The Triumph Of General Ludd

Album: English Rebel Songs (1850)

Songfacts®:

  • Although he is also known as Captain Ludd or even King Ludd, Ned Ludd was neither a military man nor a monarch. In 1779, the humble weaver from the village of Anstey near Leicester was said to have been whipped for idleness - they did things differently in those days.

    In revenge or a fit of pique, he broke two stocking frames; a stocking frame was an early mechanical knitting machine. His name was subsequently purloined by the frame breakers known as the Luddites, who arose in 1811. The movement peaked the following year with the murder on April 27 of factory owner William Horsfall at Huddersfield.

    As in the song, General Ludd was transformed into a mythical character living in Sherwood Forest like Robin Hood. Fortunately, the Luddite ideology didn't triumph, or all human progress would have ceased.
  • Chumbawamba did a modern update on this traditional song in 1998 for their collection of protest songs, English Rebel Songs 1381-1984. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde of The PretendersSongwriter Interviews

The rock revolutionist on songwriting, quitting smoking, and what she thinks of Rush Limbaugh using her song.

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's Songs

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's SongsSong Writing

"London Bridge," "Ring Around the Rosie" and "It's Raining, It's Pouring" are just a few examples of shockingly morbid children's songs.

Queen

QueenFact or Fiction

Scaramouch, a hoople and a superhero soundtrack - see if you can spot the real Queen stories.

Keith Reid of Procol Harum

Keith Reid of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

As Procol Harum's lyricist, Keith wrote the words to "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." We delve into that song and find out how you can form a band when you don't sing or play an instrument.

Steely Dan

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?