New Year’s Day | 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 production was written in America, and published in a music sheet, entitled “New Year’s Day, 1781, to the tune “Get you gone, raw head and bloody bones.” It also appeared in the anti-ministerial English and American newspapers of the time.

New Year’s Day

OH! old England, old England
And oh ! the New Year’s day;
Such a new year as this
A blind man would gladly see.
How we go up, up, up, &c.

Now we are at a dead stop,
And so we sink deeper and deeper,
Little Georgey’s as sound as a top,
And his Primy’s an excellent sleeper.

Oh! the navy, the navy,
Of Britain the safety and boast;
Lord Twitcher has kept it so safely,
Our foes on the seas rule the roast.

Here’s an inferior fleet,
With an admiral wrapt up in flannel;
By which we’re insulted abroad,
And with which we sneak into the channel.

But oh! how we hurried and scurried,
Our cowardly enemies scorning;
There we run away over night,
And there we waited till morning.

Parliaments squabble and gabble,
Ministers wonder and stare;
Armies march backwards and forwards,
Americans stand as they were,

But oh ! how bloody and stout,
Struts the commander-in-chief;
He’s as sharp as a snipe at the snout,
And lacks nothing but wisdom and beef.

This lord bids him go up,
That lord makes him run down,
T’other drives him first backwards and forwards,
And a fourth makes him skip and turn round.

With such mighty armies and fleets,
With commanders and ministers true;
We bully all kingdoms and states,
Tho’ to beat one we cannot tell how.
But so we go up, up, up, &c.

As for our credit and wealth,
The pride and the strength of John Bull;
The nation’s as poor as myself,
Tho’ Lord North swears his budget’s quite full.
So we go up, up, up, &c.

Oh ! for a gibbet and block,
Oh ! for a hatchet and cleaver;
How well would a home-hit stroke,
Prove a just and a kind reliever.

Then would old England go up,
Instead of going down, down-a;
We’re tired of backwards and forwards,
‘Tis time that things were turn’d round-a.

Then would we lop ’em and crop ’em,
Bring traitors at once to a level;
The junta should lead up the dance,
And the others the way to the devil.
Then would old England go up, &c.

At court we make snuffers and buttons,
Great folks must have something to do;
Bully Bagshot cures drunkards and gluttons,
The king gallops from Windsor to Kew.
See him tit up a tit up, &c.

Oh ! religion, religion,
I mean to be seriously grave,
Archbishops and bishops raise Papists,
The Protestant cause for to save.

So we go up, up, up, &c.

See Murray and Wedderburne both,
O’er our lives and our fortunes preside;
And its lucky for England, in troth,
No such lawyers are bred south of Tweed.
So we go up, up, up, &c.

So we’re abolish’d, demolish’d,
Yet no man stands up for his right;
But, my friends, while the kingdom’s on fire,
The Scots make their way by the light.
Then help old England up,
And knock all her enemies down,
Let us join as all Englishmen ought,
‘Tis time that things were turn’d round.

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