Aughton Church

all saints church, aughton

The Song of Robert Aske

Robert Aske was a Lawyer, and a man of peace
Not a rebel, or a fool seeking fame
He loved the dear King, and he loved the Lord
And believed in words, not the struggle or the sword
And he stood up for the poor and lame

Blind in one eye, he still saw clear
The evil that Cromwell did feed
So he led his men in peace and prayer
Seeking what’s right, what was just and fair
An end to destruction and to greed

Chorus 1

Forty thousand men
Marching by the Grace of God on high
Brothers in peace, ‘neath the flag of Christ
For justice and freedom, or to die

Forty thousand men
Forty thousand men
Forty thousand men

He saw as the monasteries were destroyed
That the help for the poor went too
No place for a traveller to rest his head
No care for the sick, no burial of the dead
No work for the villagers to do

The Pilgrim’s host caused the King to fear
And he sent his Generals them to meet
Dissolution then they vowed to end
And swiftly to York, a parliament he’d send
So in triumph the rebels did retreat

Chorus 1

Forty thousand men
Marching by the Grace of God on high
Brothers in peace, ‘neath the flag of Christ
For justice and freedom, or to die

Forty thousand men
Forty thousand men
Forty thousand men

The King asked Robert to be his guest
And in loyalty and trust he came alone
But the tyrant King had planned to end
The hopes of those brave Northern men
And in a dark and lonely dungeon he was thrown

They tortured Robert to confess
And hung him high from Cliffords’ tower
And strung his corpse up on Heworth Moor
And murdered thousands of the northern poor
So none would doubt the Kings power

 Chorus 2

Fo-rty thousand men
Hung by command of their Lord the King
They rest in peace, in the arms of Christ
For justice and freedom, they did die

Forty thousand men
Forty thousand men
Forty thousand men

Chorus

In Aughton Village once a year
They give thanks for the Pilgrimage of Grace
The church rings out with joyous song
And it’s said that amongst the happy throng
Is oft seen Robert’s own dear face


Lyrics - Jean Illingworth (nee Ask)
Music - Linda Kelly (nee Fairfax)
© Illingworth Kelly 2009