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King Henry Was King James’s Son

[ Roud 4203 ; G/D 8:1571 ; TYG 128 ; Ballad Index R543 ; trad.]

Former Witch of Elswick, Fay Hield learned the children's kiss-in-the-ring game King Henry from Mary and Nigel Hudleston's Songs of the Ridings: The Yorkshire Musical Museum. She sang it in 2010 on her first solo CD, Looking Glass, and in this video at the Bristol Folk Festival in April 2011:

Most of the 88 versions listed in Roud's index name the song King William Was King James's Son with King William Was King George's Son as a strong contender, while the version shown here seems to be unique.

Jon Boden sang King Henry Was King James’s Son as the February 7, 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.

Lyrics

Fay Hield sings King Henry

Chorus (repeat after each verse):
King Henry was King James’s son
And oh the royal race was run;
Upon his breast he wears a star,
Ride away to the ocean far.

Choose to the east and choose to the west
And choose the one that you love best.
If they’re not there to take their part
Choose another with all your heart.

Down on this carpet you shall kneel
As sure as the grass grows in the field;
Hallelujah bright and a kiss so sweet,
Here’s to rise up on your feet.

Ride to the east and ride to the west
And ride to the one that you love best.
If they’re not there to take their part
Ride to another with all your heart.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Lyr Add: King William Was King George's Son.