Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Music of Early America Part 8 (War of 1812)

The Music of Early America Part 8

Music During the War of 1812

What was the War of 1812?

"Billy Boy"
American Version

Oh where have you been, Billy Boy, 
Billy Boy

Oh where have you been, charming Billy

I have been to seek a wife, 
She's the joy of my life,

She's a young thing 
And cannot leave her mother.

Did she bid you to come in, Billy Boy, 
Billy Boy?

Did she bid you to come in, tell me Billy?

Yes, she bade me to come in, 
There's a dimple in her chin.

She's a young thing 
And cannot leave her mother.

Did she set you a chair, Billy Boy? 
Billy Boy?
Did she set you a chair, tell me Billy.
Yes, she set for me a chair, 
She has ringlets in her hair,
She's a young thing 
And cannot leave her mother.

Can she bake cherry pie, Billy Boy, 
Billy Boy?
Can she bake cherry pie, tell me Billy.
She can bake a cherry pie, 
There's a twinkle in her eye.

She's a young thing 

And cannot leave her mother.

"Billie Johnson of Lundy’s Lane"

An old and crippled veteran to the War Department came,
He sought the chief who led him o’er many a field of fame,
The chief who shouted “Forward!” whene’er his banner rose,
And bore the flag in triumph behind his flying foes.

“Have you forgotten, General,” the battered soldier cried,
“The days of Eighteen Hundred and Twelve when I fought by your side?
Have you forgotten Johnson who fought at Lundy’s Lane?
It’s true I’m old and feeble, but I’d like to fight again.”

“Have I forgotten?” says the chief, “My brave old soldier, No!
And here’s the hand I gave you then and let it tell you so;
But you have done your share, my friend, you are crippled, old and gray,
And we have need of stronger arms and fresher blood today.”

“I’m not so weak, but I can shoot, and I’ve a good old gun,
To get the range of traitors’ hearts and pierce them one by one;
And if a bullet should find me out and lay me on my face,
My soul will go to Washington, and not to Arnold’s place.

“I am ready, General, so you let a post to me be given,
Where Washington can look down on me as he looks down from Heaven,
And say to Putnam at his side, or maybe General Wayne,
‘There stands old Billie Johnson, he fought at Lundy’s Lane.’”

"Chesapeake and Shannon"
(A Drop of Brandy, O")

O the Chesapeake so bold

Out of Boston she was towed

To take an English frigate

Neat and handy, O;

And the people in the port,

They came to see the sport, 

Whilst the music played up 

Yankee doodle dandy, O.

CHORUS: Hi! Yankee doodle doo,Yankee doodle dandy! 

Hi! Yankee doodle doo, 

Yankee doodle dandy! 

Now the British frigate's name, 

0 that for the purpose came 

To cool the Yankees' courage 

Neat and handy, 0, 

Was the Shannon, Captain Broke, 
With his men all hearts of oak, 
Who for fighting was allowed to be 
The dandy, 0.


Just before the fight began,

Said the Yankees with much fun:

We'll tow her into Boston

Neat and handy, 0;

And then afterwards we'll dine

With our sweethearts and our wives,

And we'll dance the jig called

Yankee doodle dandy, 0.


Now the fight had scarce begun

When they flinch-ed from the guns,

Which they thought that they would fight

So neat and handy, 0;

Then brave Broke he drew his sword, crying:

Now my lads we'll board

And we'll stop them playing

Yankee doodle dandy, 0. 


They no sooner heard the word 

Than they quickly jumped on board,

And haul-ed down the ensign

Neat and handy, 0.

Notwithstanding all their brag,

Soon the glorious British flag

At the Yankee's mizen-peak it looked

The dandy, 0.


Here's a health, my boys, to you,

With your courage stout and true.

Who fought the Chesapeake

So neat and handy, 0;

And may it ever prove

That in fighting as in love

That the true British sailor

Is the dandy, 0.


"The Constitution and the Guerriere"

"It oft-times has been told,

That the British seamen bold

Could flog the tars of France

So neat and handy, Oh!

But they never met their match,

Till the Yankees did them catch

Oh, the Yankee boys for fighting

Are the dandy, Oh!

The Guerriere, a frigate bold,
On the foaming ocean rolled
Commanded by proud Dacres,
The grandee, Oh!
With as choice a British crew
As ever a rammer drew
Could flog the Frenchmen
Two to one so handy, Oh!

When the frigate hove in view,
Says proud Dacres to his crew,
Come clear the ship for action
And be handy, Oh!
To the weather-gage, boys, get her.
And to make his men fight better
Gave them to drink, gunpowder
Mixed with brandy, Oh!

Then Dacres loudly cries,
Make this Yankee ship your prize,
You can in thirty minutes,
Neat and handy, Oh!
Twenty-five's enough, I'm sure,
And if you'll do it in a score
I'll treat you to a double
Share of brandy, Oh!

The British shot flew hot,
Which the Yankees answered not
Till they got within the distance
They called handy, Oh!
Now, says Hull unto his crew,
Let us see what we can do,
If we take this boasting Briton
We're the dandy, Oh!

The first broadside we poured
Carried her mainmast by the board
Which made this lofty frigate
Look abandoned, Oh!
Then Dacres shook his head,
And to his officers said,
Lord! I didn't think those Yankees
Were so handy, Oh!

Our secon told so well
That their fore and mizzen fell,
Which doused the royal ensign
Neat and handy, Oh!
By George! says he, We're done!
And they fired a lee gun 
While the Yankees struck up
Yankee Doodle Dandy, Oh!

Then Dacres came on board
To deliver up his sword.
Tho'loth was he to part with it,
It was so handy, Oh!
Oh! Keep your sword, says Hull,
For it only makes you dull,
Cheer up, and let us have
A little brandy, Oh!

Now, fill your glasses full,
And we'll drink to Captain Hull
And so merrily we'll push
Around the brandy, Oh!
Johnny Bull may boast his fill,
Let the world say what it will,
The Yankee boys for fighting
Are the dandy, Oh!

"The Eighth of January"
Battle of New Orleans by Edward Percy Moran, 1910

"Battle of New Orleans" (8th of January)
Lyrics written and sung by Johnny Horton

In 1814 we took a little trip

Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.

We took a little bacon, and we took a little beans,

We met the bloody British near the town of New Orleans.

Chorus: We fired our guns, and the British kept a-coming.

There wasn’t nigh as many as there was a while ago.

We fired once more, and they began to running,

Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

I seed Mars Jackson a-walking down the street,

Talking to a private by the name of Jean LaFitte.

He gave Jean a drink that he brought from Tennessee,
And the private said he'd help 'em drive the British to the sea.

The French said, "Andrew, you’d better run,
For Packingham's a-coming with a bullet in his gun."
Old Hickory said he didn’t give a damn.
He was a-gonna rip the britches off of Colonel Packingham.


We looked down the river, and we seed the British come.
Well, there must a-been a hundred of ‘em beating on the drum.
They stepped so high, and they made their bugles ring,
While we stood beside our cotton bales, didn’t say a thing.

Old Hickory said we could take ‘em by surprise
If we didn’t fire our muskets ‘til we looked ‘em in the eyes.
We held our fire ‘til we seed their faces well.
Then we opened up our squirrel guns and really gave ‘em hell.


We fired our cannon ‘til the barrel melted down,
So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
We filled his head with cannonballs and powdered his behind,
And when we touched the powder off, the gator lost his mind.

We’ll march back home, but we’ll never be content
‘Til we make Old Hickory the people's president,
And every time we think about the bacon and the beans,
We’ll think about the fun we had way down in New Orleans.


Well, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles,
And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn’t go.
They ran so fast the hounds couldn’t catch ‘em,
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.


"How Happy the Soldier"


How happy the soldier who lives on his pay,

And spends half a crown on six pence a day;

He fears neither justices, warrants nor bums,

But pays all his debts with a roll of the drums,

With a row de dow,

Row de dow, Row de dow,

And he pays all his debts with a roll of his drums.

He cares not a Marnedy how the world goes;
His King finds his quarters, and money and clothes;
He laughs at all sorrow whenever it comes,
And rattles away with the roll of the drums.

With a row de dow,
Row de dow, Row de dow,
And he pays all his debts with a roll of his drums.

The drum is his glory, his joy and delight,
It leads him to pleasure as well as to fight;
No girl, when she hears it, though ever so glum,
But packs up her tatters, and follows the drum.

With a row de dow,
Row de dow, Row de dow,
And he pays all his debts with a roll of his drums.

Ye gentlemen and ladies fair 

Who grace this famous city,

Just listen if you've time to spare 

While I rehearse a ditty,

And for the opportunity 
Conceive yourselves quite lucky,
For 'tis not often that you see 
A hunter from Kentucky.

Chorus: Oh, Kentucky, the hunters of Kentucky, 
Oh, Kentucky, the hunters of Kentucky. 

I suppose you've read it in the prints 

How Packingham attempted 

To make Old Hickory Jackson wince, 

But soon his scheme repented, 

For he, with rifles ready cocked, 

Thought such occasion lucky, 

And soon around the general flocked 

The hunters of Kentucky. 


You've heard, I suppose, how New Orleans 
Is famed for wealth and beauty. 
There's girls of every hue, it seems, 
From snowy white to sooty. 

So Packingham, he made his brags, 
If he in fact was lucky. 
He'd have their girls and cotton bags 
In spite of old Kentucky. 


But Jackson, he was wide awake, 

And wasn't scared at trifles, 

For well he knew what aim we take 

With our Kentucky rifles, 

So he led us down to cypress swamp; 
The ground was low and mucky. 
There stood John Bull in Marshall pomp, 
And here was old Kentucky. 


A bank was raised to hide our breasts, 
Not that we thought of dying, 
But then we always liked to rest 
Unless the game is flying. 

Behind it stood our little force; 
None wished it any greater, 
For every man was half a horse 
And half an alligator. 


They did not let our patience tire 
Before they showed their faces. 
We did not choose to waste our fire, 
So snugly kept our places; 

But when, so near, we saw them wink. 
We thought it time to stop them, 
And 'twould have done you good, I think, 
To see Kentucky top them. 


"James Bird"

Sons of freedom, listen to me, 
And ye daughters too give ear,
You a sad and mournful story 
As was ever told shall hear.

Hull you know his troops surrendered 
And defenseless left the west
And Captain Thomas our commander 
The invader to resist.

Among the troops that marched to Erie 
Were the Kingston Volunteers,
And Captain Thomas was our commander 
To protect our west frontiers.

But there was one amongst that number 
Tall and graceful in his mien
Firm his step, his look undaunted 
Never a nobler youth was seen.

One sweet kiss he stole from Mary, 
Begged his mother’s prayers once more,
Pressed his father’s hand and started 
For Lake Erie’s distant shores.

“Where is Bird? The battle rages 
Is he in the strife or no?
Hear the cannons roar tremendous. 
Dare he meet the dreadful foe?”

“Yes — by Perry see him standing 
In the self same ship he fights
[Though] his messmates fall around him 
Nothing can his [soul] affright.

But behold a ball has hit him, 
See the crimson current flow
“Leave the deck,” exclaimed brave Perry, 
“No,” cried Bird, “I will not go.”

“Here on deck I have took my station/ 
Bird will near his colors fly.
I’ll stand by you galliant Perry 
Till we conquer or we die.”

Thus he fought both faint and bleeding 
Till out Stripes and Stars arose.
Victory having crowned our efforts 
All triumphant o’er our foes.

Then did Bird receive a pension? 
Was he to his friends restored?
No, nor never to his bosom 
Clasped the maid his heart adored.

But there came most dismal tidings 
From Lake Erie’s distant shore:
“I must suffer for deserting 
From the brig Niagarie.

[“Dearest parents,” said the letter, 
“This will bring sad news to you.]
Read this letter, brother, sisters 
It is the last you’l have from me.”

Though he fought so brave at Erie, 

Freely bled and boldly dared.
Let his courage plead for mercy, 
Let his noble life be spared.

It was a dark and doleful morning, 
Bird was ordered out to die.
Where is the heart not dead to pity 
But for him would heave a sigh?

See him kneeling on his coffin; 
Sure, his death can do no good.
Spare him. Hark — my God they have shot him! 
See his bosom stream with blood!

Farewell, Bird. Farewell forever. 
Friends and home you will see no more.
Now his mangled corpse lies buried 

On Lake Erie’s distant shore.

"Jefferson and Liberty"
Thomas Jefferson

The gloomy night before us lies,
The reign of terror now is o'er;
Its gags, inquisitors and spies,
Its hordes of harpies are no more
Chorus: Rejoice, Columbia's sons, rejoice
To tyrants never bend the knee
But join with heart and soul and voice
For Jefferson and Liberty.

O'er vast Columbia's varied clime
Her cities, forests, shores and dales;
In riding majesty, sublime,
Immortal liberty prevails.

Hail! long expected glorious day
Illustrious memorable morn:
That freedom's fabric from decay
Secures for millions yet unborn.

No lordling here with gorging jaws.
Shall wring from industry its food;
No fiery bigot's holy laws,
Lay waste our fields and streets in blood.

Here strangers from a thousand shores
Compell'd by tyranny to roam;
Shall find, amidst abundant stores,
A nobler and a happier home.

Let foes to freedom dread the name,
But should they touch the sacred tree
Twice fifty thousand swords would flame,
For Jefferson and Liberty.

"The Lakes of Pontchartrain"
Lake Pontchartrain, Milneburg in the Distance
Artist George Gay
Louisana State Museum Paintings Collection
Twas on one bright March morning 
I bid New Orleans adieu.

And I took the road to Jackson town, 
my fortune to renew,

I cursed all foreign money, 
no credit could I gain,

Which filled my heart with longing for 
the lakes of Pontchartrain.

I stepped on board a railroad car,  
beneath the morning sun,

I road the roads till evening,  
and I laid me down again,

All strangers there no friends to me, 
till a dark girl towards me came,

And I fell in love with a Creole girl,  
by the lakes of Pontchartrain.

I said, "My pretty Creole girl, 
my money here's no good,
But if it weren't for the alligators, 
I'd sleep out in the wood".
"You're welcome here kind stranger, 
our house is very plain.
But we never turn a stranger out,  
From the lakes of Pontchartrain."

She took me into her mammy's house, 
and treated me quite well,
The hair upon her shoulder 
in jet black ringlets fell.
To try and paint her beauty, 
I'm sure 'twould be in vain,
So handsome was my Creole girl, 
By the lakes of Pontchartrain.

I asked her if she'd marry me, 
she said it could never be,
For she had got another,  
and he was far at sea.
She said that she would wait for him 
and true she would remain.
Till he returned for his Creole girl, 
By the lakes of Pontchartrain.

So fare thee well my Creole girl, 
I never will see you no more,
But I'll ne'er forget your kindness 
in the cottage by the shore.
And at each social gathering 
a flowing glass I'll raise,
And I'll drink a health to my Creole girl,  
And the lakes of Pontchartrain.


Enemies beware, keep a proper distance, 
Else we'll make you stare at our firm resistance;

Let alone the lads who are freedom tasting, 
Don't forget our dads gave you once a basting.

To protect our rights 'gainst your flint and triggers 
See on yonder heights our patriotic diggers.

Men of ev'ry age, color, rank, profession, 
Ardently engaged, labor in succession.

Pick-axe, shovel, spade, crow-bar, hoe and barrow 
Better not invade, Yankees have the marrow.

Scholars leave their schools with patriotic teachers 
Farmers seize their tools, headed by their preachers,
How they break the soil - brewers, butchers, bakers -  
Here the doctors toil, there the undertakers.
Bright Apollo's sons leave their pipe and tabor, 
Mid the roar of guns join the martial labor,
Round the embattled plain in sweet concord rally, 
And in freedom's strain sing the foes finale.
Pick-axe, shovel, spade, crow-bar, hoe and barrow 
Better not invade, Yankees have the marrow.

Better not invade, don't forget the spirit 
Which our dads displayed and their sons inherit.
If you still advance, friendly caution slighting, 
You may get by chance a bellyful of fighting!
Plumbers, founders, dyers, tinmen, turners, shavers, 
Sweepers, clerks, and criers, jewelers and engravers,
Clothiers, drapers, players, cartmen, hatters tailors, 
Gaugers, sealers, weighers, carpenters and sailors!
Pick-axe, shovel, spade, crow-bar, hoe and barrow 
Better not invade, Yankees have the marrow.

("Star-Spangled Banner"original song)

Ye Parliament of England,
Ye Lords and Commons too,
Consider well what you're about,
What you're about to do.
For you're to war with Yankees,
And I'm sure you'll rue the day
You roused the Sons of Liberty
In North America!

You first confined our commerce,
And said our ships shan't trade,
You next impressed our seamen,
And used them as your slaves,
You then insulted Rodgers,
While plying o'er the main,
And had we not declared war,
You'd have done it o'er again.

You tho't our frigates were but few,
And Yankees could not fight,
Until brave HULL your GUERRIERE took
And banished her from your sight.
The WASP then took your FROLIC,
We'll nothing say to that;
The POICTIERS being of the line,
Of course she took her back.

The next, your MACEDONIAN,
No finer ship could swim,
Decatur took her gilt work off,
And then he sent her in.
The JAVA by a Yankee ship
Was sunk, you all must know;
The PEACOCK fine, in all her plume,
By Lawrence town did go.

Then next you sent your BOXER,
To box us all about,
We had an ENTERPRISING brig
That boxed your BOXER out;
She boxed her up to Portland,
And moored her off the town,
To show the sons of liberty
The BOXER of renown.

The next upon Lake Erie,
Where Perry had some fun,
You own he beat your naval force
And caused them for to run;
This was to you a sore defeat,
The like ne'er known before -
Your British squadron beat complete -
Some took, some run ashore.

There's Rodgers, in the PRESIDENT,
Will burn, sink, and destroy,
The CONGRESS, on the Brazil coast,
Your commerce will annoy;
The ESSEX, in the South Seas,
Will put out all your lights;
The flag she waves at her mast-head -
Free Trade and Sailor's Rights.

American Recruiting Song of the War of 1812
American Star

Adams and Liberty
Andrew Jackson
The Battle of Baltimore
The Battle of Lake Erie
The Battle of Plattsburgh
The Bold Canadian
The British Bayoneteers ("The British Grenadiers")
Canadian Boat Song
Charge the Can Cheerily
Come All Bold Canadians
Decatur's March
Durang's Hornpipe
Embargo and Peace
Erie and Champlain
Farewell Peace
The "General"
General, Glorious, Great, Granny Born-dear
The Girl I Left Behind Me
Hail, Columbia
Hail Africa Band
Hail! ye Afric clan!
The Harrison Song
The Heroes of Queenstown
Hey Betty Martin
The Hornet and The Peacock
The Impressed Seaman's Appeal
Jackson's Welcome Home
James Bird
Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier
Lawrence the Brave
Lilli Bullero
Lochaber No More
Love Farewell
Lower Canada Militia Song
The New Deserter
The Noble Lads Of Canada
O Benny Havens
O'er The Hills and Far Away
Old England 40 Years Ago
On the 8th Day Of November
Our Rights on the Ocean
Rogers And Victory
Rogue's March
Sacket's Harbor
Siege of Plattsburg
The Sodger's Return
The Soldier Cut Down in His Prime
The Soldier Song (Aroostook War)
Song of Old Fort Meigs
Song of the Canadian Voltigeurs
Song of the Vermonters
Tippecanoe Hornpipe
When the Warrior Returns
Why, Soldiers, Why?
Yankee Doodle
Yankee Volunteer
Ye Seamen of Columbia