The Old Soldiers Of The King

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   This song was published in 1775 under the title: The King's Own Regulars And their Triumphs Over The Irregulars. A New Song to the Tune of, An Old Courtier of the Queen's, and The Queen's old Courtier .

Since you all will have singing, and won't be said, "Nay," I cannot refuse, when you so beg and you pray;
So, I'll sing you a song - as a body may say, 'Tis of the King's regulars, who ne'er run away.

Oh, the old soldiers of the King, And the King's own regulars.
At Preston Pans we met with Rebels one day, We marshall'd ouselves up in our finest array;
Our hearts were all stout, and bid our legs stay, But our feet were wrong-headed and took us away.
At Falkirk we resolv'd to be braver, And recover some credit by better behaviour;
We would not acknowledge feet had done us a favour, So feet swore they would stand, but -- legs ran, however.
No troops perform better than we at reviews, We march and we wheel, and whatever you choose;
George would see how we fight, and we never refuse, There we all fight with courage -- you may see it in the News.
To Monongahela, with fifes and with drums, We march'd in fine order, with cannons and bombs;
The great expedition cost infinite sums, But a few irregulars cut us all into crumbs.
It was not fair to shoot at us from behind trees; If they had stood open, as they ought, before our great guns,
We should have beat 'em with ease; They may fight with one another that way, if they please,
But it is not regular to stand, and fight with such rascals as these.
At Fort George and Oswego, to our great reputation, We showed our vast skills in fortification;
The French fired three guns; of the fourth they had no occasion; For we gave up those forts -- not through fear, -- but mere persuasion.
To Ticonderoga we went in a passion, Swearing to be revenged on the whole French nation;
But we soon turned tail without hesitation, Because they fought behind trees -- which is not the fashion.
Lord Loudon, he was a fine regular general they say; With a great regular army he went his way.
Against Louisburgh, to make it his prey, But return'd -- without seeing it, for he did not feel bold that day.
Grown proud at reviews, great George had no rest; Each grandsire, he had heard, a rebellion suppress'd;
He wish'd a rebellion, look'd round and saw none, So resolved a rebellion to make -- of his own.
The Yankees he bravely pitch'd on, because he though they would not fight, And so he sent us over to take away their right;
But lest they should spoil our review-clothes, he cried braver and louder: "For God's sake, brother kings, don't sell the cowards -- any powder!"
Our general with his council of war did advise How at Lexington we might the Yankees surprise;
We march'd and remarch'd -- all surpris'd at being beat; And so our wise general's plan of surprise was complete.
For fifteen miles they follow'd and pelted us, we scarce had time to pull a trigger; But did you ever know a retreat perform'd with such vigour?
For we did it in two hours, which saved us from perdition; 'Twas not in going out, but in returning, consisted our expedition.
Says our general, "We were forced to take to our arms in our own defense" (For arms read legs, and it will be both true and sense.)
"Lord Percy," says he, "I must say something of him in civility, And that is -- I can never enough praise him for his great agility."
Of their firing behind fences he makes us great pother, Ev'ry fence has two sides; they made use of one, and we only forgot to use the other.
That we turn'd our backs and ran away so fast, don't let that disgrace us; 'Twas only to make good what Sandwich said, that the Yankees could not face us.
As they could not get before us, how could they look us in the face? We took care they should not, by scampering away space.
That they had not much to brag of, is a very plain case; For if they beat us in the fight, we beat them in the race.


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