What say ye?

There is a question near the end of this, but as I need to give some background on the question, this post is a bit lengthy. If you have your history thinking cap on, head on below the fold.


Last week, I believe it was on Wednesday, the History Channel broadcast an all day ‘History International’ special of “The History of Britain” by Brian Schama.

I thoroughly enjoy the ‘H.I.’ specials which usually only play early on weekend mornings because, what with the length of time the island nation has had to earn itself some history, it is hard to remember it all, and I can fill in the various gaps.

Unfortunately, I sleep during the day and the wife and I haven’t gotten around to getting TIVO or a similar piece of hardware, so I had to limit myself to the ‘Civil Wars (1639-1660’s)’ episode before shutting the tube off.

You can read a decent Wikipedia entry here on the subject to freshen up your memories on the subject, but quickly, the one I want that has the inormation which to focus on is the second civil war; the Royalists vs. Parlamentarians, with the Parlamentarians winning and King Charles I getting his head removed. Charles II was exiled for a while during which a ‘Lord Protector’ being set up with Oliver Cromwell as the “non-king King”.

From what I have heard, watched and read on Cromwell, he was a man with good intentions who got in over his head and carried away. In his six years of power he created a military dictatorship whose basis contained far too much religion, but couldn’t actually be considered a theocracy. A couple of low points were when he cancelled Christmas because he thought it disrespectful and kicked out Parliment at gunpoint for being ‘too wordy’.

Now add to all of this the words of an English pauper of Irish descent with big hair who now resides in Los Angeles where he writes and produces songs calling Americans fat, lazy, stupid and rude. Both the British and American left like to quote his lyrics and, for some unknown reason, I cannot stop buying his albums, although lately I am able to wait a while after their release before purchasing them.

In one of the tunes from his 2004 album he remarks about how the current royal family, the House of Saxe-Coberg-Gotha (AKA The Windsor’s) gives respect to Cromwell.

So my question is this: Why would they?

I mean, granted, it is British history, so there needs to be some respect there, but it can be left completely unspoken.

Cromwell was instrumental in the trial of Charles I for treason which led to his head being separated from his body and, from what I can tell, there is a bloodline running from his (The House of Stuart) to the line of George kings (The House of Hanover) all the way to the Windsors.

Granted, the Jacobites threw a few ‘Pretender Kings’ in the mix, but they were all Stuarts. So it looks to me to be a long line with just a couple zags in it.

If some historical figure played a part in the beheading of a relative of mine, no matter how distant, I might be inclined to dig his corpse up a second time and have an ox desecrate it, though more likely I’d just never let his name be mentioned kindly in my presence.

But I certainly wouldn’t ‘salute’ him, as the English pauper said.

So what am I missing?

No, I do not know why I care about this. I have hypothesized that I’m just afraid I have forgotten something, which is why I’m posting this; to see what I may have forgotten.

If you don’t know but want to buy me the DVD set linked above as a late birthday present, just let me know. Otherwise it is going on my Christmas list.

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4 Responses to What say ye?

  1. David says:

    Hmm. Without a link to the DVD, this is turning into a bit of a mystery as to who the songwriter is.

  2. BTW-I’ve come up with a solution to to problem of enjoying music by musicians who are politically irritating.

    Simply buy their albums (CDs) used. You get the music, and they don’t get any additional royalties. The Seattle area has plenty of second-hand CD stores, and there’s always eBay for those more esoteric titles.

  3. Analog Kid says:

    Hey Dave, not that it matters, but think ‘Big Hair, campy, used be in a 4-piece who said the queen was dead’.

    As for buying used, you’ve got why I can wait nowadays, HL. I can ususally get two for the price of one new one (one for a master copy and one to travel with).

  4. Rivrdog says:

    I would have to see the exact passage you refer to. I lived in England for 3 years while in middle school (English), and had to learn this history by rote memory.

    I don’t recall Cromwell ever being referred to as anything but a “usurper” and revolutionary. There was the occasional comparison of the colonial Revolt (by the colonists in America), but that happened long after Cromwell.

    Cromwell, of course, had his little putsch because of the Church of England, which he thought (some still do) leaned precariously close to the Catholic Church, which was hated then in England. He probably figured that he wasn’t going to change the Church (figured right), so he would change the King (much easier to do). Cromwell amassed quite a large Army, but to do so, his recruiters played down the religious aspect, and concentrated on the evils of the Crown (taxation, absolute possession of the best lands, etc).

    The mystery to me in the Affaire Cromwell isn’t what monarchs since him thought, it’s why the English people who made up his army didn’t see through his smokescreen that the whole thing wasn’t about the power of kings, it was about the direction of the Church of England.

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