couldn’t stand the rules of these aristocratic fools
And in just two years he’d lost his head

Henry DeSpencer, fighting bishop for the king
Needed somebody to fail
Dispenser of “justice” ordered the axe
And Hanchauch’s head fell in the pail.

how much you going to bleed us for you bastards
how much you going to take from us in taxes 
how much you going to bleed us for you bastards
We’re not going to take it anymore

how much you going to bleed us for you bastards
Headless men can’t pay taxes 
how much you going to bleed us for you bastards
You’ll get nothing from me anymore

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