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The Recess


The Recess

And now our Senators are gone
To take their, leave of London
To mourn how little they have done,
How much they have left undone!
      Yankee Doodle, etc.

Heaven bless 'em in their summer seats,
And grant their neighbors stare at
The long recounting of their feats,
Though wondering much what they' re at!
     Yankee Doodle, etc.

Bless'd be the times when men may do,
What no one comprehendeth;
May boast of deeds that all must rue,
Nor judge where nonsense endeth!
     Yankee Doodle, etc.

One year, with half ten thousand men,
We swallow all our foes up;
The next, the times are turn'd, and then
Old England's scale light goes up,
     Yankee Doodle, etc.

But still with courage and with glee,
New laws we must be framing;
With paper and with parchment, we
The savages are taming.
     Yankee Doodle, etc.

We swear the transatlantic folks
Shall all obey our orders;
While they turn all we do to jokes,
And cry out, "guard your borders."
     Yankee Doodle, etc.

Well, then, we' ll go to war with France
Yes -- no -- we must -- we mustn't
John Bull shall teach Monsieur to dance-
But can't -- and there's the curse on't.
     Yankee Doodle, etc.

What' s to be done? -- we' ll end the jar--
But how? -- Ah! there's the devil -
'Tis easier to provoke a war By far, than cure the evil.
     Yankee Doodle, etc.

We trust you'll nearer hit the point
When you shall meet next winter;
And if you cannot set the joint,
Be sure reduce the splinter.
     Yankee Doodle, etc.

"Great Britain' s conduct of the war against her was not without its critics
back home.
A recess of the Parliament prompted the anonymous author of this song to chide
legislative body for its ineffectiveness in the face of a steadily worsening
The verses were first published in  London, and  then appeared on a colonial
ballad-sheet in 1779." CR

From Songbook of the American Revolution, Carolyn Rabson