DEP033 Here We’ll Stand

Here We’ll Stand (2012)

The War of 1812 the struggle that forged two nations

Jefferson and Liberty
Loyal She Remains
Rebecca’s Lament
Constitution and Guierirre / Shannon and Cheasapeake
The Gullible Americans
The Ballad of Ned Meyers
Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie
Our Vanquished Hero
The Burlington Races
Here We’ll Stand
The Star-Spangled Banner
Jackson’s Victory
Why Do They Have to Burn

Here We'll Stand (2012)
Here We'll Stand (2012)
The War of 1812 the struggle that forged two nations. Four different covers are available for this CD.

Yellow
Price: $15.00

Here We'll Stand (2012)
Here We'll Stand (2012)
The War of 1812 the struggle that forged two nations. Four different covers are available for this CD.

Red
Price: $15.00

Here We'll Stand (2012)
Here We'll Stand (2012)
The War of 1812 the struggle that forged two nations. Four different covers are available for this CD.

Green
Price: $15.00

Here We'll Stand (2012)
Here We'll Stand (2012)
The War of 1812 the struggle that forged two nations. Four different covers are available for this CD.

Blue
Price: $15.00

Liner Notes

The songs on this recording are centered on the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, a struggle between the young United States and Great Britain for the riches of North America. Caught in the middle were native peoples, whose land and culture were forever changing with the influx of settlers from the cities of the east coast. Also, American land speculators looked longingly north of the border to the fertile lands of Upper Canada, now the province of Ontario, to continue the “American experiment of democracy.”

The stage is set with Jefferson and Liberty, which is a traditional American song from the campaign and election of 1800 and followed quickly by Loyal She Remains (Alex Sinclair), giving the Canadian or loyalist perspective. Then Rebecca’s Lament (James Keeleghan) speaks about the American frontier and the intermingling of pioneer and native peoples.

The war starts with The Constitution and Guerriere, written by the victorious American sailors who fought on “Old Ironsides” in the mid-Atlantic in August of 1812. In The Shannon and Chesapeake, the British returned the favor the following May off of Boston Harbor. The Gullible Americans chronicles the loss of Michigan territory in the first two months of the war from the perspective of a British officer. The tales continue in Lee’s own song, The Ballad of Ned Meyers, about surviving the loss of the USS Scourge in Lake Ontario in a sudden storm in August of 1813. The rollicking tune, Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie, describes the major sea battle and American victory on Lake Erie on September 10, 1813 between the British fleet and the Americans under Commodore Oliver H. Perry.

Our Vanquished Hero is a life song about the great Shawnee leader, Tecumseh, who commanded Indian warriors allied with the British forces. It was written to a melody derived from a Winnebago warrior song. In this piece, we hear the sequence of events that marked the life and death of this amazing political and military mind and those who followed him. The Burlington Races follows and describes the last major encounter between the American and British fleets on Lake Ontario, which ended in neither side able to claim victory. This indecision proved decisive after the war, leaving the border unchanged.

Then we move to the east coast in 1814, where the full power of the British war machine is unleashed on North American ports after the defeat of Napoleon in Europe the previous year. Here We’ll Stand, is a riveting account of the defense of Baltimore in the wake of the burning of Washington D.C. Then the full version of Francis Scott Key’s The Star Spangled Banner, is performed unaccompanied and reminiscent of what could have been heard in some Chesapeake Bay tavern. The war ends with a fiddle tune, Jackson’s Victory, composed shortly after the Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815. (Jimmy Driftwood used this tune for his hit song, The Battle of New Orleans.)

This album closes with an original song by Lee, Why Do They Have To Burn, about the power of words and a call for a return to civil discourse, certainly a worthy pursuit after a conflict of any type, military or political. It is a fitting end that is a celebration of 200 years of peace between two countries with the longest unfortified border on Earth.

Lyrics

Jefferson and Liberty

Jefferson and Liberty
(traditional, circa 1800)
A song from the election of 1800, when Thomas Jefferson defeated Aaron Burr for the presidency of the United States, the final decision made by the House of Representatives. Aside from being the first political campaign song, these lyrics give us a sense of the time and perspective of this new experiment in government.

Rejoice, Columbia’s sons rejoice:
To tyrants never bend a knee:
But join with heart and soul and voice,
For Jefferson and Liberty.

Here strangers from a thousand shores compelled by tyranny to roam,
Shall find amidst abundant stores a nobler and a happier home.

Rejoice, Columbia’s sons…

Here Art shall lift her laurelled head, Wealth, Industry and Peace diivine;
And where dark, pathless forests spread, rich fields and lofty cities shine.

Rejoice, Columbia’s sons…

Loyal She Remains

Loyal She Remains
(Alex Sinclair © 1986 SOCAN )

The loyalists fled the United States after the Revolutionary War to lands still within the British Empire. Those included Bermuda off of the east coast and north to what was known as Upper Canada at the time, now the province of Ontario. The close proximity of those loyal to the King of England and those on the American frontier, sometimes separated by just a river, provided fodder for misunderstandings that would later escalate to armed conflict.

We came overland from Albany, Yankee rebels on our heels,
Stole a boat in Sacketts Harbor then we headed for Presque Isle.
Settled hard by from Kingston, safe from revolution’s flames,
It’s loyal she began, boys, and loyal she remains.

Loyal she began, boys, and loyal she remains
Content to live our lives in peace beneath a monarch’s reign.
Let the rebels rot with all of their ill-gotten gains,
It’s loyal she began, boys, and loyal she remains.

We saw the writing on the wall right after Valley Forge,
When the rebels stood for Washington, we held for old King George.
Kinfolk turned on kin, blood like water in the veins,
It’s loyal she began, boys, and loyal she remains.

Loyal she began, boys, and loyal she remains
Content to live our lives in peace beneath a monarch’s reign.
Let the rebels rot with all of their ill-gotten gains,
It’s loyal she began, boys, and loyal she remains.

We lost our farms, we lost our friends, but we never lost our pride
No amount of traitor gold could lure us to a traitor’s side.
A peoples’ honor blemished once will never lose the stain,
It’s loyal she began, boys, and loyal she remains.

Loyal she began …

Here We'll Stand

Here We’ll Stand
(Lee Murdock © 2012 BMI)
The defense of the port of Baltimore, near the north end Joshua Barney, an American Revolutionary War naval land commander, put Washington DC to the torch amid very little resistance, which created panic throughout the Maryland countryside. Baltimore was next. By merchants, militia and American forces, that the British attack was thwarted, sending Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, commander of British Naval forces in North next move.

“Washington’s burning” the outrider cried.
And we stood there amazed and ashamed
So a call out to arms spread across the countryside,
The defense of our harbor would not be denied,
Pressing their canvas up Chesapeake Bay.

But here we’ll stand, shovels in hand.
We are digging for freedom and hope in
Old Baltimore, today.

There was always a chance that this day would come,
Those Chesapeake schooners could always outrun
His Majesty’s robust blockade
And Commodore Barney’s Flotilla delayed
Any British landing the previous year
But Admiral Cochrane was well known to bear
Contempt and rancor for
Those privateer heroes of old Baltimore.

So here we’ll stand, guns at hand. guns at hand.
We are fighting for our homes and livelihood in
Old Baltimore, today.

By the time that our cannon’s alarm it did sound town
We were sixteen thousand strong
With one hundred thirty guns in place all along
The heights and the harbor front, and the point at Whetstone,
Fort McHenry stood proud our defensive backbone.
Then at dusk came the rumbling roar
Of the British bombardment of old Baltimore.

And here we’ll stand, our hearts in hand.
We are hoping for the chance to return fire for
Old Baltimore, today.

Those Congreve rockets, they made quite a sight
As the mortars exploded overhead in the night.
Those British bombers were anchored just beyond our range
We had to sit tight maybe something could change.
We took quite a pounding all the next day
But by mid-afternoon those British ships got underway
And well within range of the guns of Baltimore.

Still here we’ll stand, powder at hand.
We are waiting for the signal to fire from
Old Baltimore, today.

Then the whole harbor shook as our cannons roared
Which made Admiral Cochrane dismayed
As his plans for the capture of Baltimore frayed.
And all through that evening and into the night
We kept up the barrage and by dawn’s early light
All calm had been restored
With the British departing from old Baltimore.

Now here we stand, our hats in hand.
We are cheeing for the Stars and Stripes flying
Over Baltimore, today.

The Star-Spangled Banner

The Star-Spangled Banner
(Francis Scott Key, 1814 Originally written as a poem, )
Not much needs to be mentioned here about this song. I know that my mother, when she was a little girl, remembered the national discussion of an anthem for our country. She preferred “America the Beautiful.” I all of these verses, penned by Francis Scott Key, in The Book of Navy Songs, collected and edited by the Trident Society of the US Naval Academy and published in 1935, I am having second thoughts. Just a note on the lyrics in the third verse: I changed the words from “No refuge could save the hireling or slave” to “No refuge could save the hirelings who slave.” Sorry, Frank, but I had to do this.

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air
Oh, say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes.
What is that which the breeze o’er the towering steep
As it fitully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the Star Spangled Banner, Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country shall leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul foot-step’s
No refuge could save the hirelings who slave
And the Star Spangled Banner, in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation;
Blessed with victory and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must for our cause it is just
And this be our motto – In God is our trust;;
And the Star Spangled Banner, in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Rebecca's Lament

Rebecca’s Lament
(James Keelaghan © 1989 CAPAC)
In 1795 a treaty between the US and a number of Indian tribes was signed at Greenville, Ohio in the aftermath of the Battle of Fallen Timbers. This treaty opened up large tracts of land north of the Ohio River to settlement. Many folks moved into those fertile valleys shortly thereafter. The daughter of a missionary, her name Rebecca Galloway, lived near Chillocothe, the Shawnee village in south Central Ohio, and developed a relationship with the one of their leaders, Tecumseh. Things got out of hand when he proposed marriage in the Native American way, upon where she was quoted as saying, “I would be proud to be your wife provided you lived the life of a white man.” Alas, he returned to his village and she never saw him again.

The last time I saw him, he’d been swallowed by the wood.
I’d have followed if I could, he’d have stayed had he wanted.
Had he the desire, or had I the will, I would be with him still, but instead he just haunts me.
I knew when he faded I’d ne’er see him again,
His laughter’s embrace would no more me surround.
The chill that went through me is the chill wind that blows
Through the soft midnight stillness of Chillicothe-town.