Marking the 400th anniversary of the death of Sir Walter Raleigh (or Ralegh; pronounced either Rally or Rawly). Born between 1552 and 1554 at Hayes Barton, East Budleigh, Devon. Unjustly executed in London on 29 October, 1618. Explorer, courtier, fashion icon, parliamentarian, diplomat, politician, soldier, ship designer, poet, historian, businessman, chemist and botanist with the reputation, in later life, of being a physician... and Great Devonian.
Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Singing Sir Walter's praises
A fine performance of my 'Hero of Devon' song last Monday by members of the Exmouth and Budleigh Anglo-French Society in Budleigh Salterton's Masonic Hall.
It concluded my illustrated talk in French, 'Notre Grand Elisabethain', which I promised them some months ago. I'll be giving versions in English during the coming months.
The tune to go with the verses is 'The Ash Grove' which I first heard my friend Annie playing on the piano and which I think is rather beautiful, as well as easy to sing. You can hear it nicely performed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qak5Vb209Ng
Try it yourself!
1. A Hero of Devon –
We hope he’s in Heaven –
He lived in the time of Good Queen Bess.
They said he was proud:
His clothes were so loud.
He had his faults we must confess.
His surname is Raleigh,
Or maybe it’s Rawley,
And as for the spelling nobody is sure.
We’ll call him Sir Walter
Queen Bess called him Water.
He loved her to bits but we’re sure it was pure.
2. His cloak on a puddle,
He said ‘T’is no trouble!
Your Majesty’s feet will now not get wet!’
The Queen smiled and said,
‘We cannot be wed.
But please do become my favourite, pet!’
Sir Walter became
The man in the frame.
Potatoes won fame as his favourite dish.
For Queen Bess on her throne.
A pipe of tobacco his dearest wish.
3. With bicycles too
His fame grew anew.
His poetry also was not bad at all.
But Bess’ successor,
A man so much lesser,
Did craftily bring about his fall.
He stood on the scaffold.
The crowd were so baffled
To see English justice had gone amiss.
Sir Walter take praise!
Our hero from Hayes
Who wrote loads of poems much better than this. FOR THE RALEIGH 400 CALENDAR OF