Æthelred (Original English version)


Lyrics: Atkin

The Anglo-Queen she bore a son
The seed of fate was sown
When he was half of twenty one
There came an empty throne

Though not the eldest in his line
His mother would not lie
And she plotted with the council
That the elder prince must die

Though “noble council” read his name
This was not entirely true
He inherited a kingdom that
Some others would pursue

The Viking watched, across the sea
They’d seen his world before
Observing with an greedy eye
They laid their plans and sailed for war!

Ten thousand pounds in silver
Paid to sail from his shore
When we return with empty holds
He’ll pay us twenty thousand more!

No triumph on the battlefield
Though many times he tried
His bravest and his finest
Wound up rotting where they died

His kingdom needed saving
He knew not where to turn
His advisors counselled bribery
When the Danish did return

And came they did to see him
And knocked upon his door
But once their ships were filled they said:
“We’ll trouble you no more”

Ten thousand pounds he paid them
To sail from his shore
When they returned with swords aloft
He paid them twenty thousand more

Pay them once the Danegeld
They said time and again
Pay them once the Danegeld
And you’ll never get rid of the Dane