Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Hunters of Kentucky
YE gentlemen and ladies fair,
  Who grace this famous city,
Just listen, if you’ve time to spare,
  While I rehearse a ditty;
And for the opportunity        5
  Conceive yourselves quite lucky,
For ’tis not often that you see
  A hunter from Kentucky:
      O! Kentucky,
    The hunters of Kentucky.        10
We are a hardy free-born race,
  Each man to fear a stranger;
Whate’er the game, we join in chase,
  Despising toil and danger:
And if a daring foe annoys,        15
  Whate’er his strength or force is,
We’ll show him that Kentucky boys
  Are alligators,—horses:
      O! Kentucky, &c.
I s’pose you’ve read it in the prints,
  How Packenham attempted        20
To make Old Hickory Jackson wince,
  But soon his schemes repented;
For we, with rifles ready cock’d,
  Thought such occasion lucky,
And soon around the general flock’d        25
  The hunters of Kentucky:
      O! Kentucky, &c.
I s’pose you’ve heard how New Orleans
  Is famed for wealth and beauty;
There’s gals of every hue, it seems,
  From snowy white to sooty:        30
So, Packenham he made his brags
  If he in fight was lucky,
He’d have their gals and cotton bags,
  In spite of Old Kentucky:
      O! Kentucky, &c.
But Jackson he was wide awake,        35
  And wasn’t scared at trifles,
For well he knew what aim we take
  With our Kentucky rifles;
So, he led us down to Cypress Swamp,
  The ground was low and mucky;        40
There stood John Bull in martial pomp—
  But here was Old Kentucky:
      O! Kentucky, &c.
We raised a bank to hide our breasts,
  Not that we thought of dying,
But then we always like to rest,        45
  Unless the game is flying:
Behind it stood our little force—
  None wish’d it to be greater,
For every man was half a horse
  And half an alligator:
      O! Kentucky, &c.
They didn’t let our patience tire
  Before they show’d their faces;
We didn’t choose to waste our fire,
  But snugly kept our places;
And when so near we saw them wink,        55
  We thought it time to stop ’em,
It would have done you good, I think,
  To see Kentuckians drop ’em:
      O! Kentucky, &c.
They found, at length, ’twas vain to fight,
  When lead was all their booty,        60
And so, they wisely took to flight,
  And left us all the beauty.
And now, if danger e’er annoys,
  Remember what our trade is;
Just send for us Kentucky boys,        65
  And we’ll protect you, ladies:
      O! Kentucky, &c.

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