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Toasting Two Kings

Looking down on Aughrim Village from the Jacobite positions which was a carpark during the Aughrim Horse Fair
Looking down on Aughrim Village from the Jacobite positions which was a carpark during the Aughrim Horse Fair

I was at the Aughrim Horse Fair last Sunday, and while viewing all of the horses – and the women! – there, I took a walk around the village to see the site of the Battle of Aughrim, the decisive battle in the Williamite wars, which are commemorated each year in the North.

I thought to myself had James won that war, what sort of Theocracy would we have had in these islands? Bad and all as the abuse scandals cover up was since 1922, imagine trying to uncover that with the entire Royal machine behind the church to stop you?

Maybe God had a reason for James losing the war… so while saying a silent prayer for the dead Jacobites and a silent toast to the King O’er the Water, I gave a silent nod to William too…

Neath Aughrim hill, at the Fair I stood
On a lane once washed with human blood
Where horses wild ran in for their lives in vein
Died beside man in a fight for which neither gain.

We lost that battle, as we did the Boyne before
We were to lose the war too, and rebellions, many more
We rebel and rise up as we think that we are right
As fools do who never learn, you lose when you fight.

I said on that roadway, a silent prayer
For the tortured spirits who tied tragic on these fields there
I gave a silent toast to the King O’er the Water
And a grave nod to the man who married the kings daughter.

Why to your victor do you give nod, I hear you say?
I think back to where our little island is here today
If James had won, we would have had in these islands a Catholic state
Like we had since 1922 which was not so great…

The freedom we take for granted the church to criticize
We would not have had we not lost, we must realise
To free the Protestants he fought, he solemnly did state
Not to persecute the Catholics, unlike those who call him great.

The abuse scandals, hushed and all, at last exposed
Never would have been had James not been deposed
In all things God has a plan that us men cannot see
Sometimes we must endure bondage in order to be free.

The Pope of the day was Williams ally
A tactical one say those who the Popes words deny
When he crossed over to the Stewards, his war with France now won
The bigots got power in London, and the Penal times begun.

Give to Cesear whats his, the words Jesus said:
If only were practiced, how many would not be dead?
There would be no parades, there would be little hate
This island of ours would be united and great…

The church in politics, it has no place
The devil is in power, and shows up his face
As dogma clouds Jesus words, we condemn fornication
Yet we murder another for being from the wrong nation.

Politics in the church has no place too
Everyman is a sinner equal in his pew
If too late we so late this lesson we learn
It might be worth all the pain it took to earn.

So I toasted two kings as I walked roads where fools died for these kings
I walked back to horse traders and more modern times and things
As I left behind me the fields of slaughter there
I hoped for a time when Aughrim is known way more for its Fair.

John Mulvany - The Battle of Aughrim
John Mulvany – The Battle of Aughrim

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