Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Old Song for a Sleepy Easter Sunday


Being a Pagan myself, I know how the dying-and-reborn-god motif is much older than Christianity, but also being a long-time Wobbly, I can't help but look around and remember a fitting old Ewan MacColl song, as I heard Phil Ochs sing it many years ago.

The Ballad Of The Carpenter

By Ewan MacColl

 Jesus was a working man, 
 A hero as you shall hear.
 Born in the slums of Bethlehem 
 At the turning of the year. (2X)

 When Jesus was a little wee lad.
 The streets rang with his name,
 For he argued with the aldermen
 And he put them all to shame.

 He became a wandering journeyman
 And he wandered far and wide,
 And he saw how wealth and poverty
 Lived always side by side.
 
 He said, "Come all you working men,
 You farmers and weavers, too.
 If you will only organize,
 This world belongs to you."

 When the rich men heard what the carpenter had done,
 To the Roman troops they ran,
 Saying "Put this rebel Jesus down,
 He's a menace to god and man."

 Jesus walked among the poor,
 For the poor were his own kind,
 And they wouldn't let the cops get close enough
 To take him from behind.

 So they hired one of the traitor's guild,
 And a stool-pigeon was he.
 He sold his brother to the butcher's men
 For a fistful of silver money.
 
 When Jesus lay in the prison cell,
 They beat him and offered him bribes
 To desert the cause of the working folk
 And work for the rich men's tribe.

 The commander of the occupying troops
 Only laughed, and then he said:
 "There's a cross to spare on Calvary Hill.
 By the weekend he'll be dead." 

 The sweat stood out upon his brow
 And the blood was in his eye, 
 As they nailed his body to the Roman cross
 And they laughed as they watched him die.

 Two thousand years have passed and gone, 
 And many a hero too,
 But the dream of this poor carpenter
 Remains in the hands of you. 
 
Happy Easter Sunday, everybody. 

--Leslie <;)))><