(This score available as
a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available
The Contented So why should any man complain Or why disturb his heart and brain At this new alteration? Since that which has been done's no more Than what has oft been done before And that which will be done again As long as there are ambitious men Who strive for domination. In this mad age there's nothing firm All things have their period and turn For rising and declining. Without our help affairs of state They pass at their ordained rate. We watch but neither cheer nor frown Which e'er sides up, we're always down. There's no use for cheers or whining. So still we commons must indeed be made a starveling hackney steed For all in turns will ride us. This side or that, no matter which, For both do ride with spur and switch Till soon we tire and then at last We stumble and our riders cast For they'll not feed nor guide us. The lawyers must leave by their books They and the clergy quite mistook Thought crowns were gained by prating. Tis' not the black coat but the red has power to take and be the head Nor is it psalms nor laws nor tears But muskets and full bandoleirs Have power of legislating. Such wit and valour, root all things, They pull down and they set up Kings We'll not presume to judge them For that side's always right that's strong And that that's beaten must be wrong. We common folks stay fast at home And Heaven help the slack-brained mome That law or scripture quotes from tome Thinking with right to gain his own He's from his living quickly thrown And was but a fool to oppose them. First printed in 1691, dating to the English civil war. This version and the tune was written by Greg Butler in 1986, after an anonymous original printed in "Merry Drollery Complete" 1691. Reprinted in "The Old Lamb and Flag: The Songs and Story of Preston and its Guild." by Tom Walsh and Greg Butler, Lancashire, England: Carnagie Pub., Ltd., 1992. WBO oct97
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!