“Britannia Sat Weeping”


Britannia weeps as pleasure is replaced by war and sailors fight for "country and king"; "John Bull has been ruin'd by pension and place." Rich and poor are brothers and we can never kindle war and still flourish with liberty in our happy home.


Zimmermann p. 54 uses "Britannia Sat Weeping" to illustrate the popularity in the 17th and 18th centuries of a country -- Italy, France, Ireland and Britain -- as "a poor woman asking for help."

Does the reference to the king date the origin to a war before Victoria? - BS

Cross references

  • cf. "Daughter of Israel" (tune, per broadside Bodleian 2806 c.15(294))


  • Bodleian, 2806 c.15(294), "Britannia Sat Weeping" ("Britannia sat weeping as pleasure pass'd by"), J. Harkness (Preston), 1840-1866; also Harding B 11(3769), Harding B 16(37c), "Britannia Sat Weeping"


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1867 (broadside, Bodleian 2806 c.15(294))
Keywords: war England political