This song was written by John Stansbury, a resident of Philadelphia since his arrival in the colonies in 1767. He was popular on the social circuit of Philadelphia, but when the American Revolution began, he remained loyal to the King. He is noted for writing political songs, but ones which were humorous rather than hateful.
In early 1781, while Washington was still headquartered in the Hudson River valley, and prior to the campaign to Yorktown, Mr. Stansbury wrote this song.
Friends, push round the bottle, and let us be drinking, While Washington up in his mountains is slinking:
Good faith, if he’s wise he’ll not leave them behind him, For he knows he’s safe nowheres where Britons can find him.
When he and Fayette talk of taking this city, Their vaunting moves only our mirth and our pity.
But, though near our lines they’re too cautious to tarry, What courage they shew when a hen-roost they harry!
Who can wonder that poultry and oxen and swine Seek shelter in York from such valor divine,
While Washington’s jaws and the Frenchman’s are aching The spoil they have lost, to be boiling and baking.
Let Clinton and Arnold bring both to subjection, And send us more geese here to seek our protection.
Their flesh and their feathers shall meet a king greeting; A fat rebel turkey is excellent eating,
A lamb fat as butter, and white as a chicken These sports of tame rebels are excellent pickin’.
Then cheer up, my lads! if the prospect grows rougher, Remember from whence and for whom ‘tis you suffer:
From men whom mild laws and too happy condition Have puffed up with pride and inflamed with sedition;
For George, whose reluctance to punish offenders Has strengthened the hands of these upstart pretenders.