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Ballad on the American War
 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation



1.
When Guilford good our pilot stood,
An' did our hellim thraw, man;
Ae night, at tea, began a plea,
Within America, man:
Then up they gat the maskin-pat,
And in the sea did jaw, man;
An' did nae less, in full Congress,
Than quite refuse our law, man.
2.
Then thro' the lakes Montgomery takes,
I wat he was na slaw, man;
Down Lowrie's Burn he took a turn,
And Carleton did ca', man:
But yet, whatreck, he at Quebec
Montgomery-like did fa', man,
Wi' sword in hand, before his band,
Amang his en'mies a', man.
3.
Poor Tammy Gage within a cage
Was kept at Boston-ha', man;
Till Willie Howe took o'er the knowe
For Philadelphia, man;
Wi' sword an' gun he thought a sin
Guid Christian bluid to draw, man;
But at New-York wi' knife an' fork
Sir-Loin he hacked sma', man.
4.
Burgoyne gaed up, like spur an' whip,
Till Fraser brave did fa', man;
Then lost his way, ae misty day,
In Saratoga shaw, man.
Cornwallis fought as lang's he dought,
An' did the buckskins claw, man;
But Cinton's glaive frae rust to save,
He hung it to the wa', man.
5.
Then Montague, an' Guilford too,
Began to fear a fa', man;
And Sackville doure, wha stood the stoure
The German chief to thraw, man:
For Paddy Burke, like onie Turk,
Nae mercy had at a', man;
An' Charlie Fox threw by the box,
An' lows'd his tinkler jaw, man.
6.
Then Rockingham took up the game,
Till death did on him ca', man;
When Shelburne meek held up his cheek,
Conform to gospel law, man:
Saint Stephen's boys, wi' jarring noise,
They did his measure thraw, man;
For North an' Fox united stocks,
An' bore him to the wa', man.
7.
Then clubs an' hearts were Charlie's cartes:
He swept the stakes awa', man,
Till the diamond's ace, of Indian race,
Led him a sair faux pas, man:
The Saxon lads, wi' loud placads,
On Chatham's boy did ca', man;
An' Scotland drew her pipe an' blew:
'Up Willie, waur them a', man!'
8.
Behind the throne then Granville's gone,
A secret word or twa, man;
While slee Dundas arous'd the class
Be-north the Roman wa', man: a
An' Chatham's wraith, in heav'nly graith,
(Inspired bardies saw, man),
Wi' kindling eyes, cry'd: 'Willie, rise!
Would I hae fear'd them a', man?'
9.
But, word an' blow, North, Fox, and Co.
Gowff'd Willie like a ba', man,
Till Suthron raise an' coost their claise
Behind him in a raw, man:
An' Caledon threw by the drone,
An' did her whittle draw, man;
An' swoor fu' rude, thro' dirt an' bluid,
To mak it guid in law, man.




When Guilford good our pilot stood,
And did our helm turn, man;
One night, at tea, began a plea,
Within America, man:
Then up they got the tea-pot,
And in the sea did dash, man;
And did no less, in full Congress,
Than quite refuse our law, man.

Then through the lakes Montgomery takes,
I know he was not slow, man;
Down Lowrie's River he took a turn,
And Carleton did call, man:
But yet, what matters, he at Quebec
Montgomery-like did fall, man,
With sword in hand, before his band,
Among his enemies all, man.

Poor Tommy Gage within a cage
Was kept at Boston-hall, man;
Till Willie Howe took over the hill
For Philadelphia, man;
With sword and gun he thought a sin
Good Christian blood to draw, man;
But at New York with knife and fork
Sir-Loin he hacked small, man.

Burgoyne went up, like spur and whip,
Till Fraser brave did fall, man;
Then lost his way, one misty day,
In Saratoga wood, man.
Cornwallis fought as long as he could,
And did the buckskins claw, man;
But Cinton's glove from rust to save,
He hung it to the wall, man.

Then Montague, and Guilford too,
Began to fear a fall, man;
And Sackville obstinate, who stood the fight
The German chief to thwart, man:
For Paddy Burke, like any wild person,
No mercy had at all, man;
And Charlie Fox threw by the box,
And let loose his tinker jaw, man.

Then Rockingham took up the game,
Till death did on him call, man;
When Shelburne meek held up his cheek,
Conform to gospel law, man:
Saint Stephen's boys, with jarring noise,
They did his measure thwart, man;
For North and Fox united stocks,
And bore him to the wall, man.

Then clubs and hearts were Charlie's cards:
He swept the stakes away, man,
Till the diamond's ace, of Indian race,
Led him a sore faux pas, man:
The Saxon lads, with loud cheers,
On Chatham's boy did call, man;
And Scotland drew her pipe and blew:
'Up Willie, worst them all, man!'

Behind the throne then Granville's gone,
A secret word or two, man;
While sly Dundas aroused the class
North of the Roman wall, man:
And Chatham's wraith (spectre), in heavenly garb,
(Inspired bardies saw {poets proverb}, man),
With kindling eyes, cried: 'Willie, rise!
Would I have feared them all, man?'

But, word and blow, North, Fox, and Co.
Golfed Willie like a ball, man,
Till Sathron rose and cast (off) their clothes
Behind him in a row, man:
And Caledon threw by the drone (bagpipes),
And did her blade draw, man;
And swore full rude, through dirt and blood,
To make it good in law, man.

 

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