A New Song to an Old Tune | 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.

A New Song to an Old Tune

WHAT a court, hath old England, of folly and sin,
Spite of Chatham and Camden, Barre, Burke, Wilkes and Glynn !
Not content with the game act, they tax fish and sea,
And America drench with hot water and tea.

Derry down, down, hey derry down.

Lord Sandwich, he swears they are terrible cowards, Who can’t be made brave by the blood of the Howards; And to prove there is truth in America’s fears,
He conjures Sir Peter’s ghost ‘fore the peers.

Now, indeed, if these poor people’s nerves are so weak,
How cruel it is their destruction to seek !
Dr. Johnson’s a proof, in the highest degree,
His soul and his system were changèd by tea.

But if the wise council of England doth think,
They may be enslaved by the power of drink,
They’re right to enforce it; but then, do you see ?
The Colonies, too, may refuse and be free.

There’s no knowing where this oppression will stop; Some say – there’s no cure but a capital chop;
And that I believe’s each American’s wish,
Since you’ve drench’d them with tea, and depriv’d ’em of fish.

The birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
By the gods, for poor Dan Adam’s use were made free, Till a man with more power, than old Moses would wish, Said, “Ye wretches, ye shan’t touch a fowl or a fish !”

Three Generals1 these mandates have borne ‘cross the sea,
To deprive ’em of fish and to make ’em drink tea;
In turn, sure, these freemen will boldly agree,
To give ’em a dance upon Liberty Tree.

Then freedom’s the word, both at home and abroad, And – every scabbard that hides a good sword !
Our forefathers gave us this freedom in hand,
And we’ll die in defence of the rights of the land.

Derry down, down, hey derry down.

  1. “Three Generals.” The subjoined impromptu was published at London, by some friend of the colonies, on the departure of the British Generals for America:”Behold ! the Cerberus the Atlantic plough,
    Her precious cargo, Burgoyne, Clinton, Howe –
    Bow ! wow ! wow !”

Related posts