War 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.

It is supposed this song was first published in 1776. We have a music sheet containing it, and the “Liberty Song,” bearing the following impress: “Portsmouth; printed by Benjamin Dearborn,1 near the parade, 1776.”

War Song

HARK, hark, the sound of war is heard,
And we must all attend;
Take up our arms and go with speed,
Our country to defend.

Our parent state has turned our foe,
Which fills our land with pain;
Her gallant ships, manned out for war,
Come thundering o’er the main.

There’s Carleton, Howe, and Clinton too.
And many thousands more,
May cross the sea, but all in vain,
Our rights we’ll ne’er give o’er.

Our pleasant homes they do invade,
Our property devour;
And all because we won’t submit
To their despotic power.

Then let us go against our foe,
We’d better die than yield;
We and our sons are all undone,
If Britain wins the field.

Tories may dream of future joys,
But I am bold to say,
They’ll find themselves bound fast in chains,
If Britain wins the day.

Husbands must leave their loving wives,
And sprightly youths attend,
Leave their sweethearts and risk their lives,
Their country to defend.

May they be heroes in the field,
Have heroes’ fame in store;
We pray the Lord to be their shield,
Where thundering cannons roar.

  1. Benjamin Dearborn was the printer of the “Freeman’s Journal, or New Hampshire Gazette,” in which many fine songs were published. This one has been attributed to Dearborn, but we have no authority for saying that he ever wrote any other verse than the following, “which was posted on the front of his printing house.”The Printer has for sale within,
    Kettles and cups, all formed of tin:
    To such as want a service-cup,
    Just open the door and hasten up !
    – Pennsylvania Packet.

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