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WAR OF 1812: Sailor
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Shanty Sings

Big Guns & Rockets & Pumpkin Shell Bombs

Experience the War of 1812 through the music of the era. Ship's Company Chanteymen perform songs written during and immediately after the conflict. The stunning naval victories gave hope to a young nation and inspiration to songwriters of the new republic. Patriotic: yes! Jingoistic: sometimes, but always confident in the American Way.

To order your copy, send a check for $17.00 ($15.00 & $2.00 S&H) made payable to Ships's Company to:
Ship's Company
C/O Myron Peterson
7834 Citadel Dr.
Severn MD 21144-1513

Available on iTunes/CDBaby/Amazon Soon!

  1. Hail Columbia
  2. The Embargo
  3. New Yankee Doodle
  4. Brave General Brock
  5. Ye Parliament of England
  6. A Dirge
  7. The Pillar of Glory
  8. Perry's Victory
  9. Charge the Can Cheerily
  10. The Banks of Champlain
  11. MacDonough's Victory
  12. The Defense of Fort McHenry (Star-Spangled Banner)
  13. Johnny Bull, My Jo, John
  14. The Battle of New Orleans

Liner Notes

Hail Columbia (4:11) The unofficial national anthem for most of the 19th Century was composed by Philip Phile in 1789 as "The President’s March" for George Washington’s first inauguration. Joseph Hopkinson added the lyrics in 1798. It is currently used as the entrance march for the Vice President
(Vocals: R Cosgrove, M Peterson, D Valley, S Winick)

The Embargo (2:38) The continuing war between England and Napoleonic France led each of those countries to place sever restrictions on foreign trade. Both claimed that a vessel had to make port first in their country and pay duties before proceeding to the other. As a result, American vessels were seized and their cargoes confiscated. In response to this, President Thomas Jefferson declared an Embargo on all foreign trade. The domestic market could not use all of the vast produce and raw materials available. These goods now rotted in warehouses while the American ships that once carried them lay idle in port.
Composed by Henry Mellen, Esq. and sung to a Masonic song "Come Let Us Prepare."
(Vocals: R Cosgrove, M Peterson, D Valley, S Winick)

New Yankee Doodle (1:46) Early in the war it was the fledgling American Navy that enjoyed stunning victories over the much larger and more experienced Royal Navy. Captains Steven Decatur, Jacob Jones and Isaac Hull became household names. The American Tar was now the darling of the people. A newspaper account describing the celebrations given to Capt Decatur and the crew of the USS United States upon their return to New York with the captured HMS Macedonian remarked on the song Yankee Doodle, that "it was good to hear the old songs once again."
(Vocals: S Lampredi (lead) , M Peterson, D Valley, S Winick)

Brave General Brock (1:59) Also known as "Come all ye bold Canadians" and "The Bold Canadian". It is believed that Cornelius Flummerfelt, a private from the Third York Militia's First Flank Company wrote the lines while marching in the Detroit campaign or on the way back to York in late 1812. The song was passed down in oral traditions with Different versions evolving. The Niagara Historical Society first published part of the song in 1907 by in a pamphlet about Isaac Brock. Full versions of the song were not published until 1927 when the Ontario Historical Society published two different versions of the song.
(Vocals: S Winick / Guitar: C Williams)

Ye Parliament of England (3:28) This song gives dire warning to England about contesting "Free Trade and Sailors’ Rights."
(Vocals: L Deutsch)

A Dirge (2:33) The death of Captain James Lawrence was deeply felt by the American people. We had lost a hero but gained a rallying cry. Mortally wounded, Capt. Lawrence uttered these last words to his overwhelmed sailors as he was carried below – "Don’t give up the ship!" These words were emblazoned on the battle standard of Captain Oliver Hazard Perry when he met and defeated the British fleet in the battle of Put-in Bay on Lake Erie in September 1813.
The tune was composed by Ignace Pleyel around 1793 (Pleyel’s Hymn).
(Vocals: L Deutsch, R Cosgrove, M Peterson, D Valley, S Winick / Organ: J Cutting)

The Pillar of Glory (5:53) Written by Edwin C. Holland of Charleston SC, and touted as "a Naval Song" it won a competition and was soon sung in parlors, concert halls and at other public gatherings.
Published in the Portfolio in November of 1813
(Vocals: L Deutsch / Pianoforte: J O’Brien)

Perry’s Victory (3:48) Control of the great lakes meant control of the territory surrounding them. Both sides raced to build ships. On 10 September 1813 the fleets met in action near Put In Bay Ohio. Capt Oliver Hazard Perry emblazoned the dying words of James Lawrence onto a flag to inspire his men. It worked. His message to the Navy Department was succinct – "We have met the enemy and they are ours!"
It is sung to the tune "Admiral Benbow."
(Vocals: S Lampredi)

Charge the Can Cheerily (4:31) Captain James Lawrence’s dying words inspired the country to renewed efforts to defeat the British. The British were forced to allocate more ships and crews to blockade the American coast. Despite this, American Frigates were still able to put to sea to prey upon British merchantmen.
Published in the Portfolio in November of 1813
(Vocals: D Valley (lead) , S Lampredi, M Peterson, S Winick / Pianoforte: J O’Brien / Violin: R Cosgrove)

The Banks of Champlain (1:53) This song is attributed to the wife of Brigadier General Alexander Macomb (referred to as Sandy in the song) the commander of the American army defending Plattsburg NY.
It is sung to the tune "Banks of the Dee."
(Vocals/Violin R Cosgrove)

MacDonough's Victory (2:55) Commodore Thomas MacDonough’s tactic of mooring his fleet on spring cables allowed him to turn his ships to present a fresh undamaged face to the British squadron. The British, however, were forced to beat back around through the wind and suffered accordingly. MacDonough’s defeat of the British fleet thwarted Lt Gen George Prevost’s plan to divide the United States. The demoralized British retreated back to Canada – the last invasion from the north had failed.
The song is also called "The Heroes of Lake Champlain" and is sung to the tune "Sprig of Shelelagh."
(Vocals: M Peterson / Guitar: C Williams / Violin: E Cattle)

The Defense of Fort McHenry (Star-Spangled Banner) (4:30) Francis Scott Key wrote this poem while on the American Flag of Truce ship with the British Fleet during the bombardment of Fort McHenry. In 1805 Key had written a poem, "When the Warrior Returns," about the exploits of Stephen Decatur during the War with the Barbary Pirates which was also set to "The Anacreontic Song." Key was not the only writer to make use of this melody. "Adams & Liberty", "The Battle of the Wabash" and "When Bibo Went Down" are but a few examples.
(Vocals: R Cosgrove, M Peterson, D Valley, S Winick)

Johnny Bull, My Jo, John (2:47) This heartfelt song epitomizes the strong familial relationship that still existed between England and her former colony, America. John (England) and Brother/Cousin Jonathan (America), as they were called, had quarreled and now the olive branch is extended. Although we came close to war again in 1862, the United States and Great Britain remain steadfast allies. The tune: "John Anderson, My Jo" was a popular Robert Burns poem.
(Vocals: S Winick)

The Battle of New Orleans (2:00) The British attack on New Orleans was the culmination of a troubled campaign. Miserable weather, lengthy supply lines and crumbling morale all sapped the spirit of the British forces. Fearing a complete collapse of his army if he did not do something, Major General Edward Pakenham ordered an assault on Major General Andrew Jackson’s fortified line. Mistakes, delays and confusion hampered the British as they none-the-less valiantly charged ahead. At the battle’s conclusion, of the more than 8000 British troops involved, more than 2000 had become casualties including their commanding general; the Americans had less than 100 casualties.
(Vocals: M Peterson / Violin: R Cosgrove)

Web Bosun: Vince Wilding
Updated: 131112