7 Year Tea Party Winners: Susan Craft's winner of her trilogy novels - The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia is: Lucy Reynolds, The winner of a copy of The Backcountry Brides is: Tammy Cordery, the winner of a silver quill charm is: Kathy Maher, Choice of one of three books by Carrie Fancett Pagels in paperback: Joy Ellis, A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas winner is: Becky Smith, Janet Grunst's Selah-Award winning novel, A Heart Set Free, is: Sherry Moe.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Songs of Revolution

From History.org
Through the ages songs have been sung to express sentiments and rally camaraderie. It was common in early America to set new lyrics to old, well-known, folk songs brought from the old country. Songs were also important instruments of satire and mockery such as the renowned Yankee Doodle, set to the  nursery rhyme Lucy Locket, mocking colonial soldiers, written by British surgeon during French and Indian War. British soldiers sung it on the first day of battle in the American Revolution and colonial soldiers sang it with pride to their own verses of victory.

Below are some "Liberty Songs" that became popular as the call of revolution grew in the colonies and stand as a tribute to those historical times. Please note that you may click on title links to learn more about the song and hear the music.
"More solid things do not show the complexion of the times so well as Ballads and Libels." ~ John Seldon (1584-1654)
"One good song is worth a dozen addresses and proclamations." ~ John Barlow (1777, Revolutionary War chaplain & poet)

Liberty Song

This first patriotic song composed in America was penned by ardent patriot, John Dickinson of Delaware. Published in 1768 in the Boston Gazette. Sung to the tune of "The British Grenadier. "

Come join hand 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.

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.

In Freedom we're born ...

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 freedom more dreadful than pain.

In Freedom we're born ...

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

In Freedom we're born ...

Young Ladies in Town
An appeal to American women to support the boycott of British textiles, first published in 1769 in The Boston Newsletter.

Young ladies in town, and those that live 'round
Wear none but your own country linen;
Of economy boast, let your pride be the most
To show clothes of your own make and spinnin'.
What if homespun, they say, be not quite as gay
As brocades. Be not in a passion
For once it is known 'tis much worn in town
One and all will cry out 'tis the fashion!

And as one all agree, that you'll not married be,
To such as will wear London factory;
But at first sight refuse, tell 'em you will choose,
As encourage our own manufactory.
No more ribbons wear, nor in rich silks appear,
Love your country much better than fine things,
Begin without passion, 'twill soon be the fashion,
To grace your smooth locks with a twine string.

Throw away your bohea, and your green hyson tea,
And all things of a new fashioned duty;
Get in a good store of the choice Labrador,
There'll soon he enough here to suit ye.
These do without fear and to all you'll appear,
Fair charming, true, lovely and clever,
Though the times remain darkish,
Young men will be sparkish,
And love you much stronger than ever.

Revolutionary Tea
Written in 1774 following the Boston Tea Party by U.N. Owen (Say it aloud = anonymous)

There was a rich lady lived over the sea,
And she was an island queen,
Her daughter lived off in the new country,
With an ocean of water between.
With an ocean of water between.
With an ocean of water between.

The old lady's pockets were filled with gold,
Yet never contented was she,
So she ordered her daughter to pay her a tax,
Of thruppence a pound on the tea.
Of thruppence a pound on the tea.
Of thruppence a pound on the tea.

Oh mother, dear mother, the daughter replied,
I'll not do the thing that you ask,
I'm willing to pay fair price on the tea,
But never the thruppenney tax.
But never the thruppenney tax.
But never the thruppenney tax.

You shall, cried the mother, and reddened with rage,
For you're my own daughter, you see,
And it's only proper that daughter should pay
Her mother's a tax on the tea.
Her mother's a tax on the tea.
Her mother's a tax on the tea.

She ordered her servant to come up to her,
And to wrap up a package of tea.
And eager for thruppence a pound she put in
Enough for a large family.
Enough for a large family.
Enough for a large family.

The tea was conveyed to her daughter's own door,
All down by the oceanside,
But the bouncing girl poured out ever pound
On the dark and the boiling tide.
On the dark and the boiling tide.
On the dark and the boiling tide.

And then she called out to the island queen,
Oh mother, dear mother, called she,
Your tea you may have when 'tis steeped enough,
But never a tax from me!
But never a tax from me!
But never a tax from me!

Alphabet, For Little Masters and Misses
Printed in ballad sheets in 1775 and reprinted later in the Constitutional Gazette.

A, stands for Americans, who scorn to be slaves;
B, for Boston, where fortitude their freedom saves;
C, stands for Congress, which, though loyal, will be free;
D, stands for defence, 'gainst force and tyranny.
Stand firmly, A and Z,
We swear for ever to be free!

E, stands for evils, which a civil war must bring;
F, stands for fate, dreadful to both people and king;
G, stands for George, may God give him wisdom and
H, stands for hypocrite, who wears a double face.

J, stands for justice, which traitors in power defy,
K, stands for king, who should to such the axe apply;
L, stands for London, to its country ever true,
M, stands for Mansfield, who hath another view.

N, stands for North, who to the House the mandate brings,
O, stands for oaths, binding on subjects not on kings:
P, stands for people, who their freedom should defend,
Q, stands for quere, when will England's troubles end ?

R, stands for rebels, not at Boston but at home,
S, stands for Stuart, sent by Whigs abroad to roam,
T, stands for Tories, who may try to bring them back,
V, stands for villains, who have well deserved the rack.

W, stands for Wilkes, who us from warrants saved,
Y, for York, the New, half corrupted, half enslaved,
Z, stands for Zero, but means the Tory minions,
Who threatens us with fire and sword, to bias our opinions,

Stand firmly A and Z,
We swear, for ever to be free !

American's to Arms (excerpt)
1775, sung to Britians to Arms, E. Russell, Salem,MA

America's Sons yourselves prepare,
For Liberty now calls for War.

Exert yourselves with Force and Might,
Show how AMERICANS can fight.

And only to maintain their Right — Farewell England.

Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier
An American adaptation of the 17th century Irish tune Shule Aroon, popularized during the American War of Independence.

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.

Songs & Ballads of the Revolution - Atlantic Monthly

18th Century Songbook
Songs & Ballads of the American Revolution (different than above)

Popular Songs in American History
A Colonial Parody of a British Song


  1. Okay, I read that last song and it made me sad, then I had to go and watch the video...yep, tears came to my eyes.
    More interesting facts. Thanks for sharing. God bless.

  2. Carla, I LOVE this post! Music has always meant so much to me and I love the ballads of the Revolution. That performance by James Taylor of "Johnny has Gone for a Soldier" is one of my favorites. I first heard it on the "Liberty!" DVD from PBS. That is an amazing telling of Revolutionary stories. Very powerful. Thanks for such a delightful post that touches on the musical soul of the Patriots.

  3. how fun, Carla! Thank you for sharing these bygone experiences in song. Tugs at the old heartstrings.

  4. Thanks, Carla! I can see a lot of work went into this post. Brava! I read it out loud to Clark, too, and he liked it!

  5. I'm glad to see you all have enjoyed this. It was fun collecting the songs and I'm so grateful that they have been recorded. A great lyrical tribute to our colonial history.

  6. Fantastic post, Carla. So much information. Enjoyed the video too. Poignant words. I remember when my husband (fiance at the time) and my older brother were in Vietnam, a popular song at that time was "Were Have All the Flowers Gone?" My brother graduated from West Point, and I remember one evening some of us were singing the song with the cadets, and I looked around at all those beautiful faces and wondered who would not be coming back from war. I could never make it all the way through that song without crying.

  7. Wow! Thanks for sharing these wonderful songs! I love old music the best and it is fun to see and hear new songs.
    Jasmine A.

  8. This post was amazing, I loved it! And I agree with Debbie, that last song is a heart-wrentcher!!
    Thanks again!

  9. Young Ladies in Town your country linens are my very favorites ~ I love jumpers and jackets in soft linen cloth, with tee-shirts and leggings, who could want more!
    Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

  10. I'm SO Glad you had the video in the post. Just lovely!
    These are great finds. The Alphabet is a treasure of history.
    Thank you!


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