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Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Vicar of Bray


Now that the new government is getting its feet under the table, and the Labour leadership is starting to shape up, it's surprising how many of the ex-labour Government ministers have come out to say that their policy on Iraq, Afghanistan, and now immigration were wrong. Next will be 24 hour drinking, a cornerstone of Bliar's cafe society big idea.
The whole nonsense put me in mind of the Vicar of Bray. I learned about him at grammar school, back when they used to teach history. Apparently they're offering a GCSE in Britain's Got Talent these days. That reminds me of the old joke about the Irish equivalent of GCE exams, where the questions went-
Q. Either- Explain Boyle's law
Or- name the members of Boyzone.

For those who don't know any history can I point you to this site
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vicar_of_Bray

And here's the words to the 18th century song-

In good King Charles's golden days,
When Loyalty no harm meant;
A Zealous 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 may reign,
I will be the Vicar of Bray, Sir!

When Royal James possest the crown,
And popery grew in fashion;
The Penal Law I shouted 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, &c.

When William our Deliverer came,
To heal the Nation's Grievance,
I turn'd 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, &c.

When Royal Ann became our Queen,
Then 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, &c.

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, &c.

The Illustrious House of Hannover,
And Protestant succession,
To these I lustily will swear,
Whilst they can keep possession:
For in my Faith, and Loyalty,
I never once will faulter,
But George, my lawful king shall be,
Except the Times shou'd alter.

And this is Law, &c.


Ah, the benefits of a grammar school education!

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