Sung by Mary Jo Davis
May 29, 1954
Sons of freedom, listen to me,
And ye daughters too, give ear,
You a sad and mournful story,
As was ever told shall hear.
Hull, you know, his troops surrendered,
And defenseless left the west,
Then our forces, quick assembled,
The invader to resist.
Among troops that marched to Erie,
Were the Kingstown Volunteers,
Captain Thomas, then commanded,
To protect our west frontiers.
Tender were the scenes of parting,
Mothers wrung their hands and cried,
Maidens wept their sway in secret,
Fathers strove their tears to hide.
There was one among our number,
Tall and gallant was his mien,
Firm his step his look undaunted,
Scarce a nobler youth was seen.
One sweet kiss he snatched from Mary,
Craved his mother's prayer once more,
Pressed his father's hand and left them,
For Lake Erie's distant shore.
Mary tried to say, Farewell, James,
Waved her hand, but nothing spake,
Goodbye Bird, may heav'n protect you,
From the crowd, at parting break.
Soon they came to where noble Perry,
Had assembled all his fleet,
There the gallant enlisted,
Expecting soon the foe to meet.
Where is Bird, the battle rages,
Is in the strife or no,
Now the battle roars tremendous,
Dare he meet the hostile foe?
See, behold him there with Perry,
In the self same ship they fight,
Though his messmates fall all round him,
Nothing can his soul afright.
Mary Jo Davis
For M. C. Parler
Reel 189, Item 4 cont'd
Mary Jo Davis singing,
But behold, a ball has struck him,
See the crimson current flow,
Leave the deck, exclaimed brave Perry,
No, cried Bird, I will not go.
Hare on deck, I took my station,
Ne'er will Bird his colors fly,
I'll stand by you gallant captain,
'Til we conquer, or I die.
Still he fought though faint and bleeding,
Still the stars and stripes arose,
Vict'ry having crowned our efforts,
All triumphant o'er our foes.
Then did Bird receive a pension,
Was he to his friends restored,
Mo, nor never to his bosom,
Clasped the maid his heart adored.
Better if poor Bird had perished,
Midst the battles awful roar,
Than to die in shameful fashion,
On Lake Eire's distant shore.
Dearest parents, said the letter,
This will bring sad news to you,
Do not mourn your first beloved,
Though this brings his last adieu.
I must suffer for deserting,
Off the brigg at Niagree (Niagra)
Read this letter, brothers, sisters,
It's the last you'll hear from me.
Sad and gloomy was the morning,
Bird was ordered out to die,
Where's the breast, no dead to pity,
But for him would heave a sigh.
See him march and bear his fetter,
Harsh the clank upon the ear,
But his steip is firm and manly,
For his heart ne'er harbored fear.
See him kneel upon his coffin,
Sure his death can do no good,
Spare him, O God, they've shot him,
See his bosom stream with blood.
Farewell Bird, farewell forever,
Home and friends you'll see no more,
But his mangled corpse lies buried,
On Lake Erie's distant shore.
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