Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
American Perry—1813
 
Tune—“Abraham Newland”

BOLD Barclay, one day, to Proctor did say,
  “I’m tired of Jamaica and Sherry;
So let us go down to that new floating town,
  And get some American Perry—
      O, cheap American Perry!        5
      Most pleasant American Perry!
We need only all bear down, knock, and call,
  And we’ll have the American Perry.
 
“The landlady’s kind, weak, simple, and blind;
  We’ll soon be triumphantly merry!        10
We’ve cash in the locker, and custom shall shock her,
  And we’ll soon get a taste of her Perry—
      O, American Perry!
      The sparkling American Perry!
No trouble we’ll find, your orders to mind,        15
  So away for American Perry.”
 
All ready for play, they got under way,
  With heart and hand right voluntary:
But when they came there, they quickly did stare,
  At the taste of American Perry:        20
      O, the American Perry!
      Sparkling American Perry.
How great the deception, when such a reception
  They met from American Perry.
 
They thought such a change was undoubtedly strange,        25
  And rued their unlucky vagary:
Your liquor’s too hot, keep it still in the pot,
  O! cork your American Perry—
      O! this American Perry—
      Fiery American Perry:        30
In my noddle ’twill work; it’s a dose for a Turk—
  O! O! this American Perry.
 
Full surely they knew the scrape would not do;
  ’Twould ruin his majesty’s ferry:
So they tried to turn tail, with a rag of a sail,        35
  And quit this American Perry—
      O, the American Perry!
      Flushing American Perry.
But the crossing the lake was all a mistake—
  They had swallow’d so much of the Perry.        40
 
Then Barclay exclaim’d, “I cannot be blamed—
  For well I’ve defended each wherry:
My men are so drunk, and some so defunct—
  If I strike to American Perry.
      O, this American Perry!        45
      Thundering American Perry.
Such hot distillation would fuddle our nation,
  Should it taste the American Perry.”
 
The stuff did so bruise his staggering crews,
  That some with their feet were unwary;        50
While some had their brains knock’d out for their pains,
  By this shocking American Perry:
      O, American Perry!
      Outrageous American Perry!
Old, tough British tars, all covered with scars,        55
  Capsized by American Perry.
 
The Indians on shore made a horrible roar,
  And left every ground-nut and berry;
Then scamper’d away, for no relish had they
  For a dose of American Perry—        60
      O, American Perry!
      Confounding American Perry,
While General Proctor looked on like a doctor,
  At the deadly American Perry.
 
The Briton was sick, being pear’d to the quick,        65
  And his vessels were quite fragmentary;
So, scolding his luck, he prudently struck
  To a stream of American Perry—
      O, American Perry!
      Persevering American Perry!        70
A whole British fleet, ship to ship, has been beat,
  By an American commodore—“Perry!”
 
On American ground, where such spirit is found,
  Let us toast the brave “Heroes of Erie;”
And never forget those whose life-sun did set,        75
  By the side of their Commodore Perry—
      O, brave American Perry!
      Triumphant American Perry!
Let us remember the “Tenth of September,”
  When a fleet struck to Commodore Perry.        80
 
 
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