The Taxed Tea

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   In 1773 this song appeared in response to the incident known as the Boston Tea Party. The colonists objected to the tax imposed on the importation of tea into the colonies, while the tax on the exportation of it had been rescinded. In cities all along the eastern seaboard shiploads were either simply refused permission to unload their cargoes, or it was destroyed. In Boston, on 16 December, 1773, upwards of 8,000 people disguised themselves as Mohawk Indians and boarded the ship, Dartmouth. They broke open 342 chests of tea and dumped their contents into Boston Harbor.

   This song was published soon after the Boston Tea Party in the Pennsylvania Packet under the name of A New Song, but it became known as The Taxed Tea. The song was said to have been sung to the tune of Hozierís Ghost.

As near beauteous Boston lying, On the gently swelling flood,
Without jack or pendant flying, Three ill-fated tea-ships rode.
Just as glorious Sol was setting, On the wharf, a numerous crew,
Sons of freedom, fear forgetting, Suddenly appeared in view.
Armed with hammers, axe and chisels, Weapons new for warlike deed,
Towards the herbage-freighted vessels, They approached with dreadful speed.
O'er their heads aloft in mid-sky, Three bright angel forms were seen;
This was Hampden, that was Sidney, With fair Liberty between.
"Soon," they cried, "your foes youíll banish, Soon the triumph will be won;
Scarce shall setting Phoebus vanish, Ere the deathless deeds be done."
Quick as thought the ships were boarded, Hatches burst and chests displayed;
Axes, hammers help afforded; What a glorious crash they made.
Squash into the deep descended, Cursed weed of China's coast; Thus at once our fears were ended; British rights shall ne'er be lost.
Captains! once more hoist your streamers, Spread your sails, and plough the wave;
Tell your masters they were dreamers, When they thought to cheat the brave.


   Note: The midi file that is linked to this page was sequenced by ----- -----, and included in the Mudcat Cafe website, located at: