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The Royal Lament


Martin Carthy played the tune The Royal Lament in 2004 on his album Waiting for Angels. He also played it in December 2004 live at Ruskin Mill.

Martin Carthy commented in the former album’s sleeve notes:

It was Vic Gammon who found The Royal Lament in a book and sent me a photocopy. He says that it was written in the mid-17th century as a lament for the beheading of Charles the First on 30 January 1949 and described that in his accompanying letter as “the greatest day in English history.” Written by a clarsach player called Garve MacLean of Coll it’s an eloquent testament to his (Garve MacLean’s) sorrow at the death of his king. However I still find I’m unable to help myself in agreeing with Vic. And wondering why the English chose to go back so soon afterwards. Ho Hum.