The Turn-Coat

Line
Melody - "London is a fine town"
Line

Cavalier Ballad; Samuel Butler, 1661

I loved no King since forty-one,
When Prelacy went down;
A cloak and band I then put on
And preach'd against the crown.
Chorus:
A turn-coat is a cunning man
That cants to admiration,
And prays for any king to gain
The people's approbation.

2. I show'd the paths to heaven untrod,
From Popery to refine 'em,
And taught the people to serve God,
As if the Devil were in 'em.
Chorus:

3. When Charles return'd into our land,
The English Church supporter,
I shifted off my cloak and band,
And so became a courtier.
Chorus:

4. The King's religion I profest,
And found there was no harm in 't;
I cogg'd and flatter'd like the rest,
Till I had got preferment.
Chorus:

5. I taught my conscience how to cope
With honesty or evil;
And when I rail'd against the Pope
I sided with the Devil.
Chorus:


Several lines in this song were incorporated in the better-known ballad of the Vicar of Bray, said by Nichols in his Select Poems to have been written by a soldier in Colonel Fuller's troop of dragoons, in the reign of George I. Butler's ballad, though unpublished, must therefore have been known at the time.

Line
| Song Index | Home Page |
Line