May 28, 2013

Music from the War of 1812 – “The Embargo”


A song, composed by Henry Mellen , Esq., of Dover (N.H.)
and sung there at the celebration of the Fourth of July, 1808.

(Tune - Come let us prepare .)

Dear sirs, it is wrong
To demand a new song ;
I have let all the breath I can spare go ;
With the Muse I've conferr'd,
And she wont say a word,
But keeps laughing about the Embargo .
Lest Britain should take
A few men by mistake,
Who under false colours may dare go ;
We're manning their fleet
With our Tars, who retreat
From poverty, sloth, and Embargo .

I wish that I could

Sing in Allegro mood ;
But the times are as stupid as Largo ;
Could I have my choice,
I would strain up my voice,
Till it snaps all the strings of Embargo .

What a fuss we have made

About rights and free trade,
And swore we'd not let our own share go ;
Now we can't for our souls
Bring a Hake from the shoals ,
'Tis a breach of the twentieth EMBARGO.

Our great politicians,

Those dealers in visions,
On paper to all lengths they dare go ;
But when call'd to decide,
Like a turtle they hide
In their own pretty shell , the Embargo .

Our farmers so gay,

How they gallop'd away,
'Twas money that made the old mare go,
But now she won't stir
For the whip or the spur,
Till they take off her clog , the Embargo .

In the time that we try

To put out Britain's eye ,
I fear we shall let our own pair go ;
Yet still we're so wise,
We can see with French eyes,
And then we shall like the Embargo .

If you ask for a debt,

The man turns in a pet ;
" I pay, 'Sir? I'll not let a hair go '
"If your officer comes,
"I shall put up my thumbs,
"And clap on his breath an Embargo .

A French privateer

Can have nothing to fear ;
She may load , and may here or may there go ;
Their Friendship is such,
And, we love them so much,
We let them slip thro' the Embargo .

Thus Tommy destroys

A great part of our joys ;
Yet we'll not let the beautiful fair go ;
They all will contrive,
To keep Commerce alive,
There's nothing they hate like Embargo .

Our ships, all in motion,

Once whiten'd the ocean,
They sail'd and return'd with a cargo ;
Now doom'd to decay,
The have fallen a prey
To Jefferson, worms, and Embargo .

Since rulers design,

To deprive us of wine,
'Tis best that we now have a rare go ;
Then each to his post,
and see who will do most
To know out the blocks of Embargo .

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