“King Edwards”


"There never was a king so great, but love cause him to abdicate. Ch: Love, love alone, cause King Edwards to leave the t'rone (repeat)." Verses sung in first person as Edward explains reasons for abdicating and marrying Wallace Simpson.

Supplemental text

King Edwards
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Joanna C. Colcord, Songs of American Sailormen (1938 edition),
p. 186-187. Collected by Samuel Elliot Morison from boatmen in
St. Kitts.

Love, love alone, Cause King Edwards to leave the t'rone
Love, love alone, Cause King Edwards to leave the t'rone.

There never was a king so great
But love cause him to abdicate.

On the tenth December we hear the talk
He give the t'rone to the Duke of York.

(6 additional stanzas)


I don't have a copy of Thomas-Makin', but based on the description of "Edward's Abdication" I'd say that even though they are covering the same subject, these are two different songs. [Yes, they are. And this is pretty definitely the better one. - RBW] Colcord gives a tune for the chorus but says that the verses were song in a droning monotone. The chorus tune, by the way, is not "House Carpenter," which was the tune supposed for "Edward's Abdication."

Brought back from the West Indies by a Prof. Samuel E. Morison, and said to have been sung by Negro boatmen in Basse Terre, St. Kitts. - SL

Morison is, of course, the great American historian who was particularly involved in naval history. I believe he published this in one of his own books also, though I don't know which one; I'm sure I've seen the text before.

For additional information on Edward VIII and his marriage, see the notes to "Edward's Abdication." This song in addition mentions the Duke of York, Edward's brother, who became George VI (reigned 1936-1952). Stanley Baldwin (1867-1947) was Conservative Prime Minister 1923-1924, 1924-1929, and 1935-1937. The Abdication Crisis of 1936 was in some ways his finest hour; by consulting with the royal family, his own party, the opposition, and the Dominions, he found an answer everyone could accept. He resigned immediately after, leaving the post to Neville Chamberlain -- and you *know* how that turned out....

To tell this from "Edward's Abdication," consider the first few lines of text:

King Edwards:

Love, love alone, Cause King Edwards to leave the t'rone

Love, love alone, Cause King Edwards to leave the t'rone.

Edward's Abdication:

Come hearken good friends to this story so tre

Of a lord of high degree;

Concerning the love of this bonny young prince.

The King of his own countree. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1936 - Abdication of Edward VIII and his marriage to Wallis Simpson

Cross references


  1. Colcord, pp. 186-187, "King Edwards" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST Colc186 (Partial)
  3. Roud #4707
  4. BI, Colc186


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1938 (Colcord)
Found in: West Indies