Cavalier Ballad; Martin Parker, c. 1647
What Booker doth prognosticate|
Concerning kings' or kingdoms' fate?
I think myself to be as wise
As he that gazeth on the skies;
My skill goes beyond the depth of a pond,
Or rivers in the greatest rain,
Thereby I can tell all things will be well
When the King enjoys his own again.
2. There's neither swallow, dove, nor dade,
3. Though for a time we see Whitehall
4. Full forty years the royal crown|
Hath been his father's and his own;
And is there any one but he
That in the same should sharer be?
For who better may the sceptre 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.
5. Did Walker no predictions lack
6. Till then upon Ararat's hill
This is perhaps the most popular of all the Cavalier songs - a
favour which it partly owes to the excellent melody with which it
is associated. The song, says Mr Chappell, is ascertained to be by
Martin Parker, by the following extract from the GOSSIPS' FEAST, or
Moral Tales, 1647. "By my faith, Martin Parker never got a fairer
treat: no, not when he indited that sweet ballad, When the King
enjoys his own again." In the poet's Blind Man's Bough (or Buff),
1641, Martin Parker says,|
"Whatever yet was published by me
Was known as Martin Parker, or M. P.;"
but this song was printed without his name or initials, at a time when it would have been dangerous to give either his own name or that of his publisher.
Ritson calls it the most famous song of any
time or country. Invented to support the declining interest of
Charles I., it served afterwards with more success to keep up the
spirits of the Cavaliers, and promote the restoration of his son;
an event which it was employed to celebrate all over the kingdom.
At the Revolution of 1688, it of course became an adherent of the exiled King, whose cause it never deserted. It did equal service in 1715 and 1745. Booker, Pond, Hammond, Rivers, Swallow, Dade, and "The Man in the Moon," were all astrologers and Almanac makers in the early days of the civil war. "The Man in the Moon" appears to have been a loyalist in his predictions. Hammond's Almanac is called "bloody" because the compiler always took care to note the anniversary of the death, execution, or downfall of a Royalist.
| Song Index | Home Page |