British Light Infantry | American Revolution War Song

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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 song was published in the Royal Gazette, at New York, with the accompanying remarks: “Observing in a late paper a song written for the British Light Infantry, 1 introduced with a hint that they had not hitherto received their merited tribute from the muses, I take the liberty of making them the tender of a second musical offering, which, though never yet published, has been frequently sung and re-echoed, in loyal companies, for many months past in this city; nor will the offering, perhaps, be the less welcome, for being presented in a plain, unornamented dress, and by the hand of a loyal American refugee.” The song was adapted to the tune, “Black Sloven.”

British Light Infantry

FOR battle prepared in their country’s just cause,
Their king to avenge and support all his laws;
As fierce as a tiger, as swift as the roe,
The British Light Infantry rush on their foe.

Though rebels unnumber’d oppose their career,
Their hearts are undaunted; they’re strangers to fear;
No obstacles hinder; resistless they go,
And death and destruction attend every blow.

‘Cross the deep-gullied vale, up the mountain’s steep side,
Through the rough foaming river’s impetuous tide,
O’er the fortified redoubt, close wedged in array,
Regardless of safety they follow their prey.

The alarm of the drum and the cannon’s loud roar;
The musket’s quick flash, but inflames them the more.
No dangers appal, for they fear no control,
But glory and conquest inspires every soul.

Whenever their foe stands arrang’d in their sight,
With ardor impatient they pant for the fight;
Rout, havoc, confusion they spread through the field,
And rebellion and treason are forcèd to yield.

  1. British Light Infantry. The song mentioned here was published in a Philadelphia paper, but is unfit for present publication.

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