Archive for June, 2011


Posted on: June 1st, 2011 by hauleymusic No Comments

Banks of the Dee (1775)
This beautiful song was very popular, both in England and the colonies. It was composed by John Tait, a writer for the Signet and, for some time, a judge in one of the minor courts at Edinburgh. It is adapted to the Irish air called Langolee. It was first printed in the Pennsylvania Ledger, at Philadelphia, and also inserted in Wilson’s collection, published at Edinburgh in 1779, with some additional stanzas, written by a lady.

‘Twas summer, and softly the breezes were blowing,
And sweetly the nightingale sang from the tree.
At the foot of a hill, where the river was flowing,
I sat myself down on the banks of the Dee.

‘Twas winter, and blue tory noses were freezing,
As they march’d o’er the land where they ought not to be;
The valiants complain’d of the fifers curs’d wheezing,
and wish’d they remain’d on the banks of the Dee.

Flow on, lovely Dee, flow on thou sweet river,
Thy banks, purest stream shall be dear to me ever;
For there I first gained the affection and favour
Of Jamie, the glory and pride of the Dee.

Lead on thou paid captain! tramp on thou proud minions!
Thy ranks, basest men, shall be strung like ripe onions,
For here thou hast found heads with warlike opinions,
On the shoulders of nobles who ne’er saw the Dee.

But now Jamie’s gone, and left me thus mourning,
To quell the proud rebels, for valiant is he;
And when he returns, with such care I’ll watch o’er him,
He never shall leave the sweet banks of the Dee.

Be quiet and sober, secure and contented;
Upon your own land, be valiant and free;
Bless God, that the war is so nicely prevented,
And till the green fields on the banks of the Dee.

The Dee then will flow, all its beauty displaying,
The lambs on its banks will again be seen playing,
Whilst I, with my Jamie, am carelessly straying,
And tasting again all the sweets of the Dee.

The Dee then will flow, all its beauty displaying,
The lads on its banks will again be seen playing,
And England thus honestly taxes defraying,
With natural drafts from the banks of the Dee.

Moore, Frank, Ed. Songs And Ballads Of The American Revolution. New York D. Appleton & Company, 1856. 419 pp.