The Vicar of Bray

Line
Melody -
Line

In good King Charles's golden days,
When loyalty no harm meant;
A furious High-Church man I was,
And so I gain'd preferment.
Unto my flock I daily preach'd,
Kings are by God appointed,
And damn'd are those who dare resist,
Or touch the Lord's anointed.
And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my dying day, sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,
I will be Vicar of Bray, sir!

2. When Royal James possess'd the crown,
And popery grew in fashion;
The penal law I houted down,
And read the declaration:
The Church of Rome, I found would fit,
Full well my constitution,
And I had been a Jesuit,
But for the Revolution.
And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my dying day, sir,
That whatsoer king shall reign,
I will be Vicar of Bray, sir!

3. When William our deliverer came,
To heal the nation's grievance,
I turned the cat in pan again,
And swore to him allegiance:
Old principles I did revoke,
Set conscience at a distance,
Passive obedience is a joke,
A jest is non-resistance.
And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my dying day, sir,
That whatsoer king shall reign,
I will be Vicar of Bray, sir!

4. When glorious Anne became our queen
The Church of England's glory,
Another face of things was seen,
And I became a Tory:
Occasional conformists base,
I damn'd, and moderation,
And thought the Church in danger was,
From such prevarication.
And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my dying day, sir,
That whatsoer king shall reign,
I will be Vicar of Bray, sir!

5. When George in pudding time came o'er,
And moderate men looked big, sir,
My principles I chang'd once more,
And so became a Whig, sir:
And thus preferment I procur'd,
From our faith's great defender,
And almost every day abjur'd
The Pope, and the Pretender.
And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my dying day, sir,
That whatsoer king shall reign,
I will be Vicar of Bray, sir!

6. The illustrious House of Hanover,
And Protestant succession,
To these I lustily will swear,
Whilst they can keep possession:
For in my faith, and loyalty,
I never once will falter,
George, my lawful king shall be,
Except the times should alter.
And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my dying day, sir,
That whatsoer king shall reign,
I will be Vicar of Bray, sir!

Line
| Song Index | Home Page |
Line