"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Sunday, April 03, 2011

"The Man Who Would be King"

Rooting around on YouTube tonight, I came across the great scene from The Man Who Would be King in which Brother Rudyard Kipling briefly explains Freemasonry.

"Well, let's have a look at your lodge brothers."

The film was released in 1975 and directed by John Huston, starring Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer.

Any grown man who watches it without breaking down and blubbering at the end has no soul left in him.

The song near the end of the film that Brothers Danny and Peachy sing has the tune of an Irish air called "The Moreen" (that is better known as "The Minstrel Boy" because of an 18th century patriotic Irish lyric written to it), yet the movie substitutes the lyrics of "The Son of God Goes Forth to War" by Reginald Heber.

The Son of God goes forth to war,
a kingly crown to gain;
his blood red banner streams afar:
who follows in his train?
Who best can drink his cup of woe,
triumphant over pain,
who patient bears his cross below,
he follows in his train.

That martyr first, whose eagle eye
could pierce beyond the grave;
who saw his Master in the sky,
and called on him to save.
Like him, with pardon on his tongue,
in midst of mortal pain,
he prayed for them that did the wrong:
who follows in his train?

A glorious band, the chosen few
on whom the Spirit came;
twelve valiant saints, their hope they knew,
and mocked the cross and flame.
They met the tyrant's brandished steel,
the lion's gory mane;
they bowed their heads the death to feel:
who follows in their train?

A noble army, men and boys,
the matron and the maid,
around the Savior's throne rejoice,
in robes of light arrayed.
They climbed the steep ascent of heaven,
through peril, toil and pain;
O God, to us may grace be given,
to follow in their train.


  1. There used to be a MWWBK video, put to Splashdown's "Karma Slave" on YouTube a few years ago. It was actually quite good!

    Stephen E

  2. A beautiful rendition of the "Minstrel Boy" by the Corrs here:


    I like mentioning the Corrs on this blog because Andrea, Caroline and Sharon are hot, and because Jim Corr hates the Freemasons. It's a twofer.

  3. Check out the movie "Conrack" (88% on Rotten Tomatoes) starring a young John Voight. Look for the Masonic connections of the School Superintendent starring Hume Cronyn. By the way, "The Man Who Would Be King" got 95% on Rotten Tomatos.

    Lance Rommerdahl,PM

  4. That is one of my favorite songs, in both the "Minstrel Boy" and "Son of God..." incarnations.

    And, this is also one of my favorite movies. Of course, with Sean Connery and Michael Caine together -- to say nothing of the added bonus of Christopher Plummer -- how could it not be?

    The funny things is, I don't think I have watched it since _I_ joined the Craft (though that was a scant three years ago.) Time to look it up on Netflix...


  5. "yet the movie substitutes the lyrics of "The Son of God Goes Forth to War" by Reginald Heber."
    Wrong, wrong, wrong. The film does not "substitute" any lyrics. The film takes Heber's hymn, which Peachey sings in KIPLING'S story, and SUBSTITUTES what 99% of viewers know as "The Minstrel Boy" for the proper tune, "All Saints". (http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/s/o/n/sonofgod.htm)
    I have no idea whether this was the result of shoddy research, or problems getting rights, or someone just going "Eeeuw, too Christian! It might OFFEND somebody!"


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