When The King Enjoys His Own Again

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Melody - Marry Me, Marry Me, Quoth the Bonnie Lass
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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,
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.

3. Though for a time we see Whitehall
With cobwebs hanging on the wall
Instead of silk and silver brave,
Which formerly it used to have,
With rich perfume in every room,
Delightful to that princely train,
Which again you shall see, when the time it shall be,
That the King enjoys his own again.

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
In Hammond's bloody almanack?
Foretelling things that would ensue,
That all proves right, if lies be true;
But why should not he the pillory foresee,
Wherein poor Toby once was ta'en?
And also foreknow to the gallows he must go
When the King enjoys his own again? (1)

6. Till then upon Ararat's 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,
Else never rejoice till I hear the voice
That the King enjoys his own again.


(1) This stanza is omitted in most collections. Walker was colonel in the parliamentary army; and afterwards a member of the Committee of Safety.
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.

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