The Times | 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.

Very many songs, bearing this title, were produced during the revolution. This spirited one was originally published as a broadside, early in 1776. At a later period, it appeared in a music sheet, adapted to the “Tune of the sweeper: – Though I sweep to and fro.”

The Times

My muse now thy aid and assistance we claim,
Whilst freedom, dear freedom, affords us a theme, Invok’d, be propitious, nor madly forbear,
When a theme that’s so sacred should ring far and near.

Oh! let freedom, and friendship, for ever remain,
Nor that rascal draw breath, who would forge us a chain.

As our fathers have fought, and our grandfathers bled, And many a hero now sleeps with the dead;
Let us nobly defend, what they bravely maintain’d,
Nor suffer our sons to be fetter’d and chain’d.

The lion, the wolf, and the tiger may prey,
Each beast of the forest, though worse still than they, May be brought as examples, yet where can we find One so cruel, as sporting to kill their own kind.

Yet Briton’s beware of the curse you maintain,
Your sons and your offspring we all still remain;
Behold the most savage, and there you may see,
Their offspring more tenderly treated than we.

Though our foes may look on, and our friends may admire,
How a BUTE or a NORTH, should set nations on fire,
Yet Satan, when suffer’d his madness to vent,
In meanest of mansions sure pitches his tent.

Shall freedom, that blessing sent down from above,
A manifest mark of God’s wonderful love,
Be left at his will, who delights to annoy,
Whose pleasure is nought but to kill and destroy ?

Forbid it, ye gods, who preside o’er the land !
Forbid it, ye genii, who rule with the wand !
Forbid it, ye heroes, whoever draws breath!
Nor dread, in the combat, to rush upon death.

May our King be as wise as we mortals expect;
Each rascal from council then boldly eject;
May his life be as good, and his reign be as great,
As ever was Solomon’s wonderful state.

Then curs’d be the foes of our birthright so dear,
May they never find comfort or happiness here !
But vagabond-like, o’er the earth may they stray, Unshelter’d by night, and unfed through the day.

Let singular blessings America crown;
May the Congress be blest with immortal renown;
Each colony live in true sisterly peace,
Whilst harmony, honor, and riches increase.

Oh ! let freedom and friendship for ever remain,
Nor that rascal draw breath, who would forge us a chain.

  1. “The Times.” In a version of this song, published in 1777, the following couplet is added:”The times, it seems, are altered quite,
    The scales are cracked, the sword is broke,
    Right is now wrong, and wrong is right.
    And justice is a standing joke.”

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