Fascinating material and interesting symbolism. I need to study a few dates – these issues seem to underlie other rebellions too a little later.
[Photograph by Jianwei Chen]
Once on a morning of sweet recreation
I heard a fair lady a-making her moan,
With sighing and sobbing and sad lamentation,
Aye singing, ‘My Blackbird for ever is flown!
He’s all my heart’s treasure, my joy, and my pleasure,
So justly, my love, my heart follows thee;
And I am resolved, in foul or fair weather,
To seek out my Blackbird, wherever he be.
This song was sung in Scotland both before the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion and after it – and as the Editor of ‘The Jacobite Songs and Ballads’ (1861) makes clear, ‘The Blackbird’ was the nick-name his friends gave to the Old Pretender – James Frances Edward Stuart.
He had a very dark complexion – a characteristic he shared with his father-in-law, Charles II, who was named ‘The Black Boy’ by his mother – and described as a ‘tall, black man’ on Wanted…
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