Thanks to MARK GREGORY’s research, we have been led to a 1795 verse from the ROCHDALE FOOD RIOTS in the UK. This forms the chorus and partial verse of Melinda’s COLLIER’S STRIKE SONG which is written about an ILLAWARRA COAL STRIKE.
The ROCHDALE BUROUGH WIDE CULTURAL TRUST WEBSITE informs us that they located the verse on a typewritten piece of paper in their archives which a long ago librarian had typed up. At this time, that’s all the details we have. Mark and his compatriots see an indication of the ongoing thread of working class folklorist tradition extending to Melinda’s song.
Below are some articles referring to the situation in Rochdale in 1795.
Whitehall Evening Post (London, England), Saturday, July 11, 1795; Issue 7593
The MORNING POST and FASHIONABLE WORLD of AUGUST 6 1795 reported riots in which three people were killed by the VOLUNTEERS. The riots continued after the letters had left.
The COURIER AND EVENING GAZETTE of AUGUST 11(LONDON ENGLAND) gave the names and details of the men killed. One was 80 years old and in no way connected with the riots and other by the name of FLETCHER was equally uninvolved. A boy had his arm broken and many more were wounded by the VOLUNTEER FENCIBLES.
FROM THE STAR Star (London, England), Monday, August 24, 1795; Issue 2189.