Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
A Song for the Sons of Liberty
By Benjamin Young Prime (1733–1791)
 
Written about the year 1768

          IN story we’re told,
          How our fathers of old
Braved the rage of the wind and the waves;
          And cross’d the deep o’er,
          To this desolate shore,        5
All because they were loath to be slaves, brave boys!
All because they were loath to be slaves.
 
          Yet a strange scheme of late,
          Has been formed in the state,
By a knot of political knaves;        10
          Who in secret rejoice,
          That the Parliament’s voice
Has resolved that we all shall be slaves, brave boys! &c.
 
          But if we should obey,
          This vile statute the way        15
To more base future slavery paves;
          Nor in spite of our pain,
          Must we ever complain,
If we tamely submit to be slaves, brave boys! &c.
 
          Counteract, then, we must        20
          A decree so unjust,
Which our wise constitution depraves;
          And all nature conspires
          To approve our desires,
For she cautions us not to be slaves, brave boys! &c.        25
 
          As the sun’s lucid ray
          To all nations gives day,
And a world from obscurity saves;
          So all happy and free,
          George’s subjects should be,        30
Then Americans must not be slaves, brave boys! &c.
 
          Heaven only controls
          The great deep as it rolls,
And the tide which our broad country laves
          Emphatical roars        35
          This advice to our shores,
“O! Americans, never be slaves,” brave boys! &c.
 
          Hark! the wind, as it flies,
          Though o’erruled by the skies,
While it each meaner obstacle braves,        40
          Seems to say, “Be like me,
          Always loyally free,
But ah! never consent to be slaves,” brave boys! &c.
 
          To our monarch, we know,
          Due allegiance we owe,        45
Who the sceptre so rightfully waves;
          But no sovereign we own,
          But the king on his throne,
And we cannot, to subjects, be slaves, brave boys! &c.
 
          Though fools stupidly tell        50
          That we mean to rebel,
Yet all each American craves,
          Is but to be free,
          As we surely must be,
For we never were born to be slaves, brave boys! &c.        55
 
          But whoever, in spite
          At American right,
Like insolent Haman behaves;
          Or would wish to grow great
          On the spoils of the state,        60
May he and his children be slaves, brave boys! &c.
 
          Though against the repeal,
          With intemperate zeal,
Proud Granville so brutishly raves;
          Yet our conduct shall show;        65
          And our enemies know,
That Americans scorn to be slaves, brave boys! &c.
 
          With the beasts of the wood,
          We will ramble for food,
We will lodge in wild deserts and caves;        70
          And live poor as Job,
          On the skirts of the globe,
Before we’ll submit to be slaves, brave boys! &c.
 
          The birth-right we hold
          Shall never be sold,        75
But sacred maintain’d to our graves;
          And before we’ll comply,
          We will gallantly die,
For we must not, we will not be slaves, brave boys! &c.
 
 
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