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4th of July/Independence song ideas?

GUEST,Lil Bitta Guitar 02 Jul 08 - 02:08 AM
GUEST,JTT 02 Jul 08 - 02:24 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Jul 08 - 03:02 AM
theleveller 02 Jul 08 - 03:26 AM
Bert 02 Jul 08 - 05:20 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Jul 08 - 07:01 AM
oldhippie 02 Jul 08 - 07:25 AM
GUEST 02 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM
GUEST 02 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM
theleveller 02 Jul 08 - 08:32 AM
GUEST,Mike 02 Jul 08 - 10:28 AM
Barry Finn 02 Jul 08 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Joseph de Culver City 02 Jul 08 - 10:44 AM
Barry Finn 02 Jul 08 - 10:46 AM
theleveller 02 Jul 08 - 11:08 AM
theleveller 02 Jul 08 - 11:15 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 02 Jul 08 - 11:36 AM
Genie 02 Jul 08 - 12:10 PM
Wesley S 02 Jul 08 - 12:23 PM
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Jim Carroll 02 Jul 08 - 03:08 PM
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Jim Carroll 03 Jul 08 - 01:40 AM
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theleveller 03 Jul 08 - 03:30 AM
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Subject: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: GUEST,Lil Bitta Guitar
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:08 AM

Any suggestions for a few songs to lead a short singalong for the 4th of July/US Independence Day? I know the patriotic songs and I'm not crazy about most of them (for political and feminist reasons). I do think we will sing America the Beautiful, which is lovely and not nearly as hard to sing as My Country 'tis of Thee. I also definitely want to sing This Land is Your Land (Woody Guthrie). Other suggestions - theme of freedom, independence, pride, community????

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:24 AM

Freedom Song? We Shall Overcome?

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:02 AM

We've Got The Whole world in Our Hands (Pockets)?
Jim Carroll

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:26 AM

I'm currently writing a song (from a British perspective, of course :))about the only battle of the American War of Independence that took place in Britain, when 5 American ships, under the command of the Scottish pirate, John Paul Jones, defeated the British in a seas battle off the Yorkshire coast. Does anyone know of any existing songs about this event?

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Bert
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 05:20 AM

Here's one of mine
and another the tune to this one is pretty much 'Home on the Range' Just tweak it 'till it works.

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:01 AM

What, teh singer? He's not that old surely?

Now who did that song

"We're all going to the party
Going to the Boston Tea Party..."?

I half think it was the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, but not sure.

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: oldhippie
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:25 AM

"Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore"

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Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM

Try this - from Songs of The Wexford Coast By Joseph Ranson

Paul Jones

It was a stately Southern ship that flew the stripes and stars,
And a freshening wind from west-nor'-west sang through her pitch-pine spars,
With her larboard tacks aboard she head-reached in the gale,
On an Autumn night she raised the light of the old Head of Kinsale.

'Twas then a fair and cloudless night, and the wind blew fresh and strong.
As swiftly o'er the bounding waves our good ship rolled along.
Far before her weather bow a fiery wave she spread,
And bending low in her breast of snow, she buried her lee-cat-head.

No thought was there of shortening sail by the man who trod the poop,
Though by the press of her ponderous jib her boom bent like a hoop.
Her groaning chesters told the strain as she lay on her stout main tack.
He only laughed as he glanced abaft at her bright and sparkling track.

On Cable Isle the breakers boom and fringe the beetling shore,
Whilst the Dungarvan fishermen lie sheltered in Ardmore.
On Tuskar's Rock the star had set; eight bells it told the hour,
And the beacon's light that burned so bright was sunk on the Hook's lone Tower.

The morning breaks o'er the Channel wave as the stranger ship sails on,
With yards braced square before the gale in the grey of early dawn.
The Channel breeze meets th'ebbing tide that boils round Conney-more;
The mist lies heavy on the land from Fethard to Carnsore.

What rises on our starboard beam, a-hanging on the breeze,
The time our good ship hauled her wind abreast of the Saltees?
By her mighty spread of cloth, and by her lengthy spar,
We knew our morning visitor was a British man-o'-war.

(Alternative verse)
" A sail! A sail!" our captain cried, "a sail upon our lee,
And she's steering from the eastward and bearing down on me"
By her lofty spread of sail, by her long and tapered spar,
We knew our morning visitor was a British man-o'-war.

The spread of sail this frigate wore was her three top-sails broad;
Her spanker and her inner-jibs with fore and main course stowed.
But look again with one quick glance, her courses loose are cast;
Her royals and to' gallant yards are crossed on every mast.

(Alternative verse)
How stately looked the Englishman with his fore top-sails broad;
His spanker and his flying-jib, fore and main courses stowed.
But wait a little longer, see the gaskets from her cast:
Royals and to' gallant sails break out from every mast.

For never the Channel wave had borne a barque before or since,
To take a log line off the reel with the speed of The Black Prince.

(Alternative verse)
For never a keel laid down has been, on the stocks before or since
To take a log line of the reel with the speed of The Black Prince.

'Twas east-nor'-east the rival ships up in the Channel bore,
Until the setting sun went down behind the Irish shore.
We flew our glorious Stripes aloft abreast the Hill o' Howth:
Paul Jones, the terror of his foes, will fly them round the coast.

Then spoke our daring captain, though a cloud hung o'er his brow.,
"Fear not, my loyal comrades, for in greater stress than now,
We wore those glorious Stripes aloft amidst the British host:
Paul Jones the terror of the seas, will fly them round this coast.

Away, away, through storm and sea the battle still goes on,
And in the dark grey dawn of morn we reached the Calf-o'-Man.
Our grape-shot lowered his sail and spar aboard the man-o'-war,
And we left him lobbing with the tide abreast of Strangford Bar.

"Out booms! out booms!" our captain cried, "out booms, and give her sheet,
For the fastest keel that splits the wave in all the British Fleet
Comes bearing down upon us with a white wave at her bow;
Spread every inch of sail, my boys, spare not her canvas now."

And far away the midnight moon looks down on lonely Mourne;
The sound of the dark and heaving swell by the light Seabreeze is borne.
Slieve Donard heard the distant boom and from his cavern dark,
Re-echoed back the scornful cheer to the deck of the pirate barque.

A bright flash broke from her glancing sheer beneath that press of sail,
And the deep boom of her signal gun came down upon the gale.
'Twas a gentle hint to shorten sail—a touch of English pride,
To come within their friendly hail, that seldom was denied.

Come, steer away, north and by west, till you raise dark Carrig Head,
Where the lonely Copeland Island sleeps within her watery bed.
The ebbing tide runs rapid 'tween Rathlin and the main.
Paul Jones, undaunted buccaneer, is off to sea again.

What did our daring captain do when the shot ahead had passed?
He checked his flowing courses, brought his topsails to the mast.
Then a ringing cheer from the privateer answered the summons dread,
As our swaggering banner run aloft from the mizzen-peak was spread.

Then fast and thickly shower the balls; they shriek through shroud and mast,
But still the light-heeled Ranger shoots ahead of the frigate fast.

I took down the words of this ballad from Margaret Mitten, Morriscastle, November, 1937. I am indebted to Lanigan Walsh, Wexford, and to John Brien, the mason, Kilmuckridge for variants. Both airs were taken down by Kathleen Hammel in 1947 - the first from the singing of Miss Nan Dempsey, Cosher, Kilmuckridge, and the second from Denny Murphy, Courtown Harbour. Denny referred to his version as "the Arklowmen's air."

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM

From Jim Carroll

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:32 AM

That's a fantastic song, Jim. Forgive me, but it's not about the Battle of Flamborough Head when Jones, with five ships headed by the Bonhomme Richard, defeated three British ships, led by Captain Pearson, captured the British Seraphis, just as his own ship was sinking, and sunk The Scarborough. Prior to that, Jones had been harrassing shipping and ports around the coast, so that may be what the song refers to. Any idea of its origins? From its detailed knowledge of ships and sailing was it, perhaps, written by a sailor?

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: GUEST,Mike
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 10:28 AM

I like "the classics" for the 4th, myself.

Some ideas:

Oh Susannah


In the Good Old Summertime

However, most people no longer know the words to these.

I liked OldHippie's suggestion. To add THAT list:

Oh Freedom (you know, Pete's version)

Tom Paxton's Born on the 4th of July

Ani di Franco's Independence Day

Sure, that'll get you started well enough. Not a soul in your audience will recognize the songs, but at least you'll be sangin' on theme!

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Subject: Lyr Add: PAUL JONES (2)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 10:42 AM

I think leveller you're looking for this on the Scottish Pirate Captain(he,he,he) Paul Jones (there's 2 in the DT, this is slighly differen from those)


An American frigate the from New York she came
Mounted forty-four guns, the "Richard" by name
Went a-cruising the channel of Old England's land
With a noble commander, Paul Jones was the man.

Hooraw, our country forever hooraw

We had not been sailing long before we e-spied
A large forty-four and a twenty likewise,
Both noble vessels well laden in store,
Our captain pursued them on the bold York shore

Along about twelve the Pierce she came alongside
With a loudspeaking trumpet: "Whence came you?" he cried;
"Pray give me answer, I''ve hail you before
Or this very instant a broadside I'll pour."

We fought them five glasses, five glasses so hot,
That sixty bold seamen lay dead on the spot,
A seventy more lay bleeding in gore,
How the Pierce's loud cannons on the Richard did pour

Our cutter got frighten'd, to Paul Jones he came
"Our ship is a sinking likewise in the flame today,
Paul Jones replied in the height of his pride
Saying, "This day I'll conquer or we'll sink alongside."

The "Peirce" hove to the Richard to rake,
It was then that the hearts of the English did ache;
The shot flew so frequent so fierce & so fast stand it long,
That they hauled down the bold British colors at last

"And now, me bold hero's, we've taken the prize
A large forty-four and a twenty likewise;
Both nobel vessels well laden in store
We'll toss off our hats to our country once more

I think I'll sing this tomorrow along with the Brit's retort, "The Dolphin" or "Warlike Seaman" just so no one gets slighted.

Happy 4th

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: GUEST,Joseph de Culver City
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 10:44 AM

'Grand Old Flag'

Remember: "...and forever in peace shall you wave" (noble sentiment, anyway)

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 10:46 AM

Sorry, the line in the 6th verse

"The shot flew so frequent so fierce & so fast stand it long"

should read,
"The shot flew so frequent so fierce & so fast"


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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 11:08 AM

Thanks Barry, that's great. The only thing that puzzles me is the reference to the Pierce. The British ships were The Countess of Scarborough and the Seraphis. Could it be a reference to Captain Pearson, the British commander, I wonder? Jones managed to capture the Seraphis but the Scarborough was sunk along with Jones's Bonhomme Richard (I believe that a search was undertaken to find her fairly recently - not sure what the result was).

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 11:15 AM

For those who might be interested (apologies to those who aren't) here is jones's own account of the battle

"Information from prisoners had confirmed that the fleet was escorted by the Serapis, a new vessel that could mount 56 guns but then mounted only 44 in two batteries, one composed of 18-pounders, and by the Countess of Scarborough, a new frigate mounting 22 guns. When the enemy saw that we had taken the chase, the Serapis and the Countess of Scarborough took advantage of the wind to stand out to sea while the convoy crowded on sail toward the fortress of Scarborough.
"As there was little wind, I was unable to close with the enemy before night. The moon did not rise until 8 o'clock, and as soon as it was dark the Serapis and the Countess of Scarborough came about and put on all sail for the fort of Scarborough.
"I was fortunate enough to discover this enemy movement with my night glass, otherwise they would have escaped me. As this forced me to alter my course by six points of the compass with the intention of cutting off the enemy from their retreat toward shore, the captain of la Pallas concluded that the crew of the Bonhomme Richard had revolted, and this idea convinced him to haul his wind and to stand away from the shore. At the same time, the Alliance lay windward of the enemy at a considerable distance. Because the captain of this vessel had not paid attention to the signals of the Bonhomme Richard since leaving France, I was obliged to run all the risks and engage the enemy with the Bonhomme Richard alone to prevent their escape.
"I began the battle at 7 o'clock at night and within pistol range of the Serapis, and I sustained it for nearly an hour at that distance, exposed at the same time to the attack of the Countess of Scarborough, which raked the stern of the Bonhomme Richard with broadsides.
"It has been noted that properly speaking the Bonhomme Richard was only a frigate of 34 guns, the battery of which was of 12-pounders but that it had been decided to mount six 18-pounders above the powder magazine, which would have been very useful in cannonading a port. The sea was very calm during the battle with the Serapis and I hoped to derive a great advantage from these six 18-pound guns. But instead of that, the old cannons burst at the beginning of the action and the officers and men above the powder magazine, who had been selected as the best of the crew, were killed, wounded, or so frightened that none of them was of any use during the remainder of the engagement.
"In this unfortunate extremity, having to contend with forces three times superior to my own, the Bonhomme Richard was in great danger of going to the bottom. With her battery out of action I had recourse to the dangerous expedient of throwing grappling irons on the Serapis in order to nullify the superior power of her two batteries and to shield myself from the fire of the Countess of Scarborough. This maneuver succeeded perfectly, and with my own hands I tied the Serapis to the Bonhomme Richard. The captain, Thomas Piercy, of the Countess of Scarborough, an illegitimate son of the Duke of Northumberland, conducted himself like a man of sense and from that time on ceased fire on the Bonhomme Richard, knowing full well that he could not damage us without equally damaging the Serapis.
"The Serapis being then to windward, dropped her anchor as soon as she was hooked, hoping by this to disengage herself from the Bonhomme Richard, but success did not answer her expectations. From then on the combat was limited to the firing of cannon, swivel guns, muskets, and grenades. The enemy at first showed a desire to board the Bonhomme Richard; however, after having thought it over, they did not dare try. But the Serapis had the advantage of her two batteries, besides the cannon on the quarterdeck and on the forecastle, whereas the Bonhomme Richard's cannon were either broken or abandoned, except for four pieces on the quarterdeck, which were also abandoned for some minutes. The officer, Matthew Mease, who commanded these four cannons on the quarterdeck was dangerously wounded in the head, and having at that moment no object more deserving of my attention, I took command of them myself. some sailors came to aid me of their own accord and serviced the two cannon alongside of the enemy with surprising skill and courage. A few minutes later I found enough men to transport one of the cannon on the quarterdeck to the opposite side, but I was not able to find sufficient force to bring the other, so I could bring to bear only three guns against the enemy for the rest of the action.
"The moon rose at 8 o'clock in the evening and the two vessels were then in flames from the cannonade. That was why the Serapis' mainmast, which was painted yellow, was such an easy object to distinguish, and I pointed one of my guns loaded with bar shot at it. In the meantime the two other pieces were well used to destroy the barricades of the enemy and to sweep their quarterdeck with oblique fire. Only the men on the topmast bravely supported the quarterdeck cannons with muskets and swivel guns and threw grenades on board the enemy vessel with great skill. In this way the enemy were killed, wounded, or driven from their stations on deck and aloft, notwithstanding the superiority of their artillery and manpower.
"Captain Richard Pearson of the Serapis consulted with his officers and they resolved to surrender, but an unfortunate circumstance happened on board the Bonhomme Richard to prevent them. A bullet having cut one of our pumps, the master carpenter, John Gunnison, was seized with panic and cried to the chief gunner, Henry Gardner, and the master at arms John Burbank, that the Bonhomme Richard was sinking. This idea so terrified these men that they forgot their duties and thought only of saving their lives. At the same moment, someone told the chief gunner that the lieutenant and I had been killed. As a result, thinking that he had become the commanding officer, the chief gunner rushed to the bridge to haul down the American flag, which he would have done if the flagstaff had not been carried away when the Bonhomme Richard hooked the Serapis.
"The captain of the Serapis, hearing the chief gunner of the Bonhomme Richard ask for quarter because he thought the Bonhomme Richard was sinking, hastened to cry to me: "Do you ask for quarter? Do you ask for quarter?"
"I had been so occupied in firing the three cannon on the quarterdeck, I did not know what had passed between the chief gunner, the master carpenter, and the master at arms, so that I replied to the English captain: "Je ne songe point a me rendre, mais je suis determine a vous faire demander quartier."*

*(webmasters note - Allow me to interrupt here, kind reader, to point out that these are Jones' EXACT words from the original manuscript in the Library of Congress. Translated, it becomes: "That point didn't occur to me, but I am determined to make you ask for quarter." "The 1812 translation that most of this webpage comes from translated it as: "I do not dream of surrendering, but I am determined to make you strike." That last phrase is a reference to striking colors, or the lowering of a ships' national flag as a sign of surrender. It wasn't until 1825, some thirty three years after Jones' death, that a biographer very loosely translated it as: "I have not yet begun to fight.")

"The captain of the Serapis, however, conceived some hope, because of what the American chief gunner had said, that the Bonhomme Richard was about to sink. But when he found that his men on the upper decks were in imminent danger, he sent them to the main deck to service the two batteries, which they fired against the side of the Bonhomme Richard with the fury of vengeance and despair. It has been observed that, when I began the action, la Pallas was a great distance to the windward and the Alliance also lay to the windward. When the captain of la Pallas heard action begin, he approached and spoke to the Alliance, but they lost much time and it was not until after all that has been related that the two frigates came within cannon range of the Countess of Scarborough.
"Because Ia Pallas engaged this frigate while sailing before the wind and tide (at the same time that the Serapis was at anchor and under the grappling irons of the Bonhomme Richard, which had the wind astern), soon they were both a considerab]e distance to leeward. The Alliance followed Ja Pallas and the Countess of Scarborough and while passing along the exterior side of the Bonhomme Richard delivered a broadside within gunshot range against the bow of this frigate and the stern of the Serapis, which together formed one small target. But it is easy to suppose that the broadside of the Alliance did more damage to the Bonhomme Richard than to the Serapis because the men of the Serapis had been chased from the upper decks to the covered deck; whereas on board the Bonhomme Richard not only a number of people who were then on the upper decks (after they had been chased by the two enemy batteries from the places where they were hidden) but also the men who were serving the pumps and the three guns on the quarterdeck were much more exposed.
"The battle between the Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis continued with the greatest intensity. The bulwarks of the Serapis were damaged or burned, and the mainmast was gradually cut down by the grapeshot of the Bonhomme Richard, while the much superior artillery of the Serapis' two batteries struck one side of the Bonhomme Richard and blew out the other so that during the last hour of combat the shot passed through both sides of the Bonhomme Richard meeting little or no resistance. The rudder was shattered and only an old timber here and there kept the poop from crashing down on the gundeck.
"After a retreating action of short duration the Countess of Scarborough surrendered to la Pallas. They were then a considerable distance to the leeward of the Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis. The Alliance, which had followed them downwind, lost much time in going this way and that and questioning the prize and Ia Pallas, but finally the captain of la Pallas asked the captain of the Alliance: "Do you want to take charge of the prize, or go to aid the commodore?" and the Alliance began to maneuver to gain the wind. She tacked several times before regaining the wind and finally she sent a second broadside against the bow of the Serapis and the stern of the Bonhomme Richard. Some other people and I shouted to the Alliance to cease firing for God's sake and to send some men on board the Bonhomme Richard. The captain of the Alliance disobeyed; passing alongside the Bonhomme Richard and bringing a few cannon to bear during the passage, she unleashed a third broadside against the bow of the Bonhomme Richard and the stern of the Serapis. After this the Alliance kept at a respectful distance and took great care not to expose herself either to receive a blow or to have a single man killed or wounded.
"The idea that the Bonhomme Richard was going to sink had so deranged the master at arms mind by excessive fear that he opened the hatches and, despite my repeated orders to the contrary, let out all of the prisoners we had, numbering 100. At the time of outfitting, the commissioner had refused to provide iron chains for the prisoners, and this mental derangement of the master at arms might have become fatal, if I had not taken advantage of the prisoners' fear and put them to work at the pumps where they displayed surprising zeal, appearing to have forgotten that they were prisoners and that nothing could prevent their leaving the Bonhomme Richard to board the Serapis, as it was entirely in their power to put an end to the fight by killing me or throwing me overboard.
"As the three guns of the Bonhomme Richard continued to fire without interruption against the Serapis and finally cut down the railing on her quarterdeck and her mainmast, so that the latter was only supported by the yards of the Bonhomme Richard, and at the same time the men in the rigging maintained a continuous fire of muskets, swivel guns, and grenades, the enemy began to slacken their fire and soon lost all hope. One circumstance that contributed a great deal to the victory of the Bonhomme Richard was the extraordinary presence of mind and intrepidity of a Scottish sailor, William Hamilton, who was posted in the mainmast. This brave man, on his own accord, seized a lighted match and a basket of grenades and advanced along the main yard of the Bonhomme Richard until he was directly over the enemy's upper deck, and as the flames from their railings and shrouds added to the light of the moon he could see all that happened on the enemy vessel. Every time he saw two or three men gathered together he would throw a grenade among them. He was even skillful enough to throw several into their hatchways, and one of them set fire to the charge of an 18-pounder on the first gundeck, burning a number of people.
"At this point the captain of the Serapis advanced on the upper deck, lowered his flag, and asked for quarter. At the very instant that he was lowering his flag, his mainmast fell into the sea. He came with his officers from the Serapis onto the Bonhomme Richard and presented me with his sword. While this was happening 8 or 10 men of the Bonhomme Richard made off with the Serapis' shallop, which had been in tow during the fight.
"It was after 11 o'clock when the battle ended; consequently, it had lasted more than four hours. The Bonhomme Richard had on board only 322 men, good or bad, when the battle began; and the 60 men who were stationed in the powder magazine when the cannon burst, having been of no service during the action, cannot properly be counted as part of the force that opposed the Serapis. While in Denmark the Serapis had received a number of English sailors who had come from India to that country, so that according to the roll, which was found after the battle, there were more than 400 men on board when she first encountered the Bonhomme Richard.
"Her superiority in cannon was even greater, not to mention the intrinsic value of her artillery, which so completely surpassed that of the Bonhomme Richard that it would be very difficult to compare them.
"Thus, putting aside the damage done to the Bonhomme Richard by the Countess of Scarborough during the first hour of combat and by the three broadsides of the Alliance thereafter, it is not difficult to form a judgment on the combat between the Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis and on a victory obtained over so superior a force after such a long, bloody, and close range battle.
"La Vengeance, a corvette mounting 12 three-pounders, and the pilot's boat with the second lieutenant, Henry Lunt, of the Bonhomme Richard, another officer, and 18 men, could have been of singular service either in pursuing and capturing the convoy, or in reinforcing me by supplementing the men on board the Bonhomme Richard. But, strange to say, they remained all the time as spectators without interest in the affair, staying out of danger and to windward, and the least that one can say about the conduct of the Alliance is that it appeared to stem from a principle worse than ignorance or insubordination.
"It is clear from what has been said that if the Baltic fleet escaped, it is due particularly to the disorder that the commissioner created in the squadron through his avaricious cabals. And one can attribute the impossibility of waiting for the eight vessels from India and the fact that no enemy ports were destroyed or ransomed to this same cause.
"It is fair to say, however, that some of the officers who were on board the Bonhomnie Richard conducted themselves in a very admirable manner during the action. The lieutenant, Richard Dale, having been abandoned at the battery and finding that he could not rally his men, came up on deck, and, although wounded, supervised the working of the pumps. But despite all his efforts, the hold of the Bonhomme Richard was more than half filled with water when the enemy surrendered.
"During the last three hours of the battle, the two vessels were on fire. Quantities of water were thrown on it and the fire at times appeared to be extinguished, but it always broke out anew. After the action, it was thought to be entirely extinguished. The weather was calm during the remainder of the night, but when the wind rose a little the fire broke out again, much more dangerous for having penetrated the timbers of the Bonhomme Richard to within a few inches of the powder magazines. The powder was immediately carried on deck, ready to be thrown into the sea as a last resort. Finally the fire was completely extinguished by our cutting away planks and drowning it with great amounts of water.
"The next morning the weather was cloudy and foggy, and when it cleared around 11 o'clock all of the enemy convoy had taken refuge under the fortress of Scarborough and not a single sail was to be seen along the coast
. "We then examined the Bonhomme Richard to determine if it were possible for her to be conducted into some port. The examination ended at 6 o'clock in the evening, and we judged the thing impracticable, mostly because of blows she had received in the bow from the Alliance, causing holes that could not be closed. Consequent]y, I employed all the boats without delay to save the wounded by carrying them to other vessels This work took all night, and the next morning, despite our having continuously and vigorously employed the pumps, the water had entirely filled the hold. Then, as the wind rose, the Bonhomme Richard immediately sank. I saved only my signal flags. I lost all of my belongings, amounting to more than 50,000 livres, not counting a number of invaluable papers. The officers and men of the ship also lost all of their personal effects.
"I took command of the Serapis, on which we had jury rigged masts, but I was tossed about in the North Sea by contrary winds for 10 days before reaching the Texel. I would have liked first to debark my 600 prisoners at Dunkirk, and the wind was favorable for this enterprise the day I entered the Texel. But the commissioner's cabal opposed this necessary plan. Because that imprudent man had told the captains not only that the squadron was destined for the Texel, but also what its object was to be in Holland, they left me, and I was obliged to follow them into the Texel since they had most of the prisoners."

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 11:36 AM

"Simple Gifts" always feels appropriate to me on this and other holidays of celebration.

Earl Robinson's "Ballad for Americans" is a perfect cantata, but it is probably a bit difficult for a "short singalong".    Perhaps Robinson's other classic "The House I Live In" might be fitting.

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Genie
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 12:10 PM

Depends a lot on who your audience is, since they'll be singing along, but here are some songs I use for July 4th programs. Mine are mostly at retirement homes, but there are often several generations present, since it's a party setting.

1. Yankee Doodle - 3 regular verses (See DT) plus the "stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni" verse, since everyone knows it.
One verse I use, which I think is still relevant but not in the DT, is:
And there we saw a thousand men as rich as Squire David,
And all the money they did waste, I wish it could be sav-ed.

2. The House I Live In
Original lyrics
lyric portion in DT, from Earl Robinson recording for "Songs For Political Action"
Here these lyrics sung by Paul Robeson
The first few verses, as sung by Frank Sinatra:
Original Frank Sinatra recording
Frank Sinatra film short with The House I Live In (This song starts about 6:50 min into the 10 min film)
sung by Patti LaBelle

Another one I use is "A Hymn For All Nations" (music: Finlandia). The first 2 verses (the non-religious ones) are HERE, in the DT.

Then there's The Power And The Glory (Phil Ochs)

Pastures Of Plenty (Guthrie)

And, of course, one of the most popular ones is God Bless America.
Especially if you include the introductory verse, you can see that this song is a prayer of gratitude and for guidance "from above," not a chauvinistic song.   (Yes, it's disputable how "free" we have been at times and are now, but I still find this song one of the better "patriotic" American songs.)

Wasn't That A Time? (The Weavers) - probably one of the best. And there are other verses, plus it's easy to make up new ones.

THE LIBERTY TREE (DT) - Not an easy singalong, but interesting as a trad. song.

There's also Sousa's Stars & Stripes Forever - I sing the lyrics, such as they are, but mostly I do the whole march on the kazoo. I do it on kazoo first, then singing the verse:
"Hurrah for the flag of the free,
May she wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers (forebears) with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by her right and by her might she waves forever."

Then immediately back into the kazoo solo (including the piccolo part of the march) and crescendoing into the final verse (with everyone singing along):
"Be kind to your web-footed friends,
For a duck may be somebody's brother.
Be kind to your friends in the swamp,
Where the weather is cold and domp.
Well, you might think that this is the end -
Well, it is!"

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Subject: Lyr Add: BACK IN THE USA (Chuck Berry)
From: Wesley S
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 12:23 PM

How about this one?

Chuck Berry - BACK IN THE USA

Oh well, oh well, I feel so good today,
We just touched ground on an international runway
Jet propelled back home, from overseas to the U. S. A.

New York, Los Angeles, oh, how I yearned for you
Detroit, Chicago, Chattanooga, Baton Rouge
Let alone just to be at my home back in ol' St. Lou.

Did I miss the skyscrapers, did I miss the long freeway?
From the coast of California to the shores of the Delaware Bay
You can bet your life I did, till I got back in the U. S. A.

Looking hard for a drive-in, searching for a corner café
Where hamburgers sizzle on an open grill night and day
Yeah, and a juke-box jumping with records like in the U.S.A.

Well, I'm so glad I'm livin' in the U.S.A.
Yes, I'm so glad I'm livin' in the U.S.A.
Anything you want, we got it right here in the U.S.A.

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 12:38 PM

George M. Cohan's Yankee Doodle Dandy, Grand Old Flag, Over There, etc.

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 12:38 PM

This Is My Country

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Fidjit
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 01:14 PM

"Happy Birthday" for me. 75.


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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 01:47 PM

We ( IE five of us from Marlow Bottom Acoustic ) ,are also doing a "gig" for July 4th ( at the Old Ship, Cadmore End, Buckinghamshire ----please come along if you can !! ) , and will be singing/ playing the following ;
    Oh Cumberland !
      In the Jailhouse Now
I'll Fly Away
       I Went Down To The River To Pray
          Jolene ( NOT Dolly's version, but M. Berg's !!)
Country Roads ( Because we like it !! )
   Across The Great Divide
                            Tequila Sunrise ( Why not ??)

      The Circle Game
   The Sunny Side of Life
                               plus many others ,of course, but I can't remember at the moment, and don't have my set list handy---but I think it includes " Desperado" !!!

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:08 PM

Sorry 'bout that.
According to Margaret Dean-Smith index, the song Paul Jones starting 'The American frigate, the Richard' by name' is about the battle which took place at Flamborough Head on Sept. 23 1799.
As no other such battle took place this side of the pond I assumed the one I sent to be a corruption of the Dean Smith one.
Don't know anything about it I'm afraid, but I'll have a look when I get time

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Subject: 4th of July/Independence songs
From: Genie
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:46 PM

This Is My Country (with new verse by Genie

Jonathan Wright Sings "This Is My Country" (with intro verse)

a totally different song titled "This Is My Country," by Joel Rafael (at Kerrville Folk Festival)

And another different song titled "This Is My Country" (written by Curtis Mayfield) performed by Cyril Neville with New Orleans Social Club on Austin City Limits Oct., 2006

new verses to Wasn't That A Time (Suffet)

9-11 verse to Wasn't That A Time (Genie)

I also sometimes use some US Civil War songs in July 4 programs, e.g.,
Battle Cry Of Freedom (in DT)

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Genie
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:48 PM

I meant to add that I also often use The Battle Hymn Of The Republic and When Johnny Comes Marching Home in July 4th sing-alongs, though they're both from the US Civil War (and, yes, I know they're both new lyrics to earlier tunes).

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: oldhippie
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:08 PM

Almost forgot a great new topical song, "Your Independence Day" - Janet Bates, on her new CD "For All His Wealth".

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Joe_F
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 09:07 PM

There is one about the "wicked rebels in the North Americay", but I can't find it at the moment.

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 09:17 PM

Thanks Leveller for filling in the background with Paul Jones's battle. I knew a little but all that detail was fantastic.
I did at one time know the reason why the Pierce was in the song rather than the Serapis but I've forgotten & at this point won't even venture a guess. I'll ask Jeff Warner if he knows when I see him Friday, maybe I won't sing it (unless he doesn't), it was one from his father's collection.


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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 09:52 PM

Genie, will you marry me?

I was working my way down the thread, planning to post a comment about 'singing' Stars and Stripes, which I have been known to do with or without kazoo, on the National Mall, or far, far away. Perfect!

I plan to request that when my death and life are celebrated (if there is anyone who thinks either worth celebrating), buckets of kazoos will be passed out, and this will be the warmup tune, as the whiskey is being poured.


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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 10:07 PM

On the Fourth of July, the politicians say,
        "Vote for us and we'll raise your pay."
        Get thee behind me, Satan,
        Travel on down the line line,
        I am a union man,
        Gonna leave you behind.

                From "Get Thee Behind Me, Satan" Words & music by the
                Almanac Singers © 1941

Note that "America" was first sung July 4, 1831, in Boston.

There are a number of pretty good Revolutionary War songs that are almost never sung today - JP Jones as above but also "Irishman's Epistle," "The Riflemen of Bennington," "Revolutionary Tea," etc. These are somewhat more satisfying to me, personally than "Green Berets" or "Hurrah for Our Boys in Iraq."

There are also a number of not patriotic songs that just mention July 4th or in which the action takes place then - eg,

Erie Canal was begun 7/4/1817;

The _Marco Polo_ of the Black Ball Line (ie, the 3rd Black Ball Line) sailed on July 4th 1852 under Captain "Bully" Forbes;

        It was on the fourth of July, me boys
        That we had a noble dam
        Off between the islands there
        As you will understand.
        There were brigs and ships and schooners
        Their masters all dandy men
        We all dined on board the brig, _Traveler_
        Joseph Warren in command.
                From "Come All You Noble Colored Tars";

        A trip down to Bangor, the Fourth of July,
        To make my connection with a train I did try.
        The train it being late, as you all will know soon,
        I was forced to take a trip to the Red Light Saloon
                From "The Red Light Saloon," WM Doerflinger _Songs of
                the Sailor and Lumberman_, p249

        Oh, the pigeon,
        Is a city bird,
        And she poo-poos,
        As she flies.
        And she drops those,
        Birdy turdies,
        From way up,
        In the sky.

                © Stephen L. Suffet 2000
Wait - there's something astray with those words...'twas supposed to be about a cuckoo.


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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Genie
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 01:21 AM

We do seem to be on the same wavelength re kazoos and Sousa marches, don't we? : D

As for marrying you, I dunno. Are you a girl?   (Not that there's anything WRONG with that ... ; D

Suffet, you are such a POET!
Oh, the pigeon,
Is a city bird,
And she poo-poos,
As she flies.
And she drops those,
Birdy turdies,
From way up,
In the sky.

© Stephen L. Suffet 2000   
Thanks for sharing that, Abby.

(Of course, I'm sure cuckoos also poo-poo and drop birdy turdies as they fly and warble. They just aren't as common around city parks, etc..

One small favor to be thankful to the great WhomEver for is that chickens and cows don't fly.)

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Subject: Lyr Add: PAUL JONES
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 01:40 AM

Sorry again - made a hames of sending Paul Jones - never do things in a rush.
The one I sent was text 1 from Ranson - which obviously a different song/battle.
This is Baring Gould's text:

An American frigate, the "Richard" by name,
Mounted guns forty four and from New York she came,
To cruise in the channel of old English fame,
With a noble commander, Paul Jones was his name.

We had not cruised long ere two sails we espies,
A large forty four, and a twenty likewise.
Some fifty bright shippers, well loaden with store,
And the convoy stood in for the old Yorkshire shore.

('Bout twelve was the hour when we came alongside,
With long speaking trumpet: 'Whence came you?' he cried.
'Ho! answer me quickly, I'll hail you no more,
Or a thundering broadside I'll into you pour!}*)

We fought them four glasses, four glasses so hot,
Till forty bold seamen lay dead on the spot.
And fifty five wounded lay drenched in their gore,
While loudly the cannons of Paul Jones did roar.

[Our carpenter frightened, to Paul Jones he came,
Our ship she leaks water, is likewise aflame.
Paul Jones he made answer, thus to him replied,
'If we can do no better, well sink alongside!]*)

The Serapis wore round, our vessel to rake
O then the proud hearts of the English did ache.
The shot flew so frequent, so fierce and so fast,
That the bold British colours were haul'd down at last.

Oh! now my brave boys, we have taken a prize,
A large forty four, and a twenty likewise.
God help the poor mothers, bereaved who weep
For the loss of their sons in the unfathom'd deep.

*)May be omitted when singing.

The other version I found is Scots, from Logan's Pedlar's Pack of ballads and songs. This comes with six pages of notes which I will PM.
Jim Carroll

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Genie
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 03:12 AM

Check this thread for songs of the Revolutionary War.

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: theleveller
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 03:30 AM

Thanks a lot, Jim. From a local perspective I have this vision of people crowding the high cliffs of Flamborough and Bempton and along the coast, where I've stood myself and looked out to sea many hunderds of times, and seeing an amazing battle raging for hour after hour, with fortunes changing and the huge explosion as the Richard's magazine erupts after one of his big 18-pounders bursts.

I especially love Jones' response when Pearson calls for him to surrender. As his ship literally burns around him, he calls "I have not yet begun to fight", then leaps aboard the Seraphis and captures it in hand to hand combat.

Local history doesn't come much more dramatic than this!

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Subject: Lyr Add: JONES THE PIRATE
From: theleveller
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 04:48 AM

If anyone's remotely interested, here's my (as yet unfinished and untuned) version, as seen, perhaps from a local perspective.


I'll tell a tale of '79 on the sea off Flamborough Head
When Pearson was defeated and so many left for dead
When Jones the Pirate was engaged to many a sailor's cost
And the Serapis was taken and the Scarborough was lost

They call him Jones the Pirate, a villain of the sea
A privateer, a buccaneer, a rogue of low degree
But when the English Captain shouted, "Quarters, do you strike?"
Jones replied, "God damn you, I've not yet begun to fight".

Out from the Americas came Captain John Paul Jones
Attacking towns along the coast of the land he'd once called home.
With the Bonhomme Richard and four ships, he came as bold as brass
Until he spied the Scarborough and the warship, Serapis.


The slaughter and the chaos were awful from the start
When the Bonhomme's double-loaded 18-pounders blew apart
And broadside after broadside, Pearson traded with the foe
Till a noise like thunder filled the air and the decks with blood did flow.


For many an hour the fighting raged under the ghostly moon
Until the dead and dying upon the decks lay strewn
The cannon's ceaseless fire turned the sky to bloody red
As crowds watched on the cliffs from Scarborough down to Flamborough Head


When the dawn broke in the east, floating far and wide
The wreckage and the carnage spread like flotsam on the tide
And as the Bonhomme Richard burned and sank beneath his feet
Jones seized the Serapis and caused the English defeat.


Jones took the Serapis and made his way across to France
Leaving Pearson to rue the day and curse his evil chance
And the pirate's fame spread far and wide as o'er the sea he'd roam
And it's long the British tars would curse the name of John Paul Jones.*


*It is rumoured that, some years later, Jones set foot in England at Hull, but was recognised by some sailors and set upon until he fled back to his ship.

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: GUEST,Lil Bitta Guitar
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 03:15 AM

Wow, thanks everyone! Especially, Genie - so many ideas, with links, too - I really appreciate it. I was thinking of Hymn for All Nations - called Song of Peace in Rise Up Singing, but the melody is rather ponderous and hymn-like. This is for a church group at Unity, so they'll love the words, but it's not very easy to sing along with...

Definitely going to do Grand Old Flag and Yankee Doodle Dandy, Amer the Beautiful, and This Land is... I'll look up some of Genie's other ideas.

Thanks again.

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Genie
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 03:53 PM

Joe Offer just added this one to the forum:

American Hymn

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From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 06:30 PM

Although The Stately Southerner already exists in the DT, this is different enough, I think, to merit inclusion also.

The Yankee Man-of-War
or Paul Jones, Privateer
or The Ranger
or The Stately Southerner

'Tis of a gallant Yankee ship that flew the stripes and stars
And the whistling wind from the west nor'west blew through the pitch-pine spars
With the starboard tacks aboard, my boys, she hung upon the gale
On an Autumn night we raised the light on the old head of Kinsale

It was a clear and cloudless night, and the wind blew steady and strong
As gaily over the sparkling deep our good ship bowled along.
With the foaming seas beneath her bow the fiery waves she spread
And bending low her bosom of snow she buried her lee cathead.

There was no talk of short'ning sail by him who walked the poop.
And under the press of the pondering jib the boom bent like a hoop.
And the groaning waterways told the strain that held her stout main tack
But he only laughed as he glance abaft at the white and silvery track.

The mid-tide meets in the channel waves that flow from shore to shore
And the mist hung heavy upon the land from Featherstone to Dunmore.
And that sterling light in Tuskar Rock where the old bell tolls each hour
And the beacon light that shone so bright was quenched on Waterford Tower.

The nightly robes our good ship wore were her own tops'ls three
Her spanker and her standing jib, the courses being free.
"Now lay aloft, my heroes bold, let not a moment pass!"
And royals and topgallant sails were quickly on each mast.

"What looms upon our starboard bow? What hangs upon the breeze?
"Tis time our good ship hauled her wind abreast the old Saltees."
For by her pond'rous press of sail and by her consorts four
We saw our morning visitor was a British man-of-war.

Up spoke our noble captain then, as a shot ahead of us passed,
"Haul snug your flowing courses; lay your tops'l to the mast."
Those Englishmen gave three loud hurrahs from the deck of their covered ark,
And we answered back by a solid broadside from the decks of our patriot bark.

"Out booms, out booms," our skipper cried, "out booms and give her sheet."
And the swiftest keel that ever was launched shot ahead of the British fleet.
And amidst a thundering shower of shot, with stuns'ls hoisting away,
Down the north channel Paul Jones did steer, just at the break of day!

(The source LP gives all three titles as above.)

From the singing of Wallace House, Folkways FP 48-2. Early 1950s.

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Subject: RE: 4th of July/Independence song ideas?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 06:31 PM

I should have said "all four titles", not three.

Dave Oesterreich

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