Songs and Ballads
Songs and Ballads of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION
with notes and illustrations
"More solid things do not shew
the complexion of the Times so well, as Ballads and Libels."
D. Appleton & Company, 346 & 348 Broadway
London: 16 Little Britain
ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1855, by D. Appleton & Company, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York
THIS volume presents a selection from the numerous productions in verse, which appeared during the war of the American Revolution. Many of them are taken from the newspapers and periodical issues of the time; others from original balladsheets and broadsides; while some have been received from the recollections of a few surviving soldiers, who heard and sang them amid the trials of the camp and field.
Nearly every company had its "smart one" or poet, who beguiled the weariness of the march or the encampment by his minstrelsy, grave or gay; and the imperfect fragments which survive to us, provoke our regret that so few of them have been preserved.
All that we can claim for the writers of these songs, is a manifest spirit of devotion to the cause, and defiance to its enemies. The poesy of their productions is meagre. They did not write for fame; but, in the language of one of the most honest and homely of them, "from a great desire to state the truth, and their opinion of it, in a quiet way, just set their poetical lathes a-turning, and twisted out ballads and songs for the good of the common cause."
In the compilation of this work, a few pieces have been included which do not strictly belong to the class of songs or ballads; as in the case of the "Stamp Act Repeal," "Gentle Shepherd," "Burgoyne's Overthrow," etc.; but their spirit and pertinency will, it is believed, justify their position as illustrative of the times and events to which they relate, in common with the other material of the work. The brief notes and illustrations to the different pieces in the collection which have been introduced, are intended to give, as far as practicable, accounts of their authorship, and to explain some of the more obscure allusions of the writers.
In conclusion the Editor acknowledges his obligations to the libraries of the New York Historical Society, of Yale College and Brown University, and especially to the officers of these institutions, for the facility with which he has been enabled to make use of their valuable collections. To Mr. J. CARTER BROWN of Providence, R. I., for access to his rich and unique collection on American history. To Col. PETER FORCE of Washington, for valuable aid - and suggestions. To Mr. E. B. CORWIN of New York, and the Rev. Dr. R. W. GRISWOLD for similar favors - and though last, not least, for ready assistance and encouragement, to his brother, Mr. GEORGE H. MOORE, Librarian of the New York Historical Society.
New York, December, 1855.
Other 18th Century Music Websites
Clio and Euterpe
(another 18th century songbook)
The Music Of The 1770s: A
This site has a list of some of the songs which were popular prior to and during the American Revolutionary War period. The songs are presented in greater detail on the linked pages. Midi files are included for some songs.
Mountain Fifes and Drums
A great group from Southern California
Music of the 18th Century
(The D Major Singers)
Reproductions of 18th & 19th century
musical items i.e. fifes, drums, recorders, folk instruments.
Also copies of many 18th & 19th c. music books & manuscripts
plus C.D.s, tapes & more.