The line comes from an English nursery rhyme that is about a terrorist plot to blow up the English Parliment during some troubled times in England, involving religion and a plot to overthrow the government.
Very appropriate, that it's being used as the tagline for the movie V for Vendetta, which is coming out the 17th of March. I've been seeing ads for it everywhere, not surprisingly, because it takes place in a London where Nazism took hold after WWII (I believe that the Allies lost) and revolves around a terrorist/freedom fighter called V (Hugo Weaving aka Elrond, aka Agent Smith) and a girl (Evey Hammond, played by Natalie Portman) who gets caught up in it all. I wasn't really looking forwards to it earlier, but I've been getting more and more interested in the project as time goes, and with the various interesting trailers that have been coming out.
The movie was supposed to come out on November 5th, but the studio, Warner Brothers, stated that they didn't have enough time to finish it, while other people speculated that it might be because of the then-recent terrorist bombings in the London Tube. In any case, there's been quite a bit of press about it here. It's gained a lot of press when Natalie Portman shaved her head for the filming, something that she was apparently thrilled to do.
I'm afraid that I'm not familar with the graphic novel, and it's not likely anything that I'll be picking up, although I might get the novelization in the next couple days to see what it's about.
It's going to resonate very much, I suspect, especially in this day and age about the role of governments and people, a very timeless type of story. A couple lines stood out when I watched the trailers:
Both very true statements. I am going to guess that this was influenced slightly by 1984. In any case, I'm really looking forwards to it now, despite anything that I might have said earlier. I remember being skeptical of it when production first started, but I've changed my mind.
And, the original poem:
"Remember, remember, the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot. I see no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot. Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, 'twas his intent to blow up the King and the Parliament. Three score barrels of powder below, Poor old England to overthrow: By God's providence he was catch'd With a dark lantern and burning match. Holloa boys, holloa boys, make the bells ring. Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King! Hip hip hoorah! A penny loaf to feed the Pope. A farthing o' cheese to choke him. A pint of beer to rinse it down. A faggot of sticks to burn him. Burn him in a tub of tar. Burn him like a blazing star. Burn his body from his head. Then we'll say ol' Pope is dead. Hip hip hoorah! Hip hip hoorah!"