Open main menu

When the king enjoys his own again

When the king enjoys his own again (sometimes known as The king shall enjoy his own again) is a Cavalier ballad written by Martin Parker during the English Civil War (first published in 1643). It was later adopted by Jacobites. According to the historian Dr. Bernard Capp, this song was perhaps the most popular song in mid-seventeenth century England.[1] The eighteenth century critic Joseph Ritson called it "the most famous and popular air ever heard in this country".[2]

Contents

Jacobite usageEdit

One of the Irish Jacobite regiments formed in the 1690s from veterans of James II's Irish campaign, the Régiment Rooth (nicknamed 'the Pretender's body-guard'), marched to ‘When the king enjoys his own again’.[3] Upon Queen Mary II's death in 1694, Bristol Jacobites publicly rejoiced with bell-ringings and danced through the streets to the song.[4] In September 1711 a commander of a company of London militia, Captain John Silk, had his trained bands march to the song through the City.[5] In 1713 the Tory clergyman Henry Sacheverell preached to the Sons of the Clergy and afterwards attended a gathering with (amongst others) Dr. Bisse (the Bishop of Hereford) and Francis Atterbury (the Bishop of Rochester). The song was played by the musicians and met with such a favourable reception that it was repeated and when the musicians tried to play a different song they were met with great hissing.[6]

After the accession of the first Hanoverian king, George I, there was a resurgence of Jacobitism in the form of celebrating Charles II's Restoration Day (29 May). On that day in 1715 Bristol Jacobites were heard humming the tune.[7] At Oxford on Restoration Day in 1716 local Jacobite gownsmen disrupted attempted Whig celebrations of it by playing the tune.[8] According to the historian Daniel Szechi, this was the most popular Jacobite song of the period.[9]

In February 1716 two Exeter College, Oxford undergraduates were beaten by officers for playing the song.[10]

In 1722 in St Albans the future MP for the town, Thomas Gape, had musicians play the song during an election riot.[11][12]

WordsEdit

Let rogues and cheats prognosticate
Concerning king's or kingdom's fate
I think myself to be as wise
As he that gazeth on the skies
My sight goes beyond
The depth of a pond
Or rivers in the greatest rain
Whereby I can tell
That all will be well
When the King enjoys his own again
Yes, this I can tell
That all will be well
When the King enjoys his own again

There's neither Swallow, Dove, or Dade
Can soar more high or deeper wade
Nor show a reason from the stars
What causeth peace or civil wars
The man in the moon
May wear out his shoon
By running after Charles his wain
But all's to no end,
For the times will not mend
Till the King enjoys his own again
Yes, this I can tell
That all will be well
When the King enjoys his own again

Full forty years this royal crown
Hath been his father's and his own
And is there anyone but he
That in the same should sharer be?
For better may
The scepter sway
Than he that hath such right to reign?
Then let's hope for a peace,
For the wars will not cease
Till the king enjoys his own again
Yes, this I can tell
That all will be well
When the King enjoys his own again

       

Though for a time we see Whitehall
With cobwebs hanging on the wall
Instead of gold and silver brave
Which formerly was wont to have
With rich perfume
In every room,
Delightful to that princely train
Yet the old again shall be
When the time you see
That the King enjoys his own again
Yes, this I can tell
That all will be well
When the King enjoys his own again

Then fears avaunt, upon the hill
My hope shall cast her anchor still
Until I see some peaceful dove
Bring home the branch I dearly love
Then will I wait
Till the waters abate
Which now disturb my troubled brain
Then for ever rejoice,
When I've heard the voice
That the King enjoys his own again
Yes, this I can tell
That all will be well
When the King enjoys his own again

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Bernard Capp, Astrology and the Popular Press: English Almanacs 1500-1800 (Faber and Faber, 2008), p. 23.
  2. ^ Joseph Ritson, Ancient Songs and Ballads (1790; 3rd ed. 1877), p. 367, quoted in Victor E. Neuburg, Popular Literature: A History and Guide (Routledge, 1977), p. 57.
  3. ^ Paul Kleber Monod, Jacobitism and the English People. 1688-1788 (Cambridge University Press, 1993), p. 107.
  4. ^ Monod, p. 170.
  5. ^ Monod, p. 172.
  6. ^ Monod, p. 148.
  7. ^ Monod, p. 182.
  8. ^ Monod, p. 204.
  9. ^ Daniel Szechi, The Jacobites: Britain and Europe, 1688-1788 (Manchester University Press, 1994), p. 34.
  10. ^ Monod, p. 276.
  11. ^ Monod, p. 198.
  12. ^ Romney Sedgwick (ed.), The History of Parliament: The House of Commons, 1715-1754. II: Members E-Y (London: The Stationery Office, 1970), p. 59.

Further readingEdit

  • William Wagstaffe, The Ballad of The king shall enjoy his own again: with a learned comment thereupon, at the request of Capt. Silk (London, 1711).