Monday, 17 January 2022

In praise of Queen’s unselfish service

Ich dien

Ich dien

By a lodge called Sagana in the mountains of Kenya As she watched in the twilight the wakening wildlife scene She looked out at the sunset of her father&rsquos reign in England. She climbed up as a princess but she came down as a queen.

Father, I miss you but I know you are within me You will stay by my side as I take the vacant throne And I’ll try to remember your gentle ever caring hand upon the throne

Like an eagle soaring I&rsquoll rule the land below me I will watch all the detail of the people who I serve Like an eagle soaring, I’ll rise to the challenge And I’ll give them true justice — a queen that they deserve.

In 1952, Elizabeth heard the shocking news that her father, the king, had died and she, while in Kenya, had become the queen of England and much more.

What must she have felt to be transformed from princess to monarch?

Next weekend we are all invited to acknowledge her 90th birthday, some with street parties, some with fetes and other celebrations.

The overwhelming impression that she has left with me is of utter unselfish service to our country.

Historically, the feudal system in Europe established that small communities were formed around the local lord and the manor.

The lord owned the land and everything on it. He would keep the peasants safe in return for their service. The lord, in return, would provide the king with soldiers and taxes.

The king promised to serve his nation in keeping with the Christian heritage of Jesus, the servant king.

Queen Elizabeth has from the outset determined to serve for her whole life. That sense of duty and unselfishness is an example worth celebrating.

I wrote both of these songs in 2002 to celebrate her jubilee and to encapsulate these feelings.

Not for a day, Lord Not for a year. I am the crown now. I disappear. I shed my body. I lay me down. My will is buried. Lift high the crown. And I will live, serve,  Give all my time Nothing is mine anymore. A servant of my people become. From my own life I withdraw.

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