Sir Peter Parker
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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This song is also known as A New War Song by Sir Peter Parker.

Sir Peter Parker commanded the British fleet from the man-of-war Bristol during the attack on Charleston in 1776. His fleet received heavy fire from Fort Moultrie and was held back. During the battle his breeches were torn off and he was wounded in the thigh.

The Constitutional Gazetteer reported:

"If 'Honor in the breech is lodged,'
As Hudibras has shown,
It may from thence be fairly judged
Sir Peter's honor's gone."

My lords with your leave
An account I will give
That deserves to be written in meter
How the rebels and I
Have been pretty nigh
Faith, almost too nigh for Sir Peter.
Ri tu den dio, ri tu den di ay
Faith, almost too nigh for Sir Peter!

With much labor and toil,
Unto Sullivan's Isle,
I came firm as Falstaff or Pistol,
But the Yankees, dod rat'em,
I could not get at 'em,
So terribly mauled my poor Bristol.
Ri tu den dio, ri tu den di ay
So terribly mauled my poor Bristol.

Devil take' em, their shot
Came so swift and so hot
And the cowardly dogs stood so stiff, Sir!
That I put ship about
And was glad to get out
Or they would not have left me a skiff, Sir!
Ri tu den dio, ri tu den di ay
Or they would not have left me a skiff, Sir!

Now Clinton by land
Did quietly stand
While my guns made a terrible rumpus,
But my pride took a fall when a well-aimed ball
Propelled me along on my bumpus!
Ri tu den dio, ri tu den di ay
Propelled me along on my bumpus!

Now bold as a Turk
I sailed for New York,
Where with Clinton and Howe you may find me
I've the wind in my tail
And I'm hoisting my sail,
To leave Sullivan's Island behind me.
Ri tu den dio, ri tu den di ay
To leave Sullivan's Island behind me.

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From
The Burl Ives Song Book
See Bibliography for full information.