Digital Tradition Mirror

The Constitution and the Guerriere

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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

The Constitution and the Guerriere

It oft-times has been told, that the British seamen bold
Could flog the tars of France so neat and handy, Oh!
But they never met their match, till the Yankees did them catch
Oh, the Yankee boys for fighting are the dandy, Oh.

The Guerriere, a frigate bold, on the foaming ocean rolled
Commanded by proud Dacres, the grandee, Oh!
With as choice a British crew as ever a rammer drew
Could flog the Frenchmen two to one so handy, Oh!

When the frigate hove in view, says proud Dacres to his crew,
"Come clear the ship for action and be handy, Oh!
To the weather-gage, boys, get her." And to make his men fight better
Gave them to drink, gunpowder mixed with brandy, Oh!

Then Dacres loudly cries, "Make this Yankee ship your prize,
You can in thirty minutes, neat and handy, Oh!
Twenty-five's enough, I'm sure, and if you'll do it in a score
I'll treat you to a double share of brandy, Oh!"

The British shot flew hot, Which the Yankees answered not
Till they got within the distrance they called handy, Oh!
"Now," says Hull unto his crew, "Let us see what we can do,
If we take this boasting Briton we're the dandy, Oh!"

The first broadside we poured carried her mainmast by the board
Which made this lofty frigate look abandoned, Oh!
Then Dacres shook his head, and to his officers said,
"Lord! I didn't think those Yankees were so handy, Oh!"

Our secon told so well that their fore and mizzen fell,
Which doused the royal ensign neat and handy, Oh!
"By George!" says he, "We're done!" And they fired a lee gun
While the Yankees struck up Yankee Doodle Dandy, Oh!

Then Dacres came on board to deliver up his sword.
Tho'loth was he to part with it, it was so handy, Oh!
"Oh! Keep your sword," says Hull, "For it only makes you dull,
Cheer up, and let us have a little brandy, Oh!

Now, fill your glasses full, and we'll drink to captain hull
And so merrily we'll push around the brandy, Oh!
Johnny Bull may boast his fill, let the world say what it will,
The Yankee boys for fighting are the dandy, Oh!

DT #362
Laws A6
recorded on old Folkways 10" by Wallace House
also see Landlady of France

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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