Jon calls this “One of my favourite songs and it seems appropriate for the anniversary of the death of Napoleon, even though it’s primarily about his son. This version is learnt from Barry Dransfield’s brilliant album Be Your Own Man – now available on iTunes!”
I must say I really like this one and Jon’s fiddle is a great accompaniment to what is a pretty fetching melody. I’ll refer you to Mudact here as a starter, which suggests the florid language points to a broadside. I think I’d have to agree that it has the feel of a composition in the complexity of the words and you need to have your wits about you to follow it through the first couple of times. Mainly Norfolk has the notes of Bert Lloyd and Nic Jones to explore a little further. Bert’s suggestion of Irish origin, is really based on the ‘my enemies enemy’ principal and quite how far spread the idea of Napoleon as a potential saviour spread is not something I know enough about. There is a certain appeal to the notion and the republican in me rises to the idea, but Bonaparte was flawed and his critics would have him as a tyrannical dictator. The counter is that Napoleon was attacked by those who sought to unpick the effects of the French Revolution before it spread. As usual I have a large hole in the walls of the knowledge bank and empty shelves where all this stuff should be. Best I offer a Wiki link to Napoleon with a note to self to read it all properly over the week off. If any of you feel inclined to prompt my studies further, however, please chip in as this has ‘another project’ written all over it. Still as I said I really like this one and though I still have April as my favourite month of the whole thing, May could eclipse it yet.