The Magna Carta

Choir:

Wherefore we will and firmly decree

That the English Church shall be free

And that the subjects of our realm shall have and hold

All aforesaid liberties, shall be free

All aforesaid liberties, shall be free

 

In 1924 a young lawyer such as I thought of the rule of law as something unassailable: we imagined that the horrors and sacrifices of the first world war had not been futile, and that mankind had at last learnt its lesson and would henceforth live in accordance with reason.

 

What happened to these fond imaginings? Every hope that we nursed was disappointed; reason was once more dethroned; one brutalising dogma after another bore dreadful fruit.

 

Choir:

Rights and concessions,

Freely, quietly,

Duly and in peace,

Fully, entirely.

 

Wherefore we will and firmly decree

All aforesaid liberties, shall be free

Forever, shall be free

 

Yet there is a doctrine which has for various reasons become a little dusty and old fashioned in recent years and which I myself should like to see restored to the position that it used to occupy. I refer to the doctrine of the law of nature.

 

“You may throw out Nature with a pitchfork,” said a Latin poet who was also a good gardener, “But she will always come back.”

 

Wherefore we will and firmly decree

All aforesaid liberties, shall be free

Forever, shall be free

 

For themselves and their heirs

From us and our heirs

In all manners

In all places

Forever

Forever

As has been said

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Dreams of Peace & Freedom

A song cycle by Sue Casson