Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Stroud, the budget and rough music's local traditions

Rough Music:
Beating pots and pans,
Making a public din (rather than a private dinner),
Ringing bells, rattling bones, blowing horns,
With domestic utensils utilised in public,
Expressing a note of disapprobation
Through a cacophony of disharmony –
A symbolic representation of social discord,
Marking a transgression of agreed social norms,
The wrong-doer often shown in effigy,
With a pantomimic declamation of their crimes,
Sometimes riding the skimmington,
As in The Mayor of Casterbridge,
Or the 1825 Stroudwater Weavers’ Riots,
And nineteenth century Rodborough -
A tradition revived with the reviling
Of George Osborne and his July budget,
A budget that will be responsible
For far more domestic disharmony,
And transgression of agreed social norms,
Than could ever be marked
By all the Rough Music
Ever played in ‘Merrie Englande’.

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