William Morris’ ‘Chants for Socialists’ updated

Musician Darren Hayman has recorded an album of William Morris’ political lyrics ‘Chants for Socialists’.

It was recorded at three of Morris’ homes: Kelmscott House in Hammersmith, Kelmscott Manor, Gloucestershire and The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow. More details about the production process, which included hand-printing the record sleeves on Morris’ own press, can be found here.

Morris wrote poetry throughout his life. Among his early literary influences were the Pre-Raphaelites, who idealised the pre-industrial world of the Middle Ages, contrasting it favourably with Victorian society, authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Sir Thomas Malory and traditional literature such as the Norse Sagas.
Later in life he became politicised, joining the Social Democratic Federation and then the Socialist League. His Chants for Socialists form part of a large output of literature putting the case for socialism and celebrating solidarity. The chants were written to be performed at socialist events and in public; cultural clubs were an integral part of the early socialist movement all across Europe.

Making of Chants for Socialists – Darren Hayman: