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Guy Fawkes Poem

People forget that there was a long war between the Protestant Kings and the Catholics. Driven in part by a crude idea: Cuis regio, cuis religio — the religion of the king is the religion of the people. Thus, if you use some creative regicide, you will convert the populace.

This is why Lady Jane Grey was placed on the throne: Mary Tudor was Catholic, but her elder brother (who died young) was very Protestant. Jane Grey had a more tenuous claim to the throne, and did not survive this attempt. (Mary’s younger sister, Elizabeth, developed the beginning of the Westphalian state: it mattered less how you said mass but that you were loyal to her throne and to England). But she re established the Church of England, not as Roman. The Pope was too untrustworthy.

This is also why, about two hundred years later, William of Orange supplanted Stuarts with a better claim to the throne — but he was Protestant, and the Stuarts were Catholic.

Moderns conflate both groups. They know not of what they speak. So, today, not a modern verse, but a folk song. One that is now suppressed: bad think, hate speech.

We are supposed to be tolerant. But we forget that our freedoms had bloody foundations.

The Fifth of November

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James’s sake!
If you won’t give me one,
I’ll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

English Folk Verse (c.1870)

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