COUNTY YARNS - Ballad of the Battle of Lewes

New Mayor of Lewes Mike Turner penned the Medieval mystery play titled ‘The Day of the Battle’ which was performed to popular acclaim in three locations in Lewes last Saturday. He also wrote a splendid ‘Ballad of the Battle’ that we reproduce here:

Come all you citizens and hear my song

The Battle of Lewes – righting the wrong

Henry III brought his armies to Lewes

Where he thought his supporters were truest

CHORUS

Roll along, stroll along, give me good ale

And I’ll burden you all with this old Sussex tale

Simon de Montfort challenged his liege

By putting the Castle and Priory to siege

With cavaliers, pikemen and archers too

Thousands of the King’s men they slew

CHORUS

Roll along, stroll along, give me good ale

And I’ll burden you all with this old Sussex tale

Prince Edward drove the Londoners from the hill

But his horsemen returned too late for the kill

De Montfort retaliated with a bold attack

Which sent Henry’s army reeling back

CHORUS

Roll along, stroll along, give me good ale

And I’ll burden you all with this old Sussex tale

The King of the Romans hid in a mill on the down

His ransom cost Henry 100 golden crowns

Fighting on was no longer any use

So Henry and Simon called for a truce

CHORUS

Roll along, stroll along, give me good ale

And I’ll burden you all with this old Sussex tale

An agreement was reached which they called a Mise

Giving Barons and free men more power – quelle surprise

The monks gave Henry time to think and time to pray

Before he defeated Simon and took these powers away

CHORUS

Roll along, stroll along, give me good ale

And I’ll burden you all with this old Sussex tale

The moral of this ballad is not far to seek

Kings stand for the strong and not for the weak

Any powers they give they can soon take away

So keep quiet and live to fight another day

CHORUS

Roll along, stroll along, give me good ale

And I’ll burden you all with this old Sussex tale

Henry’s the King by the right of God above

The real ruler whom all his subjects love

But here in Sussex when push comes to shove

We’ll bow our knee but we’ll not be druv