Lyrics to Songs of Freedom

All lyrics listed here are in the public domain or used by permission. If you believe that I have inadvertently violated any copyrights, please let me know.

Reports of errors are also welcome. Please keep in mind, though, that old songs are often found in many variants and may have accumulated verses from multiple sources. Some of the sources which I have used here include Rise Up Singing, Fowke and Glazer's Songs of Work and Protest, and Silber's Folksinger's Wordbook and Songs of Independence.

Come On, Brave Boys

Anonymous (and with good reason), New York, 1734

Come on, brave boys, let us be brave,
For liberty and law,
Boldly despite the haughty knave
That would keep us in awe.
Let's scorn the tools bought by a sop,
And every crying fool,
The man who basely bend's a fop,
A vile, insipid tool.

Our country's rights we will defend,
Like brave and honest men;
We voted right and there's an end,
And so we'll do again.
We vote all signers out of place,
As men who did amiss,
Who sold us by a false address,
I'm sure we're right in this.

Exchequer courts, as void by law,
Great grievances we call;
Though great men do assert no flaw
Is in them, they shall fall,
And be contemned by every man
That's fond of liberty;
Let them withhold it all they an,
Our Laws we will stand by.

Though pettyfogging knaves deny us
Rights of Englishmen,
We'll make the scoundrel rascals fly,
And ne'er return again.
Our judges they would chop and change
For those that serve their turn,
And will not surely think it strange
If they for this should mourn.

Come fill a bumper, fill it up,
Unto our Aldermen;
For Common-Council fill the cup,
And take it o'er again.
While they with us resolve to stand
For liberty and law,
We'll drink their healths with hat in hand
Whoraa! Whoraa! Whoraa!

American Taxation

Peter St. John

To the tune of "The British Grenadiers"

While I relate my story, Americans give ear;
Of Britain's fading glory, you presently shall hear.
I'll give a true relation, attend to what I say,
Concerning the taxation of North America.

The cruel lords of Britain, who glory in their shame,
The project they have hit on they joyfully proclaim;
'Tis what they're striving after our rights to take away,
And rob us of our charter in North America.

There are two mighty speakers who rule in Parliament,
Who ever have been seeking some mischief to invent;
'Twas North, and Bute his father, the horrid plan did lay,
A mighty tax to gather in North America.

These subtle arch-combiners addressed the British court,
All three were undersigners of this obscure report--
There is a pleasant landscape that lieth far away,
Beyond the wide Atlantic in North America.

O King, you've heard the sequel of what we now subscribe,
Is it not just and equal to tax this wealthy tribe?
The question being asked, his majesty did say,
My subjects shall be taxed in North America.

Invested with a warrant, my publicans shall go,
The tenth of all their current they surely shall bestow;
If they indulge rebellion, or from my precepts stray,
I'll send my war battalion to North America.

I'll rally all my fores by water and by land,
My light dragoons and horses shall go at my command;
I'll burn both town and city, with smoke becloud the day,
I'll show no human pity for North America.

O George! you are distracted, you'll by experience find
The laws you have enacted are of the blackest kind.
I'll make a short digression, and tell you by the way,
We fear not your oppression in North America.

Our fathers were distressed, while in their native land,
By tyrants were oppressed, as we do understand;
For freedom and religion they were resolved to stray,
And trace the desert regions of North America.

The American Hero

By Andrew Law

(The original is fifteen verses long; the first two and last two verses are given here.)

Why should vain mortals tremble at the sight of
Death and destruction in the field of battle,
Where blood and carnage clothe the ground in crimson,
Sounding with death groans?

Death will invade us by the means appointed,
And we must all bow to the king of terrors;
Nor am I anxious, if I am prepared,
What shape he comes in.

Fame and dear freedom lure me on to battle,
While a fell despot, grimmer than a death's head,
Stings me with serpents, fiercer than Medusa,
To the encounter.

Life, for my country and the cause of freedom,
Is but a trifle for a worm to part with;
And if preserved in so great a contest,
Life is redoubled.


By William Billings

Let tyrants shake their iron rods,
And Slav'ry clank her galling chains.
We fear them not, we trust in God.
New England's God forever reigns.

Howe and Burgoyne and Clinton, too,
With Prescott and Cornwallis joined,
Together plot our overthrow,
In one infernal league combined.

When God inspired us for the fight,
Their ranks were broke, their lines were forced,
Their ships were shattered in our sight,
Or swiftly driven from our coast.

The foe comes on with haughty stride,
Our troops advance with martial noise;
Their vet'rans flee before our youth,
And gen'rals yield to beardless boys.

What grateful off'ring shall we bring,
What shall we render to the Lord?
Loud hallelujahs let us sing,
And praise his name on ev'ry chord!

Free America

Joseph Warren

To the tune of "The British Grenadiers"

That Seat of Science Athens, and Earth's great Mistress Rome,
Where now are all their Glories, we scarce can find their Tomb;
Then guard your Rights, Americans! nor stoop to lawless Sway,
Oppose, oppose, oppose, oppose, -- my brave America.

Proud Albion bow'd to Caesar, and num'rous Lords before,
To Picts, to Danes, to Normans, and many Masters more;
But we can boast Americans! we never fell a Prey;
Huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza, for brave America.

We led fair Freedom hither, when lo the Desart smil'd,
A paradise of pleasure, was open'd in the Wild;
Your Harvest, bold Americans! no power shall snatch away,
Huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza, for brave America.

Torn from a World of Tyrants, beneath this western Sky,
We form'd a new Dominion, a Land of liberty;
The World shall own their masters here, then hasten on the Day,
Huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza, for brave America.

God bless this maiden Climate, and thro' her vast Domain,
Let Hosts of Heroes cluster, who scorn to wear a Chain;
And blast the venal Sycophant, who dares our Rights betray.
Preserve, preserve, preserve, preserve my brave America.

Lift up your Heads my Heroes! and swear with proud Disdain,
The Wretch that would enslave you, Shall spread his Snares in vain;
Should Europe empty all her force, wou'd meet them in Array,
And shout, and shout, and shout, and shout, for brave America!

Some future Day shall crown us, the Masters of the Main,
And giving Laws and Freedom, to subject France and Spain;
When all the Isles o'er Ocean spread shall tremble and obey,
Their Lords, their Lords, their Lords, their Lords of brave America.

Cornwallis Country Dance


To the tune of "Yankee Doodle"

Cornwallis led a country dance,
The like was never seen, sir,
Much retrograde and much advance
And all with Gen'ral Greene, sir;
They rambled up and rambled down,
Joined hands and then they run, sir,
Our General Greene to Charlestown and
The Earl to Wilmington, sir.

Greene, in the South, then danced a set,
And got a mighty name, sir,
Cornwallis jigged with young Fayette,
But suffered in his fame, sir;
Quoth he, "My guards are weary grown
With footing country dances,
They never at St. James' shone
At capers, kicks, or prances.

And Washington, Columbia's son,
Whom easy nature taught, sir,
That grace which can't by pains be won
Nor Plutus' gold be bought, sir;
Now hand in hand they circle round,
This ever-dancing peer, sir,
Their gentle movements soon confound
the earl, as they draw near, sir.

His music soon forgets to play,
His feet can no more move, sir,
And all his bands now curse the day
They jigged to our shore, sir;
Now, Tories all, what can you say?
Come, is this not a griper:
That while your hopes you danced away,
'Tis you must pay the piper?

God Save the Thirteen States


To the tune of "God Save the King"

God save the Thirteen States!
Long rule the United States!
God save our States!
Make us victorious,
Happy and glorious;
No tyrants over us;
God save our States!

To our famed Washington,
Brave Stark at Bennington,
Glory is due.
Peace to Montgomery's shade,
Who as he fought and bled,
Drew honors round his head,
Num'rous as true.

Oft did America
Foresee with sad dismay
Her slav'ry near.
Oft did her grievance state,
But Britain, falsely great,
Urging her desp'rate fate,
Turned a deaf ear.

We'll fear no tyrant's nod
Nor stern oppression's rod,
Till time's no more.
Thus Liberty, when driv'n
From Europe's states, is giv'n
A safe retreat and hav'n
On our free shore.

O Lord! Thy gifts in store,
We pray on Congress pour,
To guide our States.
May union bless our land,
While we, with heart and hand,
Our mutual rights defend;
God save our States!

Revolutionary Tea


There was an old lady lived over the sea
And she was an Island Queen.
Her daughter lived off in a new countrie,
With an ocean of water between;
The old lady's pockets were full of gold
But never contented was she,
So she called on her daughter to pay her a tax
Of three pence a pound on her tea,
Of three pence a pound on her tea.

"Now mother, dear mother," the daughter replied,
"I shan't do the thing you ax.
I'm willing to pay a fair price for the tea,
But never the three penny tax."
"You shall," quoth the mother, and reddened with rage,
"For you're my own daughter, you see,
And sure, 'tis quite proper the daughter should pay
Her mother a tax on her tea,
Her mother a tax on her tea."

And so the old lady her servant called up
And packed off a budget of tea;
And eager for three pence a pound, she put
In enough for a large family.
She order'd her servants to bring home the tax,
Declaring her child should obey,
Or old as she was, and almost woman grown,
She'd half whip her life away.

The tea was conveyed to the daughter's door,
All down by the ocean's side;
And the bouncing girl pour'd out every pound
In the dark and boiling tide.
And then she called out to the Island Queen,
"O mother, dear mother," quoth she,
"Your tea you may have when 'tis steep'd enough
But never a tax from me."


Hail Columbia

F. Hopkinson

Hail Columbia, happy land!
Hail, ye heroes, heav'n-born band,
Who fought and bled in freedom's cause,
Who fought and bled in freedom's cause,
And when the storm of war was gone
Enjoy'd the peace your valor won.
Let independence be our boast,
Ever mindful what it cost;
Ever grateful for the prize,
Let its altar reach the skies.


Firm, united let us be,
Rallying round our liberty,
As a band of brothers joined,
Peace and safety we shall find.

Immortal patriots, rise once more,
Defend your rights, defend your shore!
Let no rude foe, with impious hand,
Let no rude foe, with impious hand,
Invade the shrine where sacred lies
Of toil and blood, the well-earned prize,
While off'ring peace, sincere and just,
In Heaven's we place a manly trust,
That truth and justice will prevail,
And every scheme of bondage fail.

Behold the chief who now commands,
Once more to serve his country stands.
The rock on which the storm will break,
The rock on which the storm will break,
But armed in virtue, firm, and true,
His hopes are fixed on Heav'n and you.
When hope was sinking in dismay,
When glooms obscured Columbia's day,
His steady mind, from changes free,
Resolved on death or liberty.

Liberty Song

John Dickinson

To the tune of "Hearts of Oak"

Come, join hand in hand, brave Americans all!
And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty's call;
No tyrannous acts shall suppress your just claim,
Or stain with dishonor America's name.


In freedom we're born, and in freedom we'll live!
Our purses are ready,
Steady, friends, steady;
Not as slaves, but as free men, our money we'll give.

How sweet are the labors that freemen endure,
That they shall enjoy all the profit, secure,
No more such sweet labors Americans know,
If Britons shall reap what Americans sow.

Then join hand in hand brave Americans all,
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall;
In so righteous a cause let us hope to succeed,
For Heaven approves of each generous deed.


Rights of Woman

By "A Lady"

To the tune of "God Save the King"

God save each Female's right,
Show to her ravish'd sight
Woman is free;
Let Freedom's voice prevail,
And draw aside the vail,
Supreme Effulgence hail,
Sweet Liberty.

Man boasts the noble cause,
Nor yields supine to laws
Tyrants ordain;
Let woman have a share,
Nor yield to slavish fear,
Her equal rights declare,
And well maintain.

Come forth with sense array'd,
Nor ever be dismay'd
To meet the foe,--
Who with assuming hands
Inflict the iron Bands,
To obey his rash commands,
And vainly bow.

O Let the sacred fire
Of Freedom's voice inspire
A Female too;--
Man makes the cause his own,
And Fame his acts renown,--
Woman thy fears disown,
Assert thy due.

Think of the cruel chain,
Endure no more the pain
Of slavery;--
Why should a tyrant bind
A cultivated mind
By Reason well refin'd
Ordained Free.

Why should a Woman lie
In base obscurity,
Her talents hid,
Has providence assign'd
Her soul to be confin'd;
Is not her gentle mind
By virtue led?

Let snarling cynics frown,
Their maxims I disown,
Their ways detest;--
By man, your tyrant lord,
Females no more be aw'd.
Let Freedom's sacred word,
Inspire your breast.

Woman aloud rejoice,
Exalt thy feeble voice
In chearful strain;
See Wolstonecraft, a friend,
Your injur'd rights defend,
Wisdom her steps attend,
The cause maintain.

Jefferson and Liberty


The gloomy night before us flies,
The reign of terror now is o'er;
Its gags, inquisitors, and spies,
Its herds of harpies are no more!

Rejoice, Columbia's sons,rejoice!
To tyrants never bend the knee,
But join with heart, and soul, and voice,
For Jefferson and Liberty!

No lordling here, with gorging jaws
Shall wring from industry the food;
Nor fiery bigot's holy laws
Lay waste our fields and streets in blood!

Here strangers from a thousand shores
Compelled by tyranny to roam,
Shall find amidst abundant stores,
A nobler and happier home.

Here Art shall lift her laurelled head,
Wealth, Industry, and Peace, divine;
And where dark, pathless forests spread,
Rich fields and lofty cities shine.

From Europe's wants and woes remote,
A friendly waste of waves between,
Here plenty cheers the humblest cot,
And smiles on every village green.

Here free as air, expanded space,
To every soul and sect shall be --
That sacred privilege of our race --
The worship of the Deity.

Let foes to freedom dread the name;
But should they touch the sacred tree,
Twice fifty thousands swords would flame
For Jefferson and liberty.

From Georgia to Lake Champlain,
From seas to Mississippi's shore,
Ye sons of freedom loud proclaim --
"The reign of terror is no more."

Lincoln and Liberty

1860 Campaign Song

To the tune of "Rosin the Beau"

Hurrah for the choice of the nation!
Our chieftain so brave and so true;
We'll go for the great Reformation--
For Lincoln and Liberty too!

We'll go for the son of Kentucky,
The hero of Hoosierdom through;
The pride of the Suckers so lucky
For Lincoln and Liberty too!

Our good David's sling is unerring,
The Slaveocrat's giant he slew;
Then shout for the Freedom-preferring,
For Lincoln and Liberty too!

They'll find what by felling and mauling,
Our railmaker statesman can do;
For the people are everywhere calling
For Lincoln and Liberty too.

Then up with our banner so glorious,
The star-spangled red-white-and-blue,
We'll fight till our Cause is victorious,
For Lincoln and Liberty too!

The Underground Railcar

George N. Allen

I'm on my way to Canada a freeman's rights to share.
The cruel wrongs of Slavery I can no longer bear;
My heart is crush'd within me so while I remain a slave,
That I'm resolved to strike the blow for Freedom or the Grave!

O Great Father! do thou pity me.
And help me on to Canada where the panting slave is free!

I've served my Master all my days without the least reward,
And now I'm forc'd to flee away to shun the lash abhor'd;
The hounds are baying on my track, my Master's just behind,
Resolv'd that he will bring be back and fast his fetters bind.

O Great Father! do thou pity me.
And help me on to Canada where the panting slave is free!

I've heard that Queen Victoria has pledged us all a home
Beyond the reach of Slavery, if we will only come;
So I have fled this weary way, my guide the bright north star,
And now, thank God, I speed today in the Underground Railcar.

O old Master! why come after me,
I'm whizzing fast to Canada where the panting slave is free!

I now embark for yonder shore, sweet land of liberty.
The vessel soon will bear me o'er, and I shall then be free;
No more I'll dread the auctioneer, nor fear the Master's frowns,
No more I'll tremble lest I hear the baying of the hounds.

O old Master, 'tis vain to follow me.
I'm just in sight of Canada, where the panting slave is free!

Yes! I am safe in Canada -- my soul and body free.
My blood and tears no more shall drench thy soil, O Tennessee!
Yet how can I suppress the tear that's stealing from my eye,
To think my friends and kindred dear as slaves must live and die.

O dear friends, haste and follow me,
For I am safe in Canada, where the panting slave is free!


A Song of 1857

Written by Utah rebels

When Uncle Sam, he first set out his army to destroy us,
Says he, "The Mormons we will rout, they shall no longer annoy us."
The force he sent was competent to try and hang for treason;
That is, I mean, it would have been, but don't you know the reason?

There's great commotion in the East, about the Mormon question;
The problem is, to say the least, too much for their digestion.

As they were going up the Platte singing many a lusty ditty,
Saying, "We'll do this and we'll do that, when we get to Salt Lake City."
And sure enough, when they got there, they made the Mormons stir, sir.
That is, I mean, they would have done, but oh, they didn't get there.

When they got within two hundred miles, the old boys they were saying,
"It will be but a little while till the Mormons we'll be slaying.
We'll hang each man who has two wives; we've plenty of rope quite handy."
That is, I mean, they would have had, but Smith burned it on Sandy.

Then they returned with awful tales, saying the Mormons beat the devil:
They ride uphill and over rocks as fast as on the level.
And if perchance you shoot one down and surely think he's dead, sir,
The first you know he's on his horse and pushing on ahead, sir.

Then on Ham's Fork they camped awhile, saying "we'll wait a little longer
Till Johnston and his crew come up and make us a little stronger.
Then we'll go on, take Brigham Young, and Heber his companion."
That is, I mean, they would have done, But were afraid of Echo Canyon.

Now Uncle Sam, take my advice: You'd better stay at home, sir!
You need your money and your men to defend your rights at home, sir!
But if perchance you need some help, the Mormons will be kind, sir.
They've helped you once and will again, that is, if they've a mind, sir!


Go Down, Moses

Traditional spiritual

When Israel was in Egypt's land,
Let my people go!
Oppressed so hard they could not stand,
Let my people go!


Go down, Moses,
Way down in Egypt's land.
Tell old Pharaoh
To let my people go!

"Thus spoke the Lord," bold Moses said
"Let my people go!
If not, I'll smite your firstborn dead.
Let my people go!"

"No more shall they in bondage toil...
Let them come out with Egypt's spoil...

The Lord told Moses what to do...
To lead the Hebrew children through...

O come along Moses, you'll not get lost...
Stretch out your rod and come across.

As Israel stood by the water side...
At God's command it did divide...

When they reached the other shore...
They sang a song of triumph o'er...

Pharaoh said he'd go across...
But Pharaoh and his host were lost...

O let us all from bondage flee...
And let us all in Christ be free...

You need not always weep and mourn...
And wear these slav'ry chains forlorn...

Your foes shall not before you stand...
And you'll possess fair Canaan's land.


Traditional spiritual

Michael, row the boat ashore, hallelujah!
Michael, row the boat ashore, hallelujah!

The Jordan River is deep and wide, hallelujah!
Milk and honey on the other side, hallelujah!
(or: Save the souls on the other side, Get my freedom on the other side)

Sister, help to trim the sail, hallelujah!
Sister, help to trim the sail, hallelujah!

The river Jordan is chilly and cold, hallelujah!
Chills the body but not the soul, hallelujah!

Steal Away

Traditional Spiritual

Steal away, steal away,
Steal away to Jesus!
Steal away, steal away home,
I ain't got long to stay here.

No More Auction Block


No more auction block for me,
No more, no more.
No more auction block for me,
Many thousand gone.

No more driver's lash for me ...

No more pint of salt for me ...

No more peck of corn for me ...

No more hundred lash for me ...

O Freedom


O freedom, O freedom,
O freedom after a while,
And before I'd be a slave, I'd be buried in my grave,
And go home to my Lord and be free.

There'll be no more moaning, no more moaning,
No more moaning after a while ...

No more weeping, no more crying,
No more weeping after a while ...

There'll be no more kneeling, no more bowing,
No more kneeling after a while ...

There'll be shouting, there'll be shouting,
There'll be shouting after a while ...


He's Just the Same Today

Traditional Spiritual

When Moses and his soldiers from Egypt's land did flee,
His enemies were in behind him, and in front of him the sea.
God raised the water like a wall, And opened up the way,
And the God that lived in Moses' time is just the same today.

Is just the same today,
Just the same today,
And the God that lived in Moses' (Daniel's) time is just the same today.

When Daniel, faithful to his God, would not bow down to men,
And by God's enemy he was hurled into the lion's den,
God locked the lion's jaw, we read, and robbed him of his prey,
And the God that lived in Daniel's time is just the same today.

John Brown's Body


John Brown's body lies a mould'ring in the grave,
John Brown's body lies a mould'ring in the grave,
John Brown's body lies a mould'ring in the grave,
His soul goes marching on!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His soul is marching on.

The stars of heaven are looking kindly down (3x)
On the grave of old John Brown!

He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord, (3x)
His soul goes marching on!

John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back, (3x)
His soul goes marching on!

Various sources also list the following verses:

John Brown died to put an end to slavery. (3x)
(or: that the slaves might be free)
His soul goes marching on!

He captured Harper's Ferry with his nineteen men so true.
He frightened Old Virginny till she trembled through and through.
They hung him for a traitor, they themselves the traitor crew,
But his soul goes marching on!

Old John Brown's body lies a-mould'ring in the grave,
While weep the sons of bondage whom he ventured all to save,
But though he lost his life in struggling for the slaves,
His soul is marching on.

John Brown's Body (Variant)

Edna D. Proctor

John Brown died on the scaffold for the slave,
Dark was the hour when we dug his hallowed grave;
Now God avenges the life he gladly gave,
Freedom reigns to-day!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Freedom reigns to-day!

John Brown sowed, and the harvesters are we;
Honor to him who has made the bondmen free;
Loved evermore shall our noble ruler be,
Freedom reigns to-day!

John Brown's body lies mouldering in the grave;
Bright o'er the sod let the starry banner wave;
Lo! for the million he periled all to save,
Freedom reigns to-day!

John Brown's soul through the world is marching on;
Hail to the hour when oppression shall be gone;
All men will sing in the better day's dawn,
Freedom reigns to-day!

John Brown dwells where the battle strife is o'er;
Hate cannot harm him, nor sorrow stir him more;
Earth will remember the martyrdom he bore,
Freedom reigns to-day!

John Brown's body lies mouldering in the grave;
John Brown lives in the triumph of the brave;
John Brown's soul not a higher joy can crave,
Freedom reigns to-day!

The Abolitionist Hymn

To the tune of "Old Hundred"

We ask not that the slave should lie
As lies his master, at his ease,
Beneath a silken canopy
Or in the shade of blooming trees.

We ask not "eye for eye," that all
Who forge the chain and ply the whip
Should feel their torture, while the thrall
Should wield the scourge of mastership.

We mourn not that the man should toil;
'Tis nature's need, 'tis God's decree;
But let the hand that tills the soil
Be, like the wind that fans it, free.

Maryland, My Maryland

James R. Randall, 1861

The despot's heel is on thy shore,
Maryland, my Maryland!
His torch is at thy temple door,
Maryland, my Maryland!
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland, my Maryland!

Hark to an exiled son's appeal,
Maryland, my Maryland!
My mother State, to thee I kneel,
Maryland, my Maryland!
For life and death, for woe and weal,
Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel,
Maryland, my Maryland!

Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
Maryland, my Maryland!
Thy gleaming sword shall never rust,
Maryland, my Maryland!
Remember Carroll's sacred trust,
Remember Howard's warlike trust,
And all thy slumberers with the just,
Maryland, my Maryland!

An Old Indian

Lumber Camp Song

An old Indian sat in his little canoe,
A-floating along o'er the water so blue.
He sang of the days when the lands were their own,
Before the palefaces among them were known.

There was a time when the red men was lords of this soil,
They lived there at ease, free from sorrow and toil.
They hunted the beaver, the panther, and deer,
For they knew in their own wood they had nothing to fear.

The time when the white man first came to their land,
We used them like brothers, we gave them our hand.
We knew they were weary, we gave them repose,
Not dreaming those white men would ever prove foes.

But soon they began to encroach on our rights,
Their numbers increasing, they put us to flight.
They have driven us away from our own happy shores,
And the fires of our councils they burn no more.

Oh, where is the tall pine and cedar now gone?
The tall pine and cedar their axe has laid low.
The beaver, the panther, the huntsmen have slain,
And the red deer is driven far over the plain.

They have built their large cities all over our land,
And on our rich meadows their farms now stand.
They claim all our country from Texas to Maine,
And the red man may seek for his wigwam in vain.

Oh, where are the graves of our forefathers now?
They are rudely roamed over and tilled by the plow.
Their children, e'er needy, rejected and poor,
And the homes of their fathers they'll visit no more.


Vot Vos You Up To, Uncle Sam?

Ralph T. Butler

Vot vos you up to, Uncle Sam,
Alretty, anyhow?
Dot you vos magen droubles
For dose Fillopenos now,
Ven I leaf der distant Vaterland,
Katrina, Frau and me,
Und sailt upon dot shteamship boat
Across der schloppy sea.

Ve dought dot you a goot one vos,
Und vanted all men free.

Shall our Starry Flag of Freedom
Be a badge for serf or slave?
Shall it head the grand procession in a "Criminal aggression"
And there for greed and conquest wave?
No, no, no!
Ten thousand answer, No!
It must ever be the Flag of the Free,
The Flag of the Free and the Brave!

The Minstrel Boy

Thomas Moore

The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you'll find him.
His father's sword he has girded on
And his wild harp slung behind him.
"Land of song," said the warrior bard,
"Though all the world betrays thee,
One sword at least thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee."

The minstrel fell but the foeman's chain
Could not bring his proud soul under.
The harp he loved ne'er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder
And said, "No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
They shall never sound in slavery!"

The Wearing of the Green


Oh, Paddy dear, an' did you hear the news that's goin' round?
The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground!
Saint Patrick's day no more we'll keep, his colour can't be seen,
For there's a cruel law against the wearin' of the green!
I met with Napper Tandy and he took me by the hand,
And he said, "How's poor old Ireland, an' how does she stand?"
She's the most distressful country that ever yet was seen,
For they're hanging' men and women for the wearin' o' the green.

Then since the colour we must wear is England's cruel red,
Sure Ireland's sons will ne'er forget the blood that they have shed.
You may pull the shamrock from your hat, and cast it on the sod,
But 'twill take root and flourish there, though underfoot 'tis trod.
When laws can stop the blades of grass from growin' as they grow,
And when the leaves in summer time their verdure dare not show,
Then I will change the colour too, and wear in my caubeen,
But till that day please God, I'll stick to wearin' o' the green.


Original material on this page copyright 1997 by Gary McGath
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