Publication: Popular Reform Songs
Publication type: Broadside
King William IV (1765-1837)
Joseph Hume (1777-1855)
Thomas Francis Kennedy of Dunure (1788-1879)
John Maxwell, 8th Baronet of Pollok (1791-1865)
Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (1769-1852)
A full copy of this poem is available.
Archive/Library: National Library of Scotland
In this song, the speaker rouses Scots to fight against the 'Wellingtonian band / That would not grant reform'. The Tories are later described as the 'Iscariot band' too. The songs invokes lines from Robert Burns's 'Scots Wha Hae', including 'Now's the day, and now's the hour', thus placing the song in a tradition of Scottish national resistance. The song also issues threats to the Tories: it is stated that the people will never vote for those Tories who oppose the Reform Bill. Several names are referenced but it is not entirely clear who some refer to, such as Maxwell of the Shaws, Forbes, Graham, Douglas and Campbell. There is no date on the broadside but it was almost certainly published around the middle of 1832: we are told in the poem that 'Parliament has dissolv'd', so it was most likely published during or following the 'Days of May' when public agitation was pervasive.