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Military Songs

American Revolution and Before
- Saratoga Song

General BurgoyneFollowing the British victory at Fort Ticonderoga, Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne sailed down Lake Champlain and then headed his army of 3,300 British redcoats, 3,900 Hessians, 650 Canadians an untold number of Tories, and over 1,000 Iroquois Indian allies, cross country toward Albany, New York, in an attempt to link up with General Howe, secure New York for the Crown, and cut-off New England from the rest of the colonies. 

It was a good plan, but unfortunately for Burgoyne, his large and sluggish baggage train, which included over thirty wagons of his personal clothes and nu
merous cases of champagne, had to pass Militia Obstructing the Roadsover narrow forest roads, which were barricaded by intentionally felled trees along much of the route.  This slow advance allowed the American General, Horatio Gates, to rally support of the militia throughout the New York countryside.  Additionally, General Washington sent a force north that included Colonel Daniel Morgan's  11th Virginia Regiment of sharp shooting riflemen and was led by his most able field commander, General Benedict Arnold.  The colonial militia successfully stopped the advance of Burgoyne's Iroquois allies, so by the time Burgoyne reached Virginia RiflemanFreeman's Farm at Saratoga on 19 September 1977, his force was outnumbered two to one by the Americans.

After a major skirmish at the farm in early September when the British accidentally encountered Morgan's riflemen who were clearing some woods, the British halted to lick their wounds.  Three weeks later, Burgoyne mounted a major assault at Bemis Heights.  There his Hessian and Canadian forces were routed.  Although he had no orders to do so, Arnold then engaged the British regulars led by Burgoyne's second-in-command, General Simon Fraser.  Arnold ordered Morgan to have his sharpshooters concentrate their fire on British officers, and British resistance collapsed when one round brought down General Fraser as the Continental infantry, personally led by Arnold crashed into the line of redcoats.
Arnold's Decisive Charge
The following day, Burgoyne surrendered his remaining force of approximately 5,800 men.  The British had lost an entire 9,000 man army, and the Americans had ensured that North would not again be threatened during the war.

The Saratoga Song, which was variously known as the Burgoyne Campaign, North Campaign, Gates' Song, and A Song for the Redcoats, has been attributed to a private in Colonel Brooke's Regiment.  It was written shortly after Burgoyne's surrender on 17 October 1777 and soon became a favorite of the American soldiers.  The verses of the song follow the entire course of the campaign.

Saratoga Song
(also known as the North Campaign, Gates' Song, and A Song for the Redcoats)

Come unto me, ye heroes,
And I the truth will tell
Concerning many a soldier
Who for his country fell.
Burgoyne, the King's commander
And cursed Tory crew,
With Indians and Canadians
He up the Champlain flew.

He up the Champlain flew,
He up the Champlain flew,
With Indians and Canadians
He up the Champlain flew.

Before the Ticonderoga,
Full well both night and day
Their motions we observed
Before the bloody fray;
Burgoyne sent Baum to Bennington,
With Hessians there he went,
To plunder and to murder
Was fully their intent.

Was fully their intent,
Was fully their intent,
To plunder and to murder,
Was fully their intent.

But little did they know then
With whom they had to deal.
It was not quite so easy
Our stores and stocks to steal.
Stark would give them only
A portion of his lead,
With half his crew ere sunset,
Baum lay among the dead.


The 19th of September,
The morning cool and clear,
Gates addressed the army
Each soldier's heart to cheer.
Burgoyne, he cried, advances,
But we will never fly,
But rather than surrender,
We'll fight until we die!


The Seventh of October,
They did capitulate,
Burgoyne and his proud army
We did our prisoners make.
And vain was their endeavor
Our men to terrify
Though death was all around us,
Not one of us would fly!


Now here's a health to Herkimer
And our commander Gates!
To Freedom and to Washington
Whom every Tory hates.
Likewise unto our Congress -
God grant it long to reign-
Our country, rights and justice
Forever to maintain!

To The World Turned Upside Down