THE WORDS to When Wilt Thou Save The People? were written in 1827 by the "Corn Law Rhymer", Ebenezer Elliott. The refrain, "God Save the People!", is, of course, the radical working-class agitator's rejoinder to "God Save the King!"
Elliott's song became the anthem of the Chartist movement, the mass working-class movement for universal manhood suffrage and other political reforms that was active in the United Kingdom between 1838 and 1848.
I have been unable to locate on YouTube a performance of the song set to the music of Josiah Booth, which is quite beautiful. If anyone knows of such a version capable of being uploaded to Bowalley Road - please get in touch. In the meantime here is Stephen Schwartz's adaptation of the song which he slipped into his 1971 musical "Godspell". Enjoy!
This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite.