Mudcat Café message #1243255 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #72252   Message #1243255
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
09-Aug-04 - 11:58 AM
Thread Name: DTStudy: Dying British Sergeant
Subject: ADD: A Song Composed by the British Soldiers
The following ballad, an entirely different song, is posted for comparison. It has 18th c. lettering, which persisted until about 1820, and is included with the Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets by American Memory. No date.

A SONG COMPOSED BY THE BRITISH SOLDIERS,
after the fight at Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775.

It was on the seventeenth by brake of day,
The Yankees did surprise us,
With their strong works they had thrown up,
To burn the town and drive us;
But soon we had an order come,
An order to defeat them:
Like rebels stout they stood it out,
And thought we ne'er could beat them.

About the hour of twelve that day,
An order came for marching,
With three good flints and sixty rounds,
Each man hoped to discharge them.
We marched down to the long wharf,
Where boats were ready waiting;
With expedition we embark'd,
Our ships kept cannonading.

And when our boats all filled were
With officers and soldiers,
With as good troops as England had,
To oppose who dared controul us;
And when our boats all filled were,
We row'd in line of battle,
Where flow'rs of balls like hail did fly,
Our cannon loud did rattle.

There was Cop's hill battery near Charlestown,
Our twenty-fours thay played,
And the three frigates in the stream,
That very well behaved:
The Glasgow frigate clear'd the shore,
All at the time of landing,
With her grape shot and cannon balls,
No Yankees e'er could stand them.

And when we landed on the shore,
We drew up all together;
The Yankees they all man'd their works,
And thought we'd ne'er come thither;
But soon they did perceive brave Howe,
Brave Howe our bold commander,
With grenadiers and infantry,
We made them to surrender.

Brave William Howe, on our right wing,
Cry'd boys fight on like thunder;
You soon will see the rebels flee,
With great amaze and wonder.
Now some lay bleeding on the ground,
And some full fast a running,
O'er hills and dales and mountains high,
Crying, zounds! brave Howe's a coming.

They began to play on our left wing,
Where Pegot commanded;
But we returned it back again,
With courage most undaunted.
To our grape shot and musket balls,
To which they were but strangers,
They thought to come with sword in hand,
But soon they found their danger.

And when the works we got into,
And put them to the flight, sir,
Some of them did hide themselves,
And others died with fright, sir.
And then their works we got into,
Without great fear or danger,
The work they'd made so firm and strong,
The Yankees are great strangers.

But as for our artillery,
They all behaved dinty;
For while their ammunition held,
We gave it to them plenty.
But our conductor he got broke,
For his misconduct, sure, sir;
The shot he sent for twelve pound guns
Were made for twenty-four, sir.

There's some in Boston pleas'd to say,
As we the field were taking,
We went to kill their countrymen,
While they their hay were making;
For such stout Whigs I never saw;
To hang them all I'd rather,
For making hay with musket-balls
And buckshot mixed together.

Brave Howe is so considerate,
As to prevent all danger;
He allows half a pint a day;
To rum we are no strangers.
Long may he live by land and sea,
For he's beloved by many;
The name of Howe the Yankees dread,
We see it very plainly.

And now my song is at an end;
And to conclude my ditty,
It is the poor and ignorant,
And only them I pity.
And as for their king John Hancock,
And Adams, if they're taken,
Their heads for signs shall hang up high,
Upon that hill call'd Bacon.

Printed by Lockwood, Brooks and Co., Boston. American Song Sheets, Series 1, Volume 8. Spelling not changed.