Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Noble Lads of Canada
COME, all you British heroes, I pray you lend your ears,
Draw up your reg’lar forces, and then your volunteers;
We’re going to fight the Yankee boys, by water and by land,
And we never will return until we conquer, sword in hand.
              We’re the noble lads of Canada:        5
                    Come to arms, boys, come!
O! now the time has come, my boys, to cross the Yankee line,
We remember they were rebels once, and conquer’d John Burgoyne.
We’ll subdue those mighty Democrats, and pull their dwellings down,
And we’ll have the States inhabited with subjects to the crown.
              We’re the noble lads, &c.
We’ve as choice a British army as ever cross’d the seas;
We’ll burn both town and city, and with smoke becloud the trees;
We’ll subdue the old Green Mountain Boys, their Washington is gone,
And we’ll play them “Yankee Doodle,” as the Yankees did Burgoyne.
              We’re the noble lads, &c.
Now we’ve reach’d the Plattsburg banks, my boys, and here we’ll make a stand:        15
Until we take the Yankee fleet Macdonough doth command;
We’ve the Growler and the Eagle, that from Smith we took away,
And we’ll have their noble fleet, that lies anchor’d in the bay.
              We’re the noble lads, &c.
O! our fleet is hove in view, my boys, the cannons loudly roar,
With death upon our cannon balls, we’ll drench their decks with gore,        20
We’ve a water craft sufficient for to sink them in an hour;
But our orders are to board ’em, and the Yankee flag to lower.
              We’re the noble lads, &c.
O! what bitter groans and sighing we hear on board the fleet,
Whilst Macdonough’s cocks are crowing, boys, I fear we shall get beat;
If we lose the cause by sea, my boys, we’ll make a quick return,        25
For as sure as ever hell is hell, we’ll all be like Burgoyne.
          We’re the noble lads of Canada,
                    Stand at arms, boys, stand.
Now the battle’s growing hot, my boys, I don’t know how ’twill turn,
While Macdonough’s boats on swivels hung continually do burn.        30
We see such constant flashing that the smoke beclouds the day,
And our larger boats they’ve struck, and our smaller run away.
              O we’ve got too far from Canada,
                    Run for life, boys, run.
O Prevost he sigh’d aloud, and to his officers he said,        35
“I wish the devil and those Yankees could but sail along side;
For the tars of France and England can’t stand before them well,
And I think they’d flog the devil and drive him back to hell.”
              O! we’ve got too far, &c.
Now prepare for your retreat, my boys, make all the speed you can;
The Yankees are surrounding us, we’re slaughter’d every man;        40
Behind the hedges and the ditches, and the trees, and every stump,
You can see the sons of bitches,—the cursed Yankees, jump.
              O! we’ve got too far, &c.
Now we’ve reach’d the Chazy heights, my boys, we’ll make a short delay,
For to rest our weary limbs, and to feed our beasts on hay;
Soon Macdonough’s cocks began to crow, they heard ’em at Stark’s farm,        45
And the report throughout the camp, was a general alarm.
              O! we’ve got too far, &c.
O Prevost he sigh’d aloud, and to his officers did say,
“The Yankee troops have hove in sight, and hell will he to pay,
Shall we fight like men of courage and let the best be done,
When we know they will flog us two to one? I think we’d better run.
              O! we’ve gone too far, &c.
Now if I ever reach Quebec alive, I’ll surely stay at home;
For Macdonough’s gain’d the victory, the devil fight Macomb;
I had rather fight a thousand troops, good as e’er cross’d the seas,
Than fifty of those Yankee boys behind the stumps and trees.
              O! we’ve got too far, &c.
They told us that the Federalists were friendly to the crown,        55
They’d join our Royal Army and the Democrats pull down;
But they all unite together as a band of brothers round;
They will fight for Independence till they die upon the ground.
              O! we’ve got too far, &c.
The old seventy-sixers sally forth, upon their crutches they do lean,
With their rifles levell’d on us, thro’ their specs they aim quite keen,        60
And there’s no retreat to those, my boys, who’d rather die than run,
So we make no doubt but these are they who conquer’d John Burgoyne,
              When he got too far, &c.
Now we’ve reach’d the British ground, my boys, we’ll have a day of rest,
And I wish my soul that I could say t’would be a day so blest,
But I’ve left so many troops behind, hard after me to come,        65
And if I ever fight the Yankees more, it shall surely be at home.”
            Now we’ve all got back to Canada—
                Stay at home, boys, stay.
Here’s a health to all the British troops, likewise to George Prevost;
And to our respective families, and the girls that we love most.        70
To Macdonough and Macomb, and every Yankee boy.
Now fill up your tumblers full, for I never was so dry
            Now we’ve all got back to Canada,
                Stay at home, boys, stay.

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