LILLIBULEROSea Trilogy – mvt. 3

arr. Sid Robinovitch

Home 9 Composers 9 Sid Robinovitch 9 LILLIBULERO


Ho brother Teague, doest hear the decree,
Lillibulero bulenala,
that we shall have a new deputy?
Lillibulero bulenala.
O by my soul it is a Talbote,
and with his appointment the sycophants gloat.
The devious Talbot is now made a Lord;
and with his staunch lads he is going aboard.
All over town the dissidents prate,
with Talbot in charge they’ll soon meet their fate
Now that Tyrconnell is coming ashore,
we shall have private commissions galore.
There was an old prophecy found in a bog,
 the country’d be ruled by an ass and a dog.
Now this prophecy’s all come to pass,
Talbot’s the dog and Tyrconnell’s the ass.
The melody for Lillibulero was composed by Henry Purcell for a march in 1686, and in the same year Lord Thomas Wharton composed lyrics for Purcell’s tune. The song satirizes King James II’s appointment of Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, as Lord Deputy of Ireland. Talbot was a Catholic and the Irish Protestants feared for the loss of their government sinecures. As it turned out, Talbot quickly filled the army in Ireland with Catholic officers and recruits, The song’s title and the words of the refrain have been interpreted as a garbled version of the Irish words Lile ba léir é, ba linn an lá, “Lilly was clear and ours was the day”. The lilly may be a reference to the most celebrated astrologer of the mid seventeenth century, William Lilly, who became well known for prophesy and to whom could readily be attributed foreknowledge that a Catholic would be king of England.


SATB SCORE – (Lillibulero – Mvt. 3)

Purchase Separate Movements:
click here for Mvt. 1 – WAY, HAUL AWAY
click here for Mvt. 2DRUNKEN SAILOR
click here for SEA TRILOGY (the complete set)


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Sid Robinovitch