When the King Enjoys His Own Again

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X:1 T:King Shall Enjoy his own again M:C L:1/8 R:Air F:http://www.farnearchive.com/show_images.asp?id=R0110801&image=1 B:Henry Atkinson's music manuscript collection (Northumberland, 1694, p. 108) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:A A2A2d2d2|efga f2 ef|g2 B2 c2 de|e4 d4|| Te2 cd e2f2|ed cd e2f2|g2B2 cd ec|B4 A4|| |:ab ag|f2 (ed)|efga f2 (ef)|g2B2 c2 (de)|e4 d4:|]



WHEN THE KING ENJOYS HIS OWN AGAIN. AKA and see “Trusty Dick,” "King's Joy," “King Shall Enjoy His Own Again (The),” “World Turned Upside Down (1) (The).” English, March (4/4 time). D Major (Callaghan): G Major (Chappell). Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Callaghan): AABC (Chappell). This extremely popular tune was a Cavalier air and ballad by Mathew (or Martin) Parker that first appeared in 1643; political in nature, it supported Charles I, sang his praises and prognosticated his eventual victory in the civil wars (Merryweater, 1989). The song was circulated in secret during the commonwealth, although in the end the unfortunate Charles was, of course, beheaded and his cause lost. Ritson states the air "served afterwards, with more success, to keep up the spirits of the Cavaliers, and promote the restoration of his son an event it was employed to celebrate all over the kingdom." As a Whig tune it was played in 1690 when the Irish (never ones to pass up a good tune, even though they learned it from the supporters of William the III) played it {in derision?} when they sacked Kilbrogan (Winstock, 1970; p. 26). The Irish harper Denis Hempson (or O’Hempsey) was fifty years old when, on a second trip to Scotland in 1745, he played the tune for Prince Charlie in Edinburgh. Collinson (1975) reports it was played by bagpipers (in an altered form for the instrument) for Bonnie Prince Charlie upon the same occasion of his triumphal entry into Edinburgh. It was later played by Jacobite officers in a Manchester church as Bonnie Prince Charlie’s forces retreated to Scotland in 1745, feeling betrayed by the town whose former warm reception had turned hostile when the fortunes of the Prince waned (Winstock, 1970). Chappell (1859) says that, although the tune is sometimes claimed as Scottish, it is an English composition. He also states that it was not only a vehicle for numerous Jacobite songs, but that several written in support of the House of Hanover can be found. “When the King Enjoys His Own Again” appears in Musick's Recreation on the Lura Viol (1652), Musick's Delight on the Cithren (1666), Elizabeth Rogers' Virginal Book (1656), and, as "The King Shall enjoy his won again" in the music manuscript collection of Northumbrian musician Henry Atkinson [1] (1694).

Under the title “The King's Joy” it was printed in Richard Roberts’ Cambrian Harmony (1829) and reprinted in Parry’s Welsh Harper (1848), with the suggestion that it is an old Welsh tune “never before published arranged as they were originally performed by the Ancient Britons.” While it may have been collected in Wales, it is a remembrance of the English original. The first stanza of the song begins:

Let rogues and cheats prognosticate
Concerning king's or kingdom's fate
I think myself to be as wise
As he that gazeth on the skies
My sight goes beyond
The depth of a pond
Or rivers in the greatest rain
Whereby I can tell
That all will be well
When the King enjoys his own again
Yes, this I can tell
That all will be well
When the King enjoys his own again

Barry Callaghan (2007) remarks that, although the melody began as a song tune, it was absorbed into dance repertoire by the late 18th century. Later it was printed under the title “Trusty Dick, or The King Enjoys His Own” in Daniel Wright’s Compleat Collection of Celebrated Country Dances (1740, printed by I. Johnson). “When the King…” appears in the music manuscript copybook of Henry Aktinson (1694, Morpeth, Northumberland), and the music manuscript of John Winder (1789, Wyresdale, Lancashire), although under the title “29th of May” in the latter ms. (this title is usually attached to another melody). Callaghan also notes the a variant of the melody was employed in a traditional play from Ruardean, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, where it accompanies the dance of a ‘sword carrier’. The melody also is mentioned by Davies Gilbert[1] in 1823 as having been sung as part of 'guise' or 'geese' Christmas festivities (i.e. where participants performed rudimentary plays and songs in disguise, going from home to home).

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Callaghan (Hardcore English), 2007; p. 40. Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time, vol. 1), 1859; pp. 210 211. Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 2), 1760; p. 20.

Recorded sources: -

See also listing at:
Hear a recording of the song by John Potter and the Broadside Band on youtube.com [2]



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  1. Davies Gilbert, Some ancient Christmas Carols with the tunes to which they were formerly sung in the west of England, J. Nichols and Son: London, 1823. See the appendix.