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Variously known as A New War Song By Sir Peter Parker, this song was published in 1777 by Commodore Sir Peter Parker. It was written in commemoration of the 1776 assault on Fort Moultrie, located on Sullivan's Island defending Charleston, South Carolina. Parker commanded the British fleet from his ship, Bristol, and was wounded in the thigh during the fight.
The folksinger, Oscar Brand, in his book Songs Of '76, titled this song "Peter Parker" (but then, Mr. Brand copyrighted the song as "new music and edited text"), so whether or not the song was known by that simplified title in the 1770s and 80s is not known.
The verses were set to the tune of a ballad titled: Well Met, Brother Tar.
Some sources add the phrase: Ri tu den dio, ri tu den di ay to the end of each stanza and append each stanza's last segment to each such additional ending. Other sources add the phrase: Timialderry-o, Timialderry-day.
My lords with your leave, An account I will give, That deserves to be written in metre:
For the rebels and I, Have been pretty nigh, Faith almost too nigh for Sir Peter.
With much labor and toil, Unto Sullivan's Isle, I came firm as Falstaff or Pistol,
But the Yankees, God rot 'em, I could not get at 'em: They most terribly maul’d my poor Bristol.
Bold Clinton by land, Did quietly stand, While I made a thundering clatter;
But the channel was deep, So he only could peep, And not venture over the water.
De’el take ‘em, their shot Came so swift and so hot, And the cowardly dogs stood so stiff, sirs!
That I put ship about, And was glad to get out, Or they would not have left me a skiff, sirs!
Now bold as a Turk, I proceed to New York, Where with Clinton and Howe you may find me.
I've the wind in my tail, And I'm hoisting my sail, To leave Sullivan's Island behind me.
But my Lords, do not fear, For before the next year, Although a small island could fret us, The Continent whole, We shall take, by my soul, If the cowardly Yankees will let us.
Note: The midi file that is linked to this page was sequenced by Lesley Nelson-Burns, and included in her website, located at: http://www.contemplator.com/intro.html