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Lyr Req: Burning of Kingston

11 Jan 17 - 05:45 PM (#3831969)
Subject: Lyr Req: Burning of Kingston
From: mg

just now heard of this song. my ancestors settled kingston, new york..dutch...decker, van wanagan, pels, loysee, etc. anyone know the song?

11 Jan 17 - 06:46 PM (#3831980)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Burning of Kingston
From: Joe Offer

Gee, there's even a Website titled It says:
    THE BURNING OF KINGSTON is a weekend-long celebration of American history, bravery, sacrifice and resilience. On a Fall October day in 1777, British troops set fire to the newly established first capital of the State of New York - Kingston. Burning down almost the entire town, over 300 buildings, the event was a dramatic moment in the American Revolution that only hardened the determination of colonists to gain independence. A biennial event, The Burning of Kingston is a mix of re-enactment, commemoration, and celebration.

It's a wonderful thing to drive along the Hudson River when the trees are in color. Kingston is a pretty little town. Wikipedia says it is 91 miles (146 km) north of New York City and 59 miles (95 km) south of Albany, so it's upriver where the Hudson gets very pretty. It's the home of Rondout Lighthouse, one of seven lighthouses remaining on the Hudson.


I found a Website that's a reproduction of a songbook titled Songs and Ballads of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION, but didn't find a Kingston song.

11 Jan 17 - 07:19 PM (#3831985)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Burning of Kingston
From: Joe Offer

Ah -
"The Burning of Kingston" was performed by Kevin and Carol Becker with Rich Keyes on a videocast called "Sounds of the Hudson River Valley." Information here (click).

I'm guessing it may be a recently-composed song.

Now, does anybody know Kevin and Carol Becker or Rich Keyes?

As far as I know, Kevin & Carol have only one CD, a combination of albums titled Reach Out and Catch the Wind and Lots of Love. I have it - it's a nice recording. I imagine that Kevin and Carol can be contacted through the Hudson Valley Folk Guild.

11 Jan 17 - 07:32 PM (#3831988)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Burning of Kingston
From: mg

i th ink i read Pete Seeger wrote it.

11 Jan 17 - 07:56 PM (#3831991)
Subject: ADD: Burning of Kingston (Gekle-Seeger)
From: Joe Offer

Well, looky there! It's on a Smithsonian Folkways album titled Fifty Sail on Newburgh Bay: Sixteen Songs of the Hudson River, recorded in 1976 by Pete Seeger and Ed Renehan.
Transcription coming right up. Words by Bill Gekle, music by Pete Seeger.

(Words by Bill Gekle, music by Pete Seeger)

Autumn burned in the Ulster Hills,
Before the British came,
The elms and maples smoldered there
The oaks were yellow flame.

The fields were empty, barns were full,
Wrapped in October haze,
While British ships up-river sailed,
All through the golden days.

As in a dream, the white-sailed ships
Past the lowlands glide,
All quiet now, as if in peace,
Northward on the tide.

Two thousand men aboard the ships
Gaze at the golden shore,
They dream of making homes and farms
Instead of making war.

This was a land they could have loved
And shared its homes and farms,
This was a land they could have had
Without resource to arms.

But Kingston was burned in the Ulster Hills,
Every house but one,
And it burned in the hearts of Ulster men,
Until the war was won.

Didn't find the individual cut, but the entire album is here:"Burning" is the second song on the album. You'll notice that Seeger uses slightly different lyrics.