The fall of Charles XII is the main theme of the song but Stewart draws parallels with his defeat to the loss of Dunwich. Many towns and villages of East Anglia have been lost to the North Sea, but the Ancient City of Dunwich is by far the most important. The Domesday Book
lists 3 churches in Dunwich; during the reign of Henry II it had 52 churches, chapels and related buildings. In 1680, the sea destroyed many buildings, and by 1702 was lapping at the doors of St. Peters.
In the song Stewart refers to the legendary Dunwich bells, which are said to be heard chiming beneath the waves. A modern version of the legend is that a mermaid rings a bell on the ruins in order to lure divers into the depths. The last three churches to be lost had their bells removed but some of them were lost overnight when the sea broke through the town's defences.