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John Renfro Davis
|The source of the tune and words are not known. The ballad appeared shortly after Wolfe's death on broadsides in the colonies.
During the French and Indian Wars, General James Wolfe led British forces in the Battle of Quebec, aka The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, (September 1759) against French General Montcalm. The British were victorious but both men died in the battle. See links below for further information.
Come all ye young men all, let this delight you,
Cheer up ye, young men all, let nothing fright you,
Never let your courage fail when you're brought to trial,
Nor let your fancy move at the first denial.
So then this gallant youth did cross the ocean,
To free America from her invasion,
He landed at Quebec with all his party,
The city to attack, being brave and hearty.
The French drew up their men, for death prepared.
In one another's face the armies stared,
While Wolfe and Montcalm together walked,
Between their armies they like brothers talked.
Each man then took his past at their retire.
So then these numerous hosts began to fire,
The cannon on each side did roar like thunder,
And youths in all their pride were torn asunder.
The drums did loudly beat, colors were flying,
The purple gore did stream and men lay dying,
When shot off from his horse fell this brave hero,
And we lament his loss in weeds of sorrow.
The French began to break, their ranks were flying,
Wolfe seemed to revive while he lay dying,
He lifted up his head as his drums did rattle,
And to his army said, How goes the battle?
His aide-de-camp replied, Tis in our favor,
Quebec, with all her pride, nothing can save her,
She falls into our hands with all her treasure,
Oh then, brave Wolfe replied, I die with pleasure.
From the Colonial and Revolution Songbook
See Bibliography for full information.