Friday, 21 December 2012

Adeste, Fideles

This Latin original of Oh Come, All Ye Faithful was written to celebrate the birth of the future Bonnie Prince Charlie, and contains many coded addresses to the Jacobite “faithful” in England (“Bethlehem”, with Pope Saint Gregory the Great’s Angles/Angels pun repeated and so forth), so that its singing neatly balances that at Easter of Thine Be The Glory, the tune to which is See The Conquering Hero Comes, from Judas Maccabaeus, Handel’s oratorio in celebration of the Hanoverian victory at Culloden.

Who are the fideles today?

They are all those who identify with the tradition of those Catholics, High Churchmen (subsequently including first Methodists and then also Anglo-Catholics), Congregationalists, Baptists, Quakers and others who, never having been convinced of the full legitimacy of Hanoverian Britain, of her Empire, and that of Empire’s capitalist ideology, created the American Republic, fought against slavery both there and in the British Empire, transformed the United Kingdom into a parliamentary democracy, founded the Labour Movement, and opposed the Boer and First World Wars.

And they are those who identify with largely subterranean ties binding these Islands, and thus also the Commonwealth to which all of these Islands properly belong, through the vast Jacobite diaspora, to the all those touched by the financial centres of the Continent, by the trading ports circling Europe, by the Russian Navy, by the Swedish East India and Madagascar Companies, and by so many other things besides.

Adeste, indeed.

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