The famine had affected many people
From Ireland to the shores of the Baltic Sea
The soaring cost of food meant it took most of your earnings
Which meant the shutting down of much of industry
But no one knows for sure why the rebellion began
Or why it quickly spread from state to state
When in the mountains and the plains, from Galway to Ukraine
Came the Rising of 1848

A pitchfork may be no match for a rifle
But there’s nothing that will give the king a fright
As when he looks out of the window
And sees his castle burning in the night
But that’s just what happened in fifty different countries
Where the landlords oft encountered such a fate
Where from Budapest to Sicily life would never be the same
After the Rising of 1848

Marx and Engels wrote a book which spread as quickly as the flames
From which the feudal barons had to flee
From the workers in the cities, from the peasants in the towns
And even from the petit bourgeoisie
United for a time by a common sense of purpose
To finally throw off the crushing weight
Of the dynastic rule of hereditary Lords
Who owned the Europe of 1848

Tens of thousands died before it all was over
And some say it all ended in defeat
But the landscape was transformed when serfdom was abolished
Which is why we don’t see history repeat
And the monarchs remembered when peasants with pitchforks
Came to burn down their estate
And most of them decided democracy was better
Than the Rising of 1848