The original, technically, was in 1819 by Percy Bysshe Shelley as a response to the Peterloo massacre in Manchester in which a cavalry had charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 that had gathered to demand political reform. 15 people were killed and 400–700 were injured. The full poem, The Masque of Anarchy, has been held up by many commentators as the greatest political poem ever written by an Englishman, calling as it did on continued peaceful resistance as a way of achieving change.
Scritti Politti used part of the poem to inspire one of the many excellent tracks to be found on the 1983 LP Songs To Remember:-
mp3 : Scritti Politti – Lions After Slumber
In 2003, Rough Trade released a compilation LP entitled Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before in which their then current roster of artists covered songs from the label’s back-catalogue.
mp3 : The Veils – Lions After Slumber
A fine example of grabbing something that was quite distinctive and being able to turn it into something you can claim as your own. The New Zealanders raw and tribal take on this is well worth a listen.