Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
French Claim
 
Tune—“King and Countryman”

THERE was an old king in the French country,
  A flaw in his treaty the deputies found:
’Twas all about twenty-five millions of francs,
  Which he had agreed to pay Jonathan down.
  Ri tu, di nu, di nu, di nu, ri tu, di ni nu, ri ni, di nu, ri na.        5
 
And when the time it had come round,
  That he should the money to Jonathan pass,
To hand over the deputies wasn’t inclined,
  And they said, “They’d be shot if they’d furnish the brass.”
        Ri tu, &c.
 
They even went so far as to hint        10
  That the king, himself, was concern’d in the job:
And they’d no doubt, if the money was paid,
  ’Twould half of it rest in his majesty’s fob.
        Ri tu, &c.
 
And when the news to Jonathan came,
  As you well may suppose, he was desperate mad;        15
For, says he, when a fellow has made a fair trade,
  To “dodge the question” was rather too bad.
        Ri tu, &c.
 
The more he thought on’t, the madder he grew,
  Until he vow’d by the great horn spoon,
Unless they did the thing that was right,        20
  He’d give them a licking, and that pretty soon.
        Ri tu, &c.
 
Now when they saw Jonathan’s dander was up,
  They thought it was best a new course to take;
And they said, “They’d pay the bill, interest and all,
  If Jonathan an apology would make.”
        Ri tu, &c.
        25
 
Now, when these new terms to Jonathan came,
  He vow’d up and down that he never would do it;
And I don’t think that there’s any one here,
  But would sooner lose all than he shouldn’t stick to it.
        Ri tu, &c.
 
Such “tarnation” ninnies they never would be,        30
  In such a bad cause their blood to spill:
If they are, I can tell ’em, betwixt you and me,
  When the Yankees get fighting, they “go it to kill.”
        Ri tu, &c.
 
Now, if they don’t do the thing that is right,
  They’ll find themselves in a pretty hubbub:        35
For if we don’t get justice without,
  We’ll face the chaps with a hickory club.
        Ri tu, &c.
 
And now, Mr. King of the French country,
  Without any nonsense I’ll say what I mean—
“If you only just knew what ‘critturs’ we be,        40
  You’d just as leave fight an Infernal Machine.”
        Ri tu, &c.
 
 
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