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(learned from Ricky Tejada-Flores and from Song Fest; about a priest who kept his parish through several reigns)

(music to go here)

In good king Charles golden days, when loyalty no harm meant,
A zealous high churchman I was, and so I gained preferment.
To teach my flock I never missed, kings are by God appointed,
And damned are those who do resist or touch the Lord's anointed.
    And this is law, I will maintain until my dying day, sir,
    That whatsoever king shall reign, I'll be the Vicar of Bray, sir!

When royal James obtained the crown, and popery came in fashion,
The penal laws I hooted down, and read the declaration.
The Church of Rome I found would fit quite well my constitution,
And I had been a Jesuit before the revolution!
    And this is law, I will maintain...

When William was our king declared to heal the nation's grievance
With this new wind about I steered and to him swore allegiance.
Old principles I did revoke, set conscience at a distance.
Passive obedience was a joke, a jest was non-resistance.
    And this is law, I will maintain...

When gracious Anne became our queen, the Church of England's glory,
Another face of things was seen, and I became a Tory.
Occasional conformists base, I scorned their moderation,
And thought the Church in danger was from such prevarication.
    And this is law, I will maintain...

When George in pudding time came o'er and moderate men looked big, sir
I turned the cat-in-pan once more, and I became a Whig, sir.
With this preferment I procured from our new faith's defender,
And almost daily I abjured the pope and the pretender.
    And this is law, I will maintain...

The illustrious House of Hanover and Protestant succession
To each I lustily will swear--while they can keep possession.
For in my faith and loyalty I never once will falter,
And George my lawful king shall be--unless the times do alter.
    And this is law, I will maintain...

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)