Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Music of Early America Part 4 (Revolutionary War J-L)

The Music of Early America Part 4

(Revolutionary War J-L)

"The Jerseys, a Parody" 1776
("Watry God")


As Mars, great god of battles! lay, In dalliance soft and amorous play, 

On fair Bellona's breast; 

Surpris'd he rear'd his hoary head, The conscious goddess shook with dread, 

And all her fears confess'd. 

Loud thunder roll'd through Heaven's domain, The ethereal world was wrapt in flame, 

The god amazèd spoke: 
Go forth, ye powers, and make it known, Who dares thus boldly shake my throne, 
And fill my realms with smoke. 

The gods, obsequious to his word, Sprang swiftly forth t' obey their lord,. 
And saw two hosts away; 
The one, great Washington, was thine; The other, Howe's disordered line, 
In sorrow and dismay. 

Appall'd they view'd Columbia's sons, Deal death and slaughter from their guns, 
And strike a dreadful blow, 
Which made ill-fated British slaves, On distant shores to find their graves, 
And sink to shades below. 

Amaz'd they tell of battles won, That Britain's ruin'd; Washington 
Alone triumphant rode; 
Ha ! cries the fair, pray who is he That dare's reverse e'en Jove's decree, 
And thus insult a god? 

The gods reply, in yonder lands, Great Liberty alone commands, 
And gives the hero force; 
And when his thundering cannon roar, And strike with dread earth's distant shore, 
'Tis she directs their course. 

And when her wingèd bullets fly, To check a tyrant's treachery, 
And lay his glories low; 
Then Washington serenely great, Tho' death and carnage round him wait, 
Performs the dreadful blow. 

The god with wonder heard the story, Astonish'd view'd Columbia's glory, 
Which time can ne'er subdue, 
Great Warren's deeds, and Gates's fame, Join'd to great Lee's immortal name;  
And cried, Can this be true? 

Britain shall cease to plague mankind, With sister tyrants strive to bind, 
And check the free-born soul; 
To Washington her trophies yield, Freedom shall triumph in the field, 
And rule from pole to pole. 

"Johnny's Gone for a Soldier"

Here I sit on Buttermilk Hill

Who can blame me, cryin' my fill

And ev'ry tear would turn a mill,

Johnny has gone for a soldier.

Me, oh my, I loved him so,

Broke my heart to see him go,

And only time will heal my woe,

Johnny has gone for a soldier.

I'll sell my rod, I'll sell my reel,
Likewise I'll sell my spinning wheel,
And buy my love a sword of steel,
Johnny has gone for a soldier.

I'll dye my dress, I'll dye it red,
And through the streets I'll beg for bread,
For the lad that I love from me has fled,
Johnny has gone for a soldier.

"John Paulding" 1780
("Brave Paulding and the Spy")

Currier & Ives
The Capture of Andre
by John Paulding, David Williams, and Issac van Wart
at Tarrytown, NY; September, 23rd 1780


Come all you brave Americans, And unto me give ear,

And I'll sing you a ditty That will your spirits cheer,

Concerning a young gentleman Whose age was twenty-two;

He fought for North America, His heart was just and true.

They took him from his dwelling, And they did him confine,

They cast him into prison, And kept him there a time.
But he with resolution Resolv'd not long to stay;
He set himself at liberty, And soon he ran away.

He with a scouting-party Went down to Tarrytown,
Where he met a British officer, A man of high renown;
Who says unto these gentlemen, "You're of the British cheer,
I trust that you can tell me If there's any danger near?"

Then up stept this young hero, John Paulding was his name,
"Sir, tell us where you're going, And, also, whence you came ?"
I bear the British flag, sir; I've a pass to go this way,
I'm on an expedition, And have no time to stay."

Then round him came this company, And bid him to dismount;
"Come, tell us where you're going, Give us a strict account;
For we are now resolvèd, That you shall ne'er pass by."
Upon examination They found he was a spy.

He beggèd for his liberty, He plead for his discharge,
And oftentimes he told them, If they'd set him at large,
"Here's all the gold and silver I have laid up in store,
But when I reach the city, I'll give you ten times more."

"I want not the gold and silver You have laid up in store,
And when you get to New York, You need not send us more;
But you may take your sword in hand To gain your liberty
And if that you do conquer me O, then you shall be free."

"The time it is improper Our valor for to try,
For if we take our swords in hand, Then one of us must die;
I am a man of honor, With courage true and bold,
And I fear not the man of clay, Although he's cloth'd in gold."

He saw that his conspiracy Would soon be brought to light;
He begg'd for pen and paper, And askèd leave to write
A line to General Arnold, To let him know his fate,
And beg for his assistance; But now it was too late.

When the news it came to Arnold, It put him in a fret;
He walk'd the room in trouble Till tears his cheek did wet;
The story soon went through the camp, And also through the fort;
And he callèd for the Vulture And sailèd for New York.

Now Arnold to New York is gone, A-fighting for his king,
And left poor Major Andre' On the gallows for to swing;
When he was executed, He looked both meek and mild;
He look'd upon the people, And pleasantly he smil'd.

It mov'd each eye with pity, Caus'd every heart to bleed,
And every one wish'd him releas'd And Arnold in his stead.
He was a man of honor, In Britain he was born;
To die upon the gallows Most highly he did scorn.

A bumper to John Paulding! Now let your voices sound,
Fill up your flowing glasses, And drink his health around;
Also to those young gentlemen Who bore him company;
Success to North America, Ye sons of liberty!

"Junto Song"
("A Taxing We Will Go")

In 1775, Britain sent a "Junto" of three generals, Clinton, Howe and Burgoyne 
to the colonies to put the rebellious colonists in their place.

Boston we shall in ashes lay, 
It is a nest of knaves; 
We'll make them soon for mercy pray,
Or send them to their graves. 
And a-taxing we will go, &c. 

We'll force and fraud in one unite, 
To bring them to our hands; 
Then lay a tax on the sun's light, 
And King's tax on their lands. 
And a-taxing we will go, &c.

'Tis money makes the member vote 
And sanctifies our ways, 
It makes the patriot turn his coat 
And money we must raise. 
And a-taxing we will go, &c.

One single thing untax’d at home,
Old England could not shew,
For money we abroad did roam,
And thought to tax the new.
And a-taxing we will go, &c.

Shall we not make the rascals bend,
To Britain's supreme power?
The sword shall we not to them send,
And leaden balls a shower?
And a-taxing we will go, &c.

"King's Mountain" 1780 
("Battle of King's Mountain")
Death of British Major Patrick Ferguson at the Battle of Kings MountainOctober 7, 1780 by Chappel

Kings Mountain Military Park Blacksburg, South Carolina

'Twas on a pleasant mountain
The Tory heathens lay;
With a doughty major at their head,
One Ferguson they say.

Cornwallis had detach'd him,
A thieving for to go,
And catch the Carolina men,
Or bring the rebels low.

The scamp had rang'd the country
In search of royal aid,
And with his owls, perchèd on high,
He taught them all his trade.

But ah! that fatal morning,
When Shelby brave drew near !
'Tis certainly a warning
That ministers should hear.

And Campbell, and Cleveland,
And Colonel Sevier,
Each with a band of gallant men,
To Ferguson appear.

Just as the sun was setting
Behind the western hills,
Just then our trusty rifles sent
A dose of leaden pills.

Up, up the steep together
Brave Williams led his troop,
And join'd by Winston, bold and true,
Disturb'd the Tory coop.

The royal slaves, the royal owls,
Flew high on every hand;
But soon they settled - gave a howl,
And quarter'd to Cleveland.

I would not tell the number
Of Tories slain that day,
But surely it is certain
That none did run away.

For all that were a living,
Were happy to give up;
So let us make thanksgiving,
And pass the bright tin-cup.

To all the brave regiments,
Let's toast 'em for their health,
And may our good country
Have quietude and wealth.

"The King's Own Regulars"
("The Old Soldiers of the King")


Since you all must have singing and won't be said, "Nay," 

I cannot refuse when you beg and you pray. 

I will sing you a song as a poet might say, 

Of King George's old soldiers who ne'er run away. 

CHORUS: We're the old soldiers of the King, 

And the King's own regulars. 

At Lexington we met with Rebels one day, 
We got ourselves up in our finest array, 
Our heads bid us stand, and our hearts bid us stay, 
But our legs were strong-minded and took us away. 

They fought so unfairly from back of the trees, 
If they'd only fought open we'd have beat them with ease, 
They can fight one another that way, if they please, 
But we don't have to stand for such tactics as these. 

We marched into Princeton with fifes and with drums, 
With muskets and cannons, with swords and with bombs, 
This great expedition cost infinite sums 
But some underpaid Doodles they cut us to crumbs. 

Our general staff planned the Yankee's defeat, 
With stealth we'd surprise them the next time we'd meet, 
We marched, not expecting that we might be beat, 
So the generals' plan of surprise was complete. 

'Tis true that we turned, but that shouldn't disgrace us, 
We did it to prove that the foe couldn't face us, 
And they've nothing to boast, it's a very plain case, 
Though we lost in the fight, we came first in the race.

"Lamentation Over Boston"
by William Billings


High on the banks of Delaware,

Fair Liberty she stood;

And waving with her lovely hand,

Cried, "Still, thou roaring flood.

Be still ye winds, be still ye seas,

Let only zephyrs play!"

Just as she spoke, they all obeyed;

And thus the maid did say:

"Welcome my friends, from every land

Where freedom doth not reign;
Oh! hither fly from every clime,
Sweet liberty to gain.

"Mark Londonderry's brave defence
'Gainst tyranny that swayed;
Americans, the example's great!
Like them, be not dismayed.

"Expect not that on downy beds,
This boon you can secure;
At perils smile, rouse up your souls
War's dangers to endure.

" 'Gainst your affronted land behold
Oppression rear its head;
In hydra-form and battle's din,
Each trembling slave to dread.

"But ye, its sons, will ne'er give up
Your parent fires till death;
Behold ! yon beauteous virgins seek
Laurel your brows to wreathe.

"Bear on your minds the noble deeds
Your ancestors achieved;
How many worthy Britons bled,
To have their children freed!

"See on the meteors of the night
Their spirits wanly fly!
Roused from their graves by your distress;
Hark! thus I heard them cry.

"Was it for this, ye mothers dear!
Ye nursed your tender babes?
Was it for this, our yet loved sons!
We sheathed our trusty blades?

"O! genius of our ancient times!
Be thou our children's guide,
To arms ! to arms ! '-They call to arms,
And stalk in martial pride.

"I will them guide, ye reverend sires!
Go to your tombs in peace;
The rage of proud usurping men,
Your sons shall yet repress.

"Hold up your heads, ye weeping fair!
Their swords are on their thighs;
Smile yet again, ye lovely babes!
Their banner's in the skies.

"I come, I come, to join your train;
Heaven's ministers I see;
Farewell, my friends, be not afraid!
Be virtuous and be free!"

Heaven's portals opened as she soared,
And angels thence did come;
With heavenly songs and golden harps,
The Goddess welcomed home.

"The Liberty Song" 1768
("A Song Now Much in Vogue in North America")
by John Dickinson

John Dickinson
The Liberty Song in the Boston Chronicle Newspaper


Come join band in hand, brave Americans all,

And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty's call;

No tyrannous acts, shall suppress your just claim,

Or stain with dishonor America's name.

CHORUS: In freedom we're born, and in freedom we'll live;

Our purses are ready,

Steady, Friends, steady,

Not as slaves, but as freemen our money we'll give.
Our worthy forefathers - let's give them a cheer -
To climates unknown did courageously steer;
Thro' oceans to deserts, for freedom they came,
And, dying, bequeath'd us their freedom and fame.

Their generous bosoms all dangers despis'd,
So highly, so wisely, their birthrights they priz'd;
We'll keep what they gave, we will piously keep,
Nor frustrate their toils on the land or the deep.

The Tree, their own hands had to Liberty rear'd,
They lived to behold growing strong and rever'd;
With transport then cried, - " Now our wishes we gain,
For our children shall gather the fruits of our pain."

How sweet are the labors that freemen endure,
That they shall enjoy all the profit, secure, -
No more such sweet labors Americans know,
If Britons shall reap what Americans sow,

Swarms of placemen and pensioners' soon will appear, 
Like locusts deforming the charms of the year:
Suns vainly will rise, showers vainly descend,
If we are to drudge for what others shall spend.

Then join hand in hand brave Americans all,
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall;
In so righteous a cause let us hope to succeed,
For Heaven approves of each generous deed.

All ages shall speak with amaze and applause,
Of the courage we'll show in support of our laws;
To die we can bear, - but to serve we disdain,
For shame is to freemen more dreadful than pain.

This bumper I crown for our sovereign's health,
And this for Britannia's glory and wealth;
That wealth, and that glory immortal may be,
If she is but just, and we are but free.


"Liberty Tree" 1765
by Thomas Paine
("Fair Harvard")
Thomas Paine


In a chariot of light from the regions of day, The Goddess of Liberty came; 

Ten thousand celestials directed the way, And hither conducted the dame. 

A fair budding branch from the gardens above, Where millions with millions agree, 

She brought in her hand as a pledge of her love, And the plant she named Liberty Tree 

The celestial exotic struck deep in the ground, Like a native it flourish'd and bore; 

The fame of its fruit drew the nations around. To seek out this peaceable shore. 
Unmindful of names or distinctions they came. For freemen like brothers agree; 
With one spirit endued, they one friendship pursued, And their temple was Liberty Tree. 

Beneath this fair tree, like the patriarchs of old, Their bread in contentment they ate 
Unvex'd with the troubles of silver and gold. The cares of the grand and the great. 
With timber and tar they Old England supply'd. And supported her pow'r on the sea; 
Her battles they fought, without getting a groat, For the honor of Liberty Tree. 

But hear, O ye swains, 'tis a tale most profane. How all the tyrannical powers. 
Kings, Commons and Lords, are uniting amain. To cut down this guardian of ours; 
From the east to the west blow the trumpet to arms, Thro' the land let the sound of it flee. 
Let the far and the near, all unite with a cheer, In defense of our Liberty Tree.

"The Little Sergeant"

"Long Live the King of England"

"Lord Cornwallis' Surrender"
("British Grenadiers")
Surrender of Lord Cornwallis by John Trumbull
Lord Cornwallis

by the Scottish composer James Oswald


"Adieu, lovely Nancy, for now I must leave you

To the far-off West Indies I'm bound for to steer

But let my long journey be of no trouble to you

For my love, I'll return in the course of a year"

"Talk not of leaving me here, lovely Jimmy

Talk not of leaving me here on the shore

You know very well your long absence will grieve me

As you sail the wild ocean where the wild billows roar

I'll cut off my ringlets all curly and yellow

I'll dress in the coats of a young cabin boy

And when we are out on that dark, rolling ocean

I will always be near you, my pride and my joy"

"Your lily-white hands, they could not handle the cables
Your lily-white feet to the top mast could not go
And the cold winter storms, well, you could not endure them
Stay at home, lovely Nancy, where the the wild winds won't blow"

As Jimmy set a-sailing, lovely Nancy stood a-wailing
The tears from her eyes in great torrents did a-flow
As she stood on the beach, oh her hands she was wringing
Crying, "Oh and alas, will I e'er see you more?"

As Jimmy was a-walking on the quays of Philadelphia
The thoughts of his true love, they filled him with pride
He said, "Nancy, lovely Nancy, if I had you here, love
How happy I'd be for to make you my bride"

So Jimmy wrote a letter to his own lovely Nancy
Saying, "If you have proved constant, well, I will prove true"
Oh but Nancy was dying, for her poor heart was broken
Oh the day that he left her, forever he'd rue

Come all of you young maidens, I pray, take a warning
And don't trust a sailor boy or any of his kind
For first they will court you and then they'll deceive you
For their love, it is tempestuous as the wavering wind

"Loyal York" 1775
("Loyal New York")

(attributed to Rivington, Editor of the Gazetteer)


And so, my good master, I find 'tis no joke, For York has stepp'd forward, and thrown off the yoke 

Of Congress, committees, and even King Sears, Who shows you good nature, by showing his ears. 

I trembled lest York should have join'd the mad freak, And formed a part of the damnable sneak; 

The fever abated, see order arise, With ag'd constitutional tears in her eyes. 

Having summon'd her sons, who too wantonly stray'd, And calling her fair sister Grace to her aid, 

The youth she address'd, in such accents of love, As coming from mothers, ought always to move. 
Says she, "My dear children, ah! Why should ye roam, In quest of rude discord, and leave me at home? 
Your godfather Monarchy, bleeds at the heart, To think that his sons should from virtue depart. 

"Consider how long we have cherish'd, protected, How much we've indulg'd, and how little corrected, 
How oft we're provok'd, and our councils tormented; What insults forgiven, what bloodshed prevented. 
"Behold your good brother, who rules in the north, Examine his conduct and copy his worth; 
Observe how Apollo presides, and you'll find, How lovely are mercy and power combin'd. 

"His task, though severe, he discharges with ease, And studies, like us, to preserve and to please; 
Oh! think how he feels, between brother and brother, When he's sent to reconcile one to the other. 
"Then cease, I beseech you, nor longer provoke The hand, which so tenderly wards off the stroke. 
Such councel as This was enough, one would think, To save them from ruin, though just on the brink. 

"But would you believe, a committee they'd choose, Consisting of three, who had nothing to lose? 
One was a cock of the first game, Who hand over hand was determin'd on fame. 
"The second A-dam dog who lives upon strife, And knows nought but hemp can lead him a worse life: 
The third was a Cooper, good Lord, long preserve him, Or, as I want rhyme, may his customers starve him! 

"Together they went on a grand consultation, To prove a republic was good for the nation, 
And to show the old dame, it was easily prov'd, Pronounced, by four wordss, all objections remov'd. 
"Inestimable rights, infernal chains," A sleeping potion for a Briton's brains. 
The aged matron silently withdrew, Wept for her sons, and left them, Gage! To you.