A Man For All Seasons

Album: Time Passages (1978)

Songfacts®:

  • Not to be confused with the later Robbie Williams song, this Al Stewart composition is about the original man for all seasons, Sir Thomas More. Born in London on February 7, 1478, the son of Sir John More would become a lawyer and later a judge. Elected to Parliament, he rose to become Speaker of the House, but fell foul of the Monarch which resulted in his execution. In those days, the King could do more or less what he wanted in spite of Magna Carta. When his first wife Catherine of Aragon was unable to give him the male heir he so wanted, Henry decided to divorce her and marry Anne Boleyn. When the Church wouldn't allow him to divorce his wife, Henry decided to divorce the Church instead!

    When More refused to go along with the plan, he was denounced as a traitor, and his fate was sealed. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London on April 17, 1534, and executed July 6. The following year, Anne Boleyn met the same fate.

    More was canonised in 1935, while Anne walks the Bloody Tower with her head tucked underneath her arm!
  • "A Man For All Seasons" is track four on the 1979 Time Passages album wherein it runs to 5 minutes 50 seconds. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2

Comments: 1

  • Rabbi Meyer from Central WisconsinI was confused by Al's reference to "Henry Plantagenet" since Henry VIII was a Tudor, but I figured Al knew what he was doing; after all, he is so well-versed in history. But some thirty years later I read in an interview that he'd made a mistake and it had plagued Al all these years. Still a great song, especially the lyric "Well you try to accept what the Fates are unfolding/While some say they're sure where the blame should be falling..."
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