Hearts Of Oak

Click this icon to hear Hearts Of Oak if it does not automatically play.
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   The song, Hearts Of Oak, was written by Dr. William Boyce in 1759. It was composed for inclusion in a ballad opera.

   The tune was later used for the music of The Liberty Song and its subsequent The Parody.

   One version of the song, supposedly written by Dr. Boyce included the following lyrics.

The Scotch politicians have laid a deep scheme, By invading America to bring Charlie in;
And if the Scotch mist's not remov'd from the throne, The crown's not worth wearing, the kingdom's undone.
The placemen, and commoners, have taken a bribe To betray their own country, and the empire beside;
And though the colonies stand condemned by some, There are non rebels here, but are traitors at home.
The arbitrary minister, he acts as he please, He wounds our constitution, and breaks through our laws;
His troops they are landed, his ships they are moor'd, But boys all stand together, they will fall by the sword.
The great Magna Charta is wounded severe; By accounts from the doctors, 'tis almost past cure.
Let's defend it with the sword, or die with the braves, For we had better die in freedom, than live and be slaves.
They tax us contrary to reason and right, Expecting that we are not able to fight;
But to draw their troop home, I do think would be best, For Providence always defends the oppress'd.
The valiant Bostonians have enter'd the field, And declare they will fall there before they will yield;
A noble example! In them we'll confide, We'll march to their town, stand or fall by their side.
An union through the colonies will ever remain, And ministerial taxation will be but in vain,
For we are all resolved to die or be free; So they may repeal the acts, for repeal'd they must be.

   One version of the song, with words by David Garrick, includes the following lyrics.

Come cheer up my lads, It's to glory we steer,
To add something more To this wonderful year.
To honour we call you, As free men, not slaves,
For who are so free As the sons of the waves.
Chorus: Heart of oak are our ships, Heart of oak are our men,
We always are ready, Steady, boys, steady, We'll fight and we'll conquer, Again and again.
Our worthy forefathers, Let's give them a cheer,
To climates unknown Did courageously steer.
Through oceans to deserts, For freedom they came,
And dying, bequeathed us Their freedom and fame.

   Another version, the one sung by cadets of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps, includes the following lyrics.

Come cheer up, my lads 'tis to glory we steer, To add something new to this wonderful year;
Tis to honour we call you, as free men, not slaves For who are so free as the sons of the waves?
Chorus: Heart of oak are our ships, Jolly tars our men
We always are ready, Steady, boys, steady,
We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again.
We never see our foes but we wish them to stay; They always see us and they wish us away.
If they run, why, we follow and drive them on shore For if they won't fight us we cannot do more.
They say they'll invade us, these terrible foes; They'll frighten our women, our children, our beaus.
But if they in their flat bottoms should chance to come o'er, Stout Britons they'll find to defeat them on shore.
Britain triumphant, her ships sail the seas, Her standard be justice, her watchward be free,
So come cheer up my lads, with one heart let us sing, Our soldiers, our sailors our statesmen, our Queen.


   Note: The midi file that is linked to this page was sequenced by an unknown musician, for the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps, whose website is located at: http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Bunker/5103/