Military Song | 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.

These congratulatory verses were sung by the soldiers of the Continental Army, after the evacuation of Boston. It appeared under various names, but was generally known by its present title, or the

Military Song

SONS of valor, taste the glories
Of celestial liberty,
Sing a triumph1 o’er the tories,
Let the pulse of joy beat high.

Heaven hath this day foil’d the many
Fallacies of George the King;
Let the echo reach Britan’y,
Bid her mountain summits ring.

See your navy swell the bosom,
Of the late enragèd sea;
Where’er they go, we shall oppose them,
Sons of valor must be free.

Should they touch at fair Rhode Island,
There to combat with the brave,
Driven from each dale and highland,
They shall plough the purple wave.

Should they thence to fair Virginia,
Bend a squadron to Dunmore,
Still with fear and ignominy,
They shall quit the hostile shore.

To Carolina or to Georg’y,
Should they next advance their fame,
This land of heroes shall disgorge the
Sons of tyranny and shame.

Let them rove to climes far distant,
Situate under Arctic skies,
Call on Hessian troops2 assistant,
And the savages to rise.

Boast of wild brigades from Russia,
To fix down the galling chain,
Canada and Nova Scotia,
Shall disgorge these hordes again.

In New York state rejoin’d by Clinton,
Should their standards mock the air,
Many a surgeon shall put lint on
Wounds of death receivèd there.

War, fierce war, shall break their forces,
Nerves of tory men shall fail,
Seeing Howe with alter’d courses,
Bending to the western gale.

Thus from every bay of ocean,
Flying back with sails unfurl’d,
Tossed with ever-troubled motion,
They shall quit this smiling world.

Like Satan banishèd from heaven,
Never see the smiling shore;
From this land, so happy, driven,
Never stain its bosom more.

  1. Sing a triumph. In February, 1776, Washington, who was at that time with the main army at Cambridge, proposed to a council of his officers, to cross upon the ice and attack the enemy, who held possession of Boston, but they unanimously disapproved of that daring scheme. It was, however, soon resolved to take possession of the heights of Dorchester; and on the morning of the fifth of March, the Americans had so far completed their works at that place, as to excite the astonishment of the ministerial troops, who evacuated Boston on the seventeenth of the same month. As the rear of the British army embarked, General Washington marched into the city, where he was joyfully received, as the “deliverer of his country.”
  2. Call on Hessian troops. The British government “has sent over to Germany to engage troops for American service, and succeeded in raising a legion of Jagers, people brought up to the use of the rifle-barrel guns, in boar hunting. They are amazingly expert, and the ministry plume themselves much in the thought of their being a complete match for the American riflemen. We think they’ll find boars in this country that will teach them how to grunt and wallow.” – Freeman’s Journal, 1776.

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