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Posted on: May 1st, 2012 by hauleymusic No Comments

Burgoyne surrendered @ Saratoga – October 17,1777. News reached France December, 1777. The news helped Franklin with the French Alliance, February 6, 1778. When the alliance was printed in the loyalist NYC. Rivington Gazette, a Mr. Lockman was inspired to write new words: “The French are a coming as news writers say,” and “Will over OUR herring pond (Atlantic Ocean) force their mad way.” It is interesting to note that the British felt the Atlantic belonged to them.

Rodney refers to George Brydges Rodney, Admiral of the British Navy, while Perkin is actually Perkin Warbeck, the French illegitimate son of Richard III, who was romanticized in story and song as almost becoming king of England.

The “half starved groups in wooden shoes” refers to the Protestant French Huguenots, and “Pale nuns” is, of course, a reference to French Catholics. The term gasconada comes from the word gasconade which is a form of bragging (after battles in Gascony France during the 100 years war; France boasted about their valor, but in truth they lost every one).

The New LILLY BULLERO, to the old Tune,

On the threatened invasion from France.


The French are a coming, as news-writers say,
Lilly bullero, bullen a la.
Will over our herring-pond force their mad way,
Lilly bullero, bullen a la.

Rodney grasp our naval thunders,
Dart them at the fancy foe;
Their flat bottom boats batter;
Their ships of war shatter
Sink them at the centre (sic) low.

Excited by Perkin some came here to spy,
Lilly bullero, bullen a la.
Behold our rich products with ravenous eye
Lilly bullero, bullen a la.

These were not made for invaders;
Slaves who bow to Rome on their knee;
But for Britons hearty now all of a party,
Hating soup meagre, and tyranny.

Could the Monsieurs prevail. what dire havock (sic) were here.
Lilly bullero, bullen a la.
A strange metamorphosis soon would appear.
Lilly bullero, bullen a la.

Half starv’d groups in wooden shoes skeating,
Gibbets erected our faith to destroy;
Pale nuns thro’ grates peeping,
Sighing and weeping,
Mad after a man they must never enjoy.

But take it for granted some Frenchmen might land,
Lilly bullero, bullen a la.
What would Their fate be, when on our strand,
Lilly bullero bullen a la.

Hunted down by our new militia
Soon they’d sad pecavi cry,
To some wooden Saint mutter,
Curses morblieu! and sputter,
As on their backs they sprawling lie.

When Pharoah pursued Isreal in the Red Sea,
Lilly bullero bullen a la.
o’erwhelm’d was his host, and drowned was he,
Lilly bul/ero bullen a la.

Monsieurs the like doom may await you,
Should you our 8ritifh Lion provoke,
Your bouncing armada.
May prove Gafconada,
And your grand project vanish in smoke

SONGS, NAVAL AND MILITARY. New-York: Printed by James Rivington, 1779. 128 pp.

Creasy, Sir Edward. The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World. New York: E. P. Dutton and Co., 1908.