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John Renfro Davis
|This first appeared in the Boston Newsletter in 1769. The song was an appeal to American women to support the boycott of British textiles.
The song was a result of Townshend Acts of 1767, which decreed that Americans pay duty on British lead paint, glass and tea. In reponse the Americans called for a boycott of British goods, in hope it would result in the repeal of the acts. The boycott lasted for two years and resulted in "staggering losses on British trade."*
Young ladies in town, and those that live 'round
Wear none but your own country linen;
Of economy boast, let your pride be the most
To show clothes of your own make and spinnin'.
What if homespun, they say, be not quite as gay
As brocades. Be not in a passion
For once it is known 'tis much worn in town
One and all will cry out 'tis the fashion!
And as one all agree, that you'll not married be,
To such as will wear London factory;
But at first sight refuse, tell 'em you will choose,
As encourage our own manufactory.
No more ribbons wear, nor in rich silks appear,
Love your country much better than fine things,
Begin without passion, 'twill soon be the fashion,
To grace your smooth locks with a twine string.
Throw away your bohea, and your green hyson tea,
And all things of a new fashioned duty;
Get in a good store of the choice Labrador,
There'll soon he enough here to suit ye.
These do without fear and to all you'll appear,
Fair charming, true, lovely and clever,
Though the times remain darkish,
Young men will be sparkish,
And love you much stronger than ever.
From *The Ballad of America
See Bibliography for full information.