A New Ballad | American Revolution War Song

About the author

Frank Moore
Frank Moore

Frank Moore was a journalist and Revolutionary historian. He published a number of books on the American Revolution during his career in the mid-19th century, including Songs and Ballads of the American Revolution, Diary of the American Revolution and The Patriot Preachers of the American Revolution.

This loyal song appeared originally in England. Rivington published it in the Royal Gazette, in November, 1779, and afterwards on a ballad sheet, with the chorus, “Derry Down.”

A New Ballad

ROUSE, Britons! at length,
And put forth your strength,
Perfidious France to resist,
Ten Frenchmen will fly,
To shun a black eye,
If an Englishman doubles his fist.

Derry down, down, hey derry down.

But if they feel stout,
Why let them turn out,
With their maws stuff ‘d with frogs, soups, and jellies; Brave Hardy’s sea thunder,
Shall strike them with wonder,
And make the frogs leap in their bellies!

For their Dons and their ships,
We care not three skips
Of a flea – and their threats turn into jest, O !
We’ll bang their bare ribs,
For the infamous fibs,
Cramm’d into their fine manifesto.

Our brethren so frantic,
Across the Atlantic,
Who quit their old friends in a huff;
In spite of their airs,
Are at their last prayers,

And of fighting have had quantum suff.

Then if powers at a distance,
Should offer assistance,
Say boldly, “we want none, we thank ye,”
Old England’s a match,*
And more for old scratch,
A Frenchman, a Spaniard, a Yankee!

Derry down, down, hey derry down.

  • *Old England’s a match – The following extempore appeared a short time after this song was published, in America.

Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Catawbas,
Are all engaged to fight us;
Keep off you Mynheers with your yaws,
And England’s gun shall right us.

We don’t mind Monsieur’s copper lace,
Nor solemn Don in cloak;
Once let us meet them face to face,
And fighting is no joke.

Three cheers for England’s weal we give,
And pour the broadside in;
The wretch that is not fit to live,
To kill can be no sin.

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