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|This tune was written in 1759 by Francis Hopkinson of Philadelphia. It was published in 1788 in a collection of songs dedicated to George Washington, a personal friend of Hopkinson's.
Hopkinson was one of the first American composers. He was also a lawyer, poet, inventor and painter. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence (for New Jersey) and helped design the American Flag. He served as judge of the Pennsylvania Admiralty courts and was later a judge for the District Court in Eastern Pennsylvania.
For a full list of tunes by Francis Hopkinson at this site, Francis Hopkinson in the search engine.
My days have been so wondrous free,
The little birds that fly
With careless ease from tree to tree,
Were but as blest as I,
Were but as blest as I.
Ask the gliding waters,
If a tear of mine
Increased their stream,
And ask the breathing gales
If ever I lent a sigh to them,
If I lent a sigh to them.
The Burl Ives Song Book
See Bibliography for full information.