Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Constitution and Guerriere—1812
 
      I OFTEN have been told,
      That the British seamen bold
Could beat the tars of France, neat and handy, O;
      But they never found their match,
      Till the Yankees did them catch—        5
For the Yankee tars for fighting are the dandy, O!
 
      O, the Guerriere so bold,
      On the foaming ocean roll’d,
Commanded by Dacres the grandee, O!
      With as choice a British crew        10
      As a rammer ever drew,
They could beat the Frenchmen two to one, so handy, O!
 
      When this frigate hove in view,
      “O,” said Dacres to his crew,
“Prepare ye for action and be handy, O:        15
      On the weather-gauge we’ll get her,
      And to make the men fight better
We will give to them gunpowder and good brandy, O.”
 
      Now this boasting Briton cries,
      “Make that Yankee ship your prize,        20
You can in thirty minutes do it handy, O:
      Or in twenty-five I’m sure;
      If you’ll do it in a score,
I’ll give you a double share of good brandy, O.
 
      When prisoners we’ve made them,        25
      With switchel we will treat them;
We’ll welcome them with Yankee Doodle Dandy, O:
      O, the British balls flew hot,
      But the Yankees answered not,
Until they got a distance that was handy, O.        30
 
      “O,” cries Hull unto his crew,
      “We will try what we can do:
If we beat those boasting Britons we’re the dandy, O.”
      The first broadside we pour’d
      Brought the mizen by the board,        35
Which doused the royal ensign quite handy, O.
 
      O, Dacres he did sigh,
      And to his officers did cry,
O! I didn’t think the Yankees were so handy, O.
      The second told so well,        40
      That the fore and main-mast fell,
That made this lofty frigate look quite dandy, O.
 
      O! says Dacres, we’re undone:
      So he fires a lee gun,
And the drummers struck up Yankee Doodle Dandy, O.        45
      When Dacres came on board,
      To deliver up his sword,
He was loth to part with it, it look’d so handy, O.
 
      “You may keep it,” says brave Hull;
      “What makes you look so dull?        50
Cheer up and take a glass of good brandy, O.”
      O, Britons now be still,
      Since we’ve hook’d you in the gill:
Don’t boast upon your Dacres, the grandee, O.
 
      Come, fill your glasses full,        55
      And we’ll drink to Captain Hull,
And so merrily we’ll push about the brandy, O.
      John Bull may toast his fill,
      Let the world say what it will,
But the Yankee boys for fighting are the dandy, O.        60
 
 
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