Constitution and the Guerriere (II), The
DESCRIPTION: "Britannia's gallant streamers Float proudly o'er the tide; And fairly wave Columbia's stripes...." Dacres and his hip meet Hull's, and signals for battle. But "Vain were the cheers of Britons," The Americans, tried on the "Moorish shore," is victorious
AUTHOR: Words: L. M. Sargent
EARLIEST DATE: 1812 (Boston Gazette, according to Gray)
KEYWORDS: sea war battle ship
Aug 19, 1812 - the 44-gun Constitution defeats and captures the 38-gun Guerriere
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Gray, pp. 144-145, "The Constitution and the Guerriere" (1 text, from the Boston Gazette)
Lawrence, pp. 194-195, "Yankee Thunders"; "Constitution and Guerriere" (2 texts, 1 tune, both copies of War of 1812-era printings)
cf. "The Constitution and the Guerriere" [Laws A6] (subject)
cf. "Ye Mariners of England" (tune)
NOTES: Although quite possibly older than the traditional "Constitution and Guerriere" (Gray notes at least five publications in newspapers in September 1812, and two songsters in 1814-1815), there do not appear to be any traditional publications of this song -- probably because it's so wordy.
The song mentions three names: Dacres and Hull are the captains of the Guerriere and the Constitution, respectively. "Morris," not otherwise identified, is probably Charles Morris. of whom J. Franklin Jameson, Dictionary of United States History 1492-1895, Puritan Press, 1894, says:
Morris, Charles (1784-1856), Commodore, served in the war with Tripoli from 1801 to 1805. He was lieutenant of the "Constitution" in the engagement with the "Guerriere." He was chief of the Ordnance Bureau from 1851 to 1856.
It has several times been stated that the traditional Laws ballad about the Constitution and Guerriere goes back to an 1812 broadside. I suspect, however, that that may be a reference to this piece. - RBW
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