Thomas Wharton

Thomas, Lord Wharton afterwards Marquess Wharton and Malmesbury, one of the Danvers Clan who had successfully represented the Borough throughout the 17th Century, most wholeheartedly carried on the family tradition.

Taking advantage of King William’s renewal of the Borough Charter, he contrived to become High Steward of The Old Corporation, and thus patron of 2 Parliamentary seats.

Not many have managed to change a Dynasty with a song. Thomas Wharton did. He wrote the words to Purcell’s ‘Irish Air’, which whistled King James II out of England.

It is worth while demonstrating the lyric and score.

  • Ho, brother Teague, dost hear the decree?
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • We are to have a new deputy
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • Refrain:
  • Lero Lero Lillibullero
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • Lero Lero Lero Lero
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • Oh by my soul it is a Talbot
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • And he will cut every Englishman’s throat
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • Refrain
  • Now Tyrconnell is come ashore
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • And we shall have commissions galore
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • Refrain
  • And everyone that won’t go to Mass
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • He will be turned out to look like an ass
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • Refrain
  • Now the heretics all go down
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • By Christ and St Patrick’s the nation’s our own
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • Refrain
  • There was an old prophecy found in a bog
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • The country’d be ruled by an ass and a dog
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • Refrain
  • Now this prophecy is all come to pass
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • For Talbot’s the dog and Tyrconnell’s the ass
  • Lillibullero bullen a la
  • Refrain
Lillibullero - Henry Purcell © Malmesbury Memories

Lillibullero – Henry Purcell © Malmesbury Memories

Seldom can such unlikely material have had such a devastating effect.

Source:- Tom Winch

28 September, 2017
All images and written works by David Forward are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License