Lingua   

Eureka Rebellion

Johnny B
Lingua: Inglese



[2006]
Lyrics & Music by Johnny B
Album: Songs of Ballarat
Songs of Ballarat

The Eureka Rebellion was the 1854 miners' uprising on the goldfields of Ballarat in Victoria (Australia). Mining taxes were too high, very harsh conditions on the Australian goldfields. Most diggers worked from dawn to dusk, six days a week. Besides, the miners felt that they had a right to vote and buy land.

bentley


The main source of discontent was the miner's licence, which cost a monthly fee of 30 shillings and permitted the holder to work a 3.6 metre square "claim". Licences had to be paid regardless of whether a digger's claim resulted in the finding of any gold. Troopers (goldfields police) conducted frequent licence hunts, during which the miners were ordered to produce proof of their licences, and this added to the discontent and increasing unrest. Previous delegations for miners' rights had met with a complete lack of action from the Victorian government, so on 29 November 1854, the miners burned their licences in a united, mass resistance against the laws over the miners. Following a widespread licence hunt on November 30, Irish immigrant Peter Lalor was elected to lead the rebellion, which culminated in the huge battle, now known as the Battle of the Eureka Stockade, on December 3.

A lesser-known catalyst to the Eureka Stockade was the death of James Scobie, an unassuming Scottish gold miner. After becoming involved in a fight at the Eureka Hotel, also known as Bentley's Hotel, Scobie died on 7 October 1854.

An inquest into his death absolved the hotel owner, Bentley, and his staff of any wrongdoing. The miners, however, felt that justice had not been carried out, and held a meeting outside the hotel in mid-October. There were a lot of angry people, and subsequently a riot ensued and the hotel was incinerated. As a result of this, more troopers were sent from Melbourne, and miners had to endure even more frequent licence checks, and more frequent clashes between miners and troopers.

dec3 eureka1



The response of the miners to the extra licence checks was to build the Stockade, named the Eureka Stockade, and barricade themselves in so the troopers couldn't get in to check their licences. In turn, the response of the authorities to this was to send in armed soldiers to break down the stockade, which was only flimsy anyway. This was the battle of the "Eureka Stockade". Their mini revolution resulted in the death of 30 people.

swearing


eureka flag The blue Eureka Flag designed by a Canadian miner, "Captain" Henry Ross, and bearing nothing but the Southern Cross, was flown for the first (recorded) time. The flag was believed to have been sewn by Anastasia Hayes. As a gesture of defiance, it deliberately excluded the British Union Flag, which is included in the official flag of Australia. The Argus newspaper of 4 December 1854 reported that the Union Flag was hoisted underneath the Eureka flag.
At the meeting on Bakery Hill an oath of allegiance was sworn by Peter Lalor to the affirmation of his fellow demonstrators: "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties".
December 3rd 1854, the miners made their play
For injustice on the goldfields they had to make a change
They raised a flag into the wind and the southern cross was born
This Eureka Flag was to signify… the battle of their scorn.

They fought at the gates of hell as the troops marched on in.
Rebellion was their only hope gold licenses the blame.
To this day their point was made for the freedom of us all
Injustice and politics....democracy reformed.

[musical interlude]

December 3rd 1854, the miners made their play
For injustice on the goldfields they had to make a change
They raised a flag into the wind and the southern cross was born
This Eureka Flag was to signify… the battle of their scorn

They fought at the gates of hell as the troops marched on in.
Rebellion was their only hope gold licenses the blame
To this day their point was made for the freedom of us all
Their freedom rights were proven….. To this very day..

To this day their point was made for the freedom of us all
Their freedom rights were proven….. to this very day.

inviata da giorgio - 16/5/2013 - 08:11



Pagina principale CCG

Segnalate eventuali errori nei testi o nei commenti a antiwarsongs@gmail.com




hosted by inventati.org